Fascinated with the tropical reefs and marine creatures or interested in a career in the marine sciences? S.E.A. (Service, Education and Adventure) Voyages are a unique opportunity to earn environmental service hours and academic credit while adventuring throughout the amazing Windward Islands archipelago. S.E.A. voyages offer you a great opportunity to learn about marine biology, sailing, and SCUBA diving, and make the most of your summer on a rewarding and educational adventure of a lifetime!
SERVICE Coral Reef Fishes and Sea turtles are the educational and environmental service emphasis of the South SEA voyages. These voyages focus on coral reef related environmental service throughout the Windward Islands. Working with the marine parks and international monitoring organizations, we conduct surveys on fish populations in St. Lucia and St. Vincent, coral health assessments in St. Lucia's Marine Park, and assist sea turtle population rehabilitation efforts in Bequia.
EDUCATION Coral reef biology and ecology accredited education programs. Discover the deeply interconnected ways the coral, invertebrates, and fishes work together in amazing efficiency. Aboard your vessel are microscopes and lab equipment and a staff of enthusiastic marine biologists ready to teach you how to collect scientifically sound ecological data as you explore your interest in a science career or just enjoy learning about the unique aspects of the reefs creatures. Learn to identify the top 25 corals and their common ailments as well as over 100 reef fishes in preparation for conducting biodiversity surveys of the reefs for the Reef Check initiative and add to the project REEF database. During this process you will learn about coral aggression, learn to treat coral Black Band disease, and discover the different coral growth forms. The behaviors of coral reef fishes are as vivid as their colors, and you will learn about their unique methods of mate selection and attraction, avoiding predation, and finding and obtaining dinner. A big part of the protection of these beautiful coral reef communities is through the conservation efforts of the marine parks of the islands. The marine parks provide safe havens from the effects of fishing and commercial utilization of the reef's resources, but the park systems are limited in scope due to economic challenges of the islands. We assist the local marine park rangers to conduct surveys assessing the health of the reefs and compare survey results to those taken outside of the marine park protected zones. You develop your skills in implementing the accepted protocols and methods of conducting field surveys to assess the health of fish, coral, and dolphin populations. All educational programs are taught in a hands-on approach in which you gain knowledge by doing, seeing and experiencing.
ADVENTURE Sailing throughout the archipelago, diving the coral walls, pinnacles, and reefs, exploring shipwrecks, hiking through the rainforest jungles, exploring volcanoes, refreshing in hot spring waterfalls and experiencing the culture and beauty ashore is sure to satisfy the explorer within you. With lots of SCUBA diving included, you can earn multiple PADI SCUBA certifications including Advanced, our distinctive Research Diver plus Night Diver and Underwater Photography. We live aboard sailing catamarans and sail the blue passages between the islands. You are the crew, learning to raise and lower the sails, navigate, be the helmsman, and drop the anchor all in time for volleyball, wakeboarding, and kayaking.
|PADI Advanced Diver||Sail Training and Seamanship|
|PADI Research Diver and Photo specialty||Watersports- Skiing, Boarding, Kayaking|
|Underwater Environmental Service Projects||Island Exploration, Rainforest Treks|
|30+ Dives, 5 Scuba Certifications||Marine Biology Course|
|SEA Programs in the Windward Islands|
|Southbound SEA Voyage||teens 14+||SEA South-1||June 19 - July 9||21||$5390|
Arrive into beautiful St Lucia and journey along a windy mountain road to the incredible Marigot Bay, our home port, where you climb aboard your 46 foot catamaran and meet your crewmembers. Learn how to sail your boat and set the lines off the dock. Do a quick check out dive and then get ready for some high voltage drift dives underneath the Pitons in the Soufriere Marine park. Dives like Supermans Flight and Coral Gardens will really excite your senses as you dive along steep walls with the current. Later, climb up to a hot spring waterfall and through jungle covered peaks of the Piton's, which are two conical peaks rising 2600 stright up from the sea.Days 5-8
Have an exciting open-water sailing passage to St Vincent, where along the way we have had a pod of Killer Whales join us for the passage, swimming alongside the vessel like very large, playful dolphins. Upon arrive, hike up to the Falls of Baleen and enjoy a breathtaking waterfall view, swim with freshwater eels, and wonder of the beauty of the cool water rushing off the tall Soufriere volcano. Take a day hike to the rim of the volcanoes caldera and experience the primordial Earth. Get ready for some exciting 'muck' diving, which the locals like to call it, as we seek out Frogfish and Batfish on beautiful coral walls. Mystery reef is a beautiful dive along the volcanic outflows, with super clear water and large corals. Explore ashore in Wallilabou, the set for the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, and practice your swashbuckler movies. Dive through a 'Bat' cave, and explore a place where 3 shipwrecks are piled on top of each other (one from the 1700's) in Kingstown harbor. Hike ashore to the top of Fort Duvenete and inspect the old cannons.Days 9-11
We head south to the Grenadines, home of large pelagic fishes and incredible diving. First stop is Bequia, a quint island with Gingerbread houses, home to the former whaling industry and now the conservation efforts of Brother King and the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary, where we spend the day helping Brother King cleaning and rehabilitating the sea turtles, and release a Hawksbill turtle to the ocean. Investigate bioluminescence during night dives and witness the changing of the guard of the reef fishes from the diurnal herbivores to the nocturnal predators as we dive some of the worlds best reefs. Learn a bit about digital underwater photography as we continue our investigations in marine biology.Days 12-15
We are working on our specialty certifications, including night, underwater photography, and wreck diver, and finishing up our Advanced certification, so that we can begin Rescue diver training. The beaches of Beautiful Mustique are a fantastic place to practice egresses and check out any stars walking by. We head off to the Tobogo Cays marine park, a quintessential white sandy beach tropical paradise, and finish up our rescue training, have a beach barbeque, snorkel a horseshoe shaped barrier reef, see lots of reef sharks and enjoy some beach volleyball. We get to dive into history visiting the WW1 gunboat wreck the Puruni, where we can still make out the gun emplacements.Days 16-18
Heading further south to the Sisters, Big Blue, and Kick 'Em Jenny provides some really exciting dives with large pelagic fishes, caverns to explore, huge soft corals and sheer walls droping into the abyss.Days 19-21
In 'The Spice Island' of Grenada, we explore farmers markets ashore for some great fresh fruits and spices like nutmeg, cloves and ginger then go diving at the world's largest underwater sculpture garden and swim past hundreds of statues. The scenery ashore is captivating, we hike a trail to the Seven Sisters waterfalls and swim in aquamarine colored pools of swirling water before having a bon voyage beach party dancing to steel drums and reggae.Sample Airfare from New York (JFK) is $710 including taxes as of April 3