Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Guest post: Virgin Islands Tall Ship Adventure

Each summer Girl Scouts from our Council embark on destinations trips all over the world. These trip opportunities are open to any Girl Scouts age 11-17. Over the next few weeks as we wrap-up our summer travel guest blog series, Girl Scouts who went on a destination trip this summer will share their travel experiences.

After spending time on the boat, we learned the true
meaning of sea legs after returning to dry land!
By Brianna S.
Ambassador Girl Scout

Sailing in the Virgin Islands was an experience I’ll never forget! The people I met and the experiences I had were truly life-changing. My Virgin Islands Tall Ship Adventure began the first day when three of my shipmates and I took a dingy with Captain Cactus out to the Talofa, our home for the next week. Captain Cactus didn’t let us waste any time, so we had a quick lunch, put on our swimsuits and jumped off! Of course we didn’t just jump off the boat. We had a splat line with which we swung into the water - like Tarzan! I was the first brave victim (volunteer) to jump off, but I would not be the last! After enjoying the view and playing a quick round of Bananagrams (which would ultimately become our favorite game), Captain Cactus took the four of us out to a ship wreck site where we learned how to snorkel!

Our fourth day on the waters, we anchored in Water Lemon Bay and went ashore for the first time. Our destination was Annaberg Sugar Plantation. Once we were all on-shore, we experienced something that some didn’t believe in until that moment - sea legs! Once we were used to solid land, we hiked up from the beach to the sugar plantation and ate gnips (pronounced guh-nip), a local fruit, from low lying trees. Eating fruit from random trees was a new experience for those of us from urban areas, but our crew members assured us it was safe!

Holding a starfish was one of my favorite experiences.
After our tour of the plantation, we hiked back down to the beach and enjoyed the water and sand. The water was teeming with life, and even in the shallow water we could see schools of fish swim right by us, minding their own business. Four of us swam out maybe 15-20 feet and found a starfish! I had never held a starfish before, so I was extremely surprised at its size when I saw it. It was about 8-10 inches long and was a really pretty orange color. The suction cups sticking to my hand were just the cherry on top of another perfect day in paradise.

While this is just an example of how one day from our week went, I learned more than just how to snorkel and sail a 100-foot tall ship which was an amazing experience. I truly feel the friendships I made on this trip will last me forever because we were together every second of the trip. The reason we all got along was because we all shared aa interest in boating and trying new things. Now we have a Facebook group to keep up with each other! We are all still posting pictures and most of our posts in the group involve, “Remember when we….” and, “ That was so much fun!”. I hope to have a destination next year with these girls, and I am really excited to meet more new people!

Brianna S. is an Ambassador Girl Scouts in GSSJC. She is a Mariner and advises other girls planning a destination next summer - don't pack the night before your trip, book your flight early and apply for scholarships. It really helps!

For more information on destinations, contact Rebecca Tirrell at 713-292-0353 or