Diving, round two

On Saturday, a Beaconite hopped back on a dive boat and headed to the waters off Norman Island for Round Two of her Open Water Diver certification course. During this session, she and her fellow students had to complete some of the skills they had already learned, such as throwing away their regulators and breathing without their masks — only this time in 40 feet of water instead of 20, which obviously sounds terrifying. But the Beaconite’s true nemesis turned out to be a skill she practised while safely on the boat. “Everyone has their weak points,” said her instructor, watching her struggle to remember the process of attaching the first stage of the regulator to the top of the dive cylinder and turn it on, followed by manoeuvring what felt like a dozen more knobs and tubes into place. “Yours is the dive gear.” It’s a pretty unfortunate weak point to have, given that if you’re underwater without proper dive gear, you can die instantly. Although the Beaconite has enjoyed diving and the sensation of gliding through the deep, she has never been particularly skilled with her hands or at doing anything very technical. It’s similar to how she loves the experience of sailing, but the many lines and the principles behind how they work continue to confuse her. If only everything could be learned out of a book, she’d be happy, since she was always great at reading. However, both sailing and diving are technical sports. For now, her principle must be the practice makes perfect — because her instructor has promised to make her set up her gear 10 more times before allowing her to graduate the course.

Climate change matters
A Beaconite is dismayed to be reporting that the Cabinet decided to revoke the membership of the Climate Change Trust Fund board (see page one). The board members she has met are passionate and dedicated to environmental sustainability and to helping the Virgin Islands mitigate the effects of climate change. She has yet to ascertain a solid reason why every member’s appointment was revoked. In addition to disrupting the continuity of the ongoing accomplishments that the board has worked very hard to achieve, the move also appears to overstep the authority granted to the Cabinet under the Climate Change Trust Fund Act. Climate change is one of the most pressing issues for every person in this territory and in the rest of the world. Since the force threatens everyone on these islands, she believes that the administrative bodies dedicated to addressing it should be kept separate from the politics that disrupt so many other projects and agencies. The Virgin Islands is one of the first places in the world that will feel the full brunt of the impacts of climate change. Some scientists, in fact, have predicted that global warming will bring more frequent and larger storms. After Hurricane Irma, no one should doubt the seriousness of the situation. The government should treat climate change like the emergency that it is.

A night out
A Beaconite was enjoying a night out last Thursday, attending the opening of Edge Reloaded with friends when a fight broke out outside and police arrived on scene. In the passenger’s seat, she drove past the crowd and the police, hearing shouts and feeling the tension in the air. What if someone got arrested? What if they were in Magistrates’ Court the next day, where this reporter goes on occasion during the week? This was the beginning of a story: What happened to get people riled up enough to begin a fight in the middle of the street? All it took was hanging out in the community.