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high school students scuba dive underwater in the Caribbean on dive and sail summer program

Student Perspective: Finley Caribbean

By: Finley, Broadreach alum High School Adventures, Scuba, Sailing

What Broadreach trip have you completed? 

Caribbean 12-Day Scuba + Sailing Exploration

Why did you decide to do a Broadreach program?

Over the past two summers, I have seen people go on trips to such cool places and it always intrigued me. When looking where they went, I saw Broadreach was always tagged, so of course I had to look into it. I decided to do Broadreach last summer to do something I have always been interested in. Being a swimmer and growing up around the water, SCUBA and sailing were perfect, and also having a love for traveling made this the perfect opportunity. I was fortunate to be able to go early last summer, and it was the best decision I have ever made.

What was the best part of your Broadreach trip?

I believe the best part of my Broadreach trip was the friendships I created with every single person on the boat. Everyone on my trip clicked and we all hung out together. It was nice to not be separated and formed into small groups. The friendships I made and the experiences I had will last a lifetime. Not only was this aspect the best part of the trip, but also the SCUBA diving. I can’t start to describe how surreal the experience of being able to breathe underwater is. It’s something you don’t know you need to experience in life. Seeing all the marine animals and beautiful reefs was amazing. My favorite dive was in Saba, it was called “Bird Poop Rock”, not sure if that’s the actual name, but it was so amazing underwater. Going into town in Gustavia was amazing and so were all the hikes we did!

Were you nervous before going on your Broadreach trip? If so, what about?

I was a little nervous before going on my Broadreach trip. I did go with one friend, which helped calm the nerves, but traveling to a new place, alone and unaware of what will happen next is definitely scary. The fact that you will be spending the next 12 days with complete strangers is also nerve-racking, but after day two, it goes away. These people you meet will become your closest friends for the next 12 days. I was also nervous about SCUBA diving. Once you are in the water learning the drills and safety measures, it all goes away. It’s an unreal experience that puts a new perspective on the world.

What’s a funny or meaningful memory from your trip?

I would say the whole trip was meaningful and funny at the same time. We had many hilarious moments like our cabin on the boat flooding, another boat throwing a tomato at us when we were moored and hitting someone in the face, being the last one underwater during a drill and having 3 huge fish swim past me, and so many more. Some meaningful moments include sailing into Saba and having almost complete control of the helm and just diving in general. These are all memories that I will forever have.

What’s the coolest or most impactful thing you learned on program?

I think the most impactful thing I learned on this trip was to be in the moment, have new experiences, and don’t worry too much. This trip was something I had never done before, so there were so many unknowns, but I believe it’s important to experience that. Being away from home you feel like you are missing things, but I will tell you now, that feeling goes away. Being disconnected from reality for 12 days is amazing, you don’t know what day of the week it is, you aren’t worried about things going on back home, it’s truly relieving. Now, the coolest thing I learned was 100% SCUBA diving.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself before your first Broadreach trip?

If I could go back in time there would be a couple of things I would tell myself. One, you need more basic t-shirts than you think, I went through mine pretty fast and then I was wearing dirty ones the rest of the week. Two, bring plenty of bathing suits that is all you will be in for the next 12 days and you wear multiple a day. Three, build relationships in the first couple of days, the closer you become with the people you meet, the more fun you will have. Four, (not going to spoil it) but for last-day activities go into as much detail as possible, I promise it will be worth it. The last thing I would tell myself is bringing all the cameras is worth it, but make sure you have a fully enclosed GoPro cover or it will burst underwater.

Learn more about this trip here.