Photo taken by Jeff Schell (above). That’s me trying to, by the looks of it, ease the tops’l brace in the middle of a squall. Don’t that sound fancy?
A view looking aft from the bowsprit. Disregard shirtless James.
While in Dominica Republic, we went to Los Haitises. A forest full of mangroves, caves, islands. Amazing. Photo above also from Jeff.
The sailing part of this adventure has been hard, no doubt about it. My hands are calloused from hauling on lines. My body often hurts from exhaustion. Waking up for watches at 3 a.m. and finishing them up with Dawn Cleanup is not my idea of fun. I don’t think there is any student on board who hasn’t been frustrated by the amount of cleaning and exhausting work (mentally and physically).
There are moments when it seems that the mates take a perverse enjoyment in making you not have fun and piss you off. It’s hard to be talked to like you knew nothing of the world. Just because you might not know your way around this floating environment hardly means that you don’t know how to get by perfectly excellent in the real world.
I was trying to explain to someone what it was like to be in the middle of the ocean and looking at all the stars. It’s a sight I’ve never seen before — almost every inch of the sky seemingly covered in stars. Add the sound of the ocean as you glide through it, and it’s a mesmerizing sight.
And then just the other night, as the blood-red sun disappeared under the horizon, at least nine dolphins swam with us, pushed by a pressure wave created by the boat. Leaning over the rail and seeing that made me think of those moments that you pray to whatever force you believe in, that you might keep such a memory forever.
So despite the challenges, my adventure has been full of those moments.
Hopefully, I’ll have time to post some pictures from Port Antonio tomorrow.