Discovering the world under water
By: Rosie Bailey, Broadreach high school alumna High School Adventures, Middle School, Scuba, Marine Biology
I am someone who has loved the water for as long as I can remember. There is something about it that makes me beam with joy. When I discovered Broadreach, I couldn’t believe it was a real thing. Going on an adventure like this has always been a dream of mine, but I assumed it would never come true. My mother and I sat down and we discussed it – next thing I knew, I was at the airport heading to Grenada to spend three weeks sailing the Caribbean islands on the Grenadines advanced scuba program.
I chose this program because recently I discovered scuba diving and absolutely fell in love with it! It’s a whole other world below the surface, and I can’t seem to get enough of it. When I go to college, I intend on getting a degree in marine biology. Being able to scuba dive and have all the certifications that are available on this trip was a huge advantage. Before I left, I was hoping to be able to make some good friends while on this adventure, and I also wanted to conquer things that made me nervous. Before I left, I was very nervous! At the airport while saying goodbye to my mom, I was thinking “oh, what did I get myself into?” But then I ran into some future shipmates by the gate and was instantly relieved. Once we landed and left customs to start this journey, we all got such a warm welcome from the Broadreach staff!
During the trip, I don’t think there was ever a dull moment! It was truly an experience of a lifetime – every day we would have some sort of adventure. We would dive the beautiful crystal clear waters, seeing so many reefs and wildlife. On the boat we had three instructors and eight students. It takes some time to get used to living in close quarters with a group of people, but it was never an issue. One thing that I always enjoyed was sleeping outside in the Caribbean weather! On the very first night, we were all sleeping on the bow deck until we were brutally awakened by a rainstorm. All eight of us crammed onto the couch in the kitchen to sleep, it was so fun. It is one of my favorite memories.
I want to also take a moment to talk about my amazing instructors: Nick, Grace and Carter. They made such a huge impact on how wonderful this trip was. Every single day they would find a way to make it even better than it could have been. For example, after scuba diving you can be very hungry. We would get up from a dive and sometimes Nick would have a cake or some type of snack made for us to munch on. On dives, Grace and Carter would make it fun. I never thought I would catch myself literally laughing underwater until this trip. Also, during our rescue diving portion of the trip, they made it so fun to learn new skills. They also helped me find new passions and goals for life, even after the trip (I can still be in touch with them!).
When I talk to my friends and family about this trip, it’s so difficult to try to put into words how impactful this voyage was. This trip helped me find myself, while also realizing that I don’t have to settle…. to take some risks every once in awhile. It made me realize that I want to become a scuba instructor so that I can help people discover the world that is below the surface. I never thought I would have loved sailing as much as I did, but now I can’t wait until I can get my sailing license to go experience new things.
I think one of the funniest stories I tell friends is about the boat showers. It was always such a fun part of the day! Who would have thought that I’d miss doing boat showers. Another really great part was being completely being disconnected from your phone, because it allowed you to really get to live in the moment and experience everything fully. It’s hard to narrow it down to just one part that was my favorite because it was all so amazing. Any time someone asks about my trip, it ends up being a 30 minute talk with pictures and videos shown!
Truthfully, I use the knowledge I learned from this trip every day. I now work on a boat as an in-water guide for swimming with manatees. I am also a first mate for the captain, and I use the knowledge I learned from my instructor to be able to do my job properly. As an in-water guide, my main goal is the customers’ safety, and from Grace and Carter’s teaching I have been able to keep everyone safe on my trips, while also using some of my rescue training for panicked and drowning victims. For my personal life, this experience made me realize that the world is so big, with constant things to be learned. How to stop and try to make a difference in someone’s day, and to find a minimum of one good thing in every day.
Thank you Broadreach for having amazing trips like this one for students to discover who they are!
Rosie is a Broadreach alumna who was part of the advanced scuba and sailing voyage in the Grenadines. Check out the program or connect with us directly to find a program that is right for you.