Life Aboard|Voyage Preparation

The Telltale: Appreciate The Little Things

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 crewmember, Will Shealy, as he and his shipmates reflect on the little things a crew comes to appreciate during their time aboard. Enjoy!

“Before you begin your voyage with S/Y Ocean Star and her crew there are a few things that you should know about life aboard. Many of these things you will not truly understand until you become a crew member; however, I will do my best to explain them. The crew members of Ocean Star and I put together the following list of the small things you come to appreciate over time.

1. Ocean Showers: These are, in my opinion, one of the best parts of the trip. Say goodbye to fresh water and hello to the ocean. The first ones are awkward, but after a few days, you get used to them. It goes like this: jump in the ocean, get out and soap up, jump back in the ocean and wash the soap off, then finally rinse off with fresh water. You only get about 10 seconds of fresh water (since we make our own) so use it wisely.

2.Purple Haze: There are many magical substances on board Ocean Star. Some get the rust off the deck, others wipe down the galley or the tables, but the Purple Haze is by far my favorite. Each day one crew member gets the privilege of cleaning the head: bleach spray, scrub brush, the occasional gloves, and the thought of knowing you get to use a clean toilet are the tools necessary for this activity. Spray this stuff when you finish to keep the odors away until the next cleaning. You can thank me later.

3. The Couch: The single long couch on Ocean Star can hold many a crew member. From movie nights to lectures, it’s vastly more comfortable than the benches. These spots are so coveted that several students arrive at class early to snag one.

4. Living in the Salon: There are two bunks, three beds high, for six of the male crewmembers to sleep in. They are located towards the end of the salon and come complete with loud noises when the rest of the crew stays up late, the heat of a thousand suns when someone is cooking in the galley (at the other end of the salon), and the lovely smell of the men’s head when someone forgets to shut the door.

5. The Bathroom, A.K.A. The Head: This non-traditional toilet requires 50 pumps for a single use. You might think you can get away with just 25, but I promise you it’s not possible. Each pump brings in salt water and expels the waste into the ocean. Just be careful you aren’t collecting the water to wash the dishes during someone’s expulsion.

It is important to note that this guide should not, in any way, dissuade you from joining the crew of Ocean Star. In fact, each of these has worked to bring us incredibly close together in a very short period of time, like so many other things that are unique to life onboard an 88-foot sailboat.”