Historic views

A Beaconite joined a group of volunteers and staff from Beyond the Reef last weekend to clean up the beaches of Great Thatch Island. It was her first time visiting the island’s rocky shores, and the team put in their best effort to clear as much trash as possible on Sunday. Staff collected the full bags of trash and whatever other debris they could on Monday. It came to 1,522 pounds of trash, about half of which was old fishing gear. Considering there were 25 volunteers and five staff pitching in, the reporter considers it a good effort. What was even more encouraging was when Beyond the Reef’s co-founder said they’ve been noting a huge improvement at sites like east Anegada, where their team has organised quite a few clean-ups. It’s encouraging to see this effort pay off, and she hopes to join another trip soon.

Reporter in training

At the Friday parade in honour of King Charles III’s birthday, a Beaconite was pleased to help a recent graduate from Cedar International School gain some first-hand reporting experience. It’s always encouraging working with young writers who are interested in learning more about the field, and she was glad to see the intern willing to jump in and ask a few questions. The Beaconite never got the chance to witness such a parade for Queen Elizabeth II, and it was a pleasure seeing community members share such a handsome display for the Virgin Islands.

More travels

From the beautiful oceans of the Virgin Islands to the tallest mountains in the world, a Beaconite has been on a whirlwind journey seeing and understanding more of the globe. Last week, she shared how she attended a meditation course in the hills of Kathmandu. She was also fortunate to have the opportunity of a lifetime: seeing Mount Everest with her own eyes. She took a helicopter ride past the mountain’s base camp and posed with the majestic giant. It was an indescribable experience for her, and she was quite lucky to even get the opportunity. While her decision was a spur of the moment, others on the trip had been waiting for days for the helicopter tour. After a few days of bad weather and cancellations, the group was able to make the ride and navigate safely among the clouds in the mountains. The pilot — a rescue pilot who is used to landing in severe situations — was able to get all the passengers up to Mount Everest without issue. At that altitude, it’s common to experience hypoxia. The reporter felt lightheaded and literally like she was on a cloud for the few minutes she was there. Just a few minutes more and she believes she would have been unconscious. She also learned (almost the fatal way) never to exit a helicopter and head toward the back of it. She nearly got her head chopped off by the tail rotor. Thankfully, other pilots were watching her descent from the copter and yelled at her to turn around before she lost her life. All in all, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that she’ll remember fondly forever.