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Keeping Ocean Star On Course

Oct 3, 2013


Location: Nevis to Les Saintes
Author: James
12:00 am: Finally sleeping after 6 hours of constantly wedging yourself between two points so that you don’t fall off the bed then the one thing all the shipmates would wish comes later: wake up time for the shift change. Its time for Watch Team 2 to take over the ship as it runs through the night to its new destination. Everybody stumbles up the stairs to the deck like a drunk stumbling out of a bar. For the next 3 hours we are in charge of the boat, making sure she has a safe passage. Between five of us we are responsible for making sure Ocean Star runs safely. One to two of us go to the bow to make sure no objects or boats are in our in path. One person is on the helm to guide Ocean Star through the night. The rest of us watch the horizon and the sails. Then at ten to the hour someone does a boat check to make sure the boat is on course and running properly. I personally enjoy being on watch, especially being the helmsman keeping Ocean Star on course. I find this really enjoyable because its much different then just pressing a button and having the boat drive itself. I also like how you can get a feel for the yacht itself, feeling where she wants to go and guiding her to the correct course. 7:00 am: Wake up to get some breakfast, which is easier said than done, considering we are still under way. First grab a bowl, then pour your cereal, then your milk, and grab your spoon. Next put your PFD on and get your bowl and go up the stairs to the deck while making sure that it does not blow away in the process. Once on deck you have to position yourself so as to block the wind and so you don’t slide all over deck. Once finished, clean the bowl and spoon go back to sleep until 9:00 am for the final watch into the Saints Islands of Guadeloupe.11:00 am: Ocean Star is now anchored off one of the Saints Islands, and it is time for boat appreciation. This is when we clean and detail her and basically thank her for taking us from port to port safely. This includes washing the deck and cleaning all common areas. Once the boat is clean and in proper order there is a short presentation on the island we are going to explore. 1:00 pm: We all hop in one of the small boats to take us ashore to explore the local area. Once ashore people do various things: some go to the beach, some go hiking to find some old forts, and some walk through town looking for Gelato and WiFi. I go with a couple of other people from the boat and go to the beach, which is about a 20-minute walk from the drop off point. It is a really cool beach, which is almost a lagoon considering the beach is surrounded by rock formations enclosing the beach. Here we tried to swim to the big rock across from the beach but it was too far so we turned around. Then we played a small game of rugby with a ball that staff member Nick brought. After the game, we relaxed for a minute then started to make our way back in to town. The town itself is cool; being a French territory, it has a Mediterranean feel. I walk around the town and notice that not much is open because no one works here from 12 pm to around 3. I do, however, find some other crew members sitting eating Gelato, so I sit and enjoy until 5 pm pick up. 6:00 pm: Back on Ocean Star, dinner is ready but before we eat, we all gather to squeeze, where the skipper of the day asks a question for everyone to answer. Today its my turn to ask the question, which is, What drives people to keep going during life? Once everyone answers everybody lines up for the buffet line and eats. After dinner its clean up time where everybody splits up into their duty of the day. After clean up people either relax or do whatever work they have to do. Then there is my favorite activity, which is watching the sunset off the stern of Ocean Star and seeing another day pass on board.Hope all is well ashore and a shout to all the families back home from the crew of Ocean Star.