Life Aboard

The Telltale: The Ocean Lifestyle

Welcome back to The Telltale!

We’re sharing stories directly from the students aboard our sailing vessels, S/Y Argo & S/Y Ocean Star, to give you a better idea of what life is REALLY like during a program with Sea|mester. This week’s entry comes to us from Ocean Star sailor, Makelynne Dyer, as she reflects on adopting “The Ocean Life.” Enjoy!

Gap Year Study Abroad Sailing Adventure

Every day aboard Ocean Star presents new experiences, adventures, and challenges. Coming aboard Ocean Star was an easy decision for me; sailing around the Caribbean for 80 days – how could I pass that up? Sailing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember – whether day sailing, international racing, or trips off shore, sailing has been a huge influence in my life. So when this opportunity presented itself, all I wanted to do was join. Still being in high school, however, presented (what I thought at the time was) a challenge. Not only did I have to get everything at school to fall in to place, but I still had to graduate at the end of May. I had to go from being a senior in high school with a full blown case of “Senioritis,” to a full-time college student in a matter of days – and in this case, a student aboard a sailing vessel in the middle of the ocean!

Living in the middle of the ocean is a lifestyle, wherein adaptation to a variety of challenges is necessary. For example, living on a boat is significantly different than living on land. At home, you get a room to yourself and a time schedule that you create. On the boat, however, that all changes and life becomes about the boat, the crew, and the team you create. No longer is everything about you and your wants because the crew is counting on you to pull your weight. Now there are other people relying on you for everything: for food three times a day, clean dishes, and watching the boat during your shift “on-watch,” for example.

When you board the boat for the first time, a group of strangers immediately becomes your family. You do everything together – from eating meals, to attending classes, and even sleeping in bunks within arms reach of each other. As a family, we create a culture that only we will experience. No one outside of the crew on this boat will ever know what we experienced while being part of this boat. Every day is a challenge, but also an incredible new experience that I will never forget.