Location: Saba

It’s currently passage preparation time, and from the chart house where I am writing this, I can hear squeals, laughter, and throwback 00’s classics. Is everyone getting their stuff off the clothing lines like I asked twelve times? Probably not. Would that have bothered me more ten days ago? Probably. Tonight our ship’s tendency to resemble a herd of cats as opposed to a crew is not making me anxious or confused as it might have in the past. Instead, it’s a nostalgic and sweet reminder that we have three more days of being chaotically functional together. I wonder how much time others have spent considering the inevitable departure of our group of sixteen from this home away from home. I certainly have, as the concept that we will never be together again, drifts in and out of mind at simple times of the day. Today it occurred when I was on our dive boat in between our deep water dives. Our crew was split between morning and afternoon dive slots, and my group went out after lunch to dive the deepest most of us have ever gone. We dove Tent Reef and Man-O’ War Shoals in my group. The first group dove Tedran Wall and Hot Springs, which they raved for its marine life and intricacy. While initially terrified, the decent and the reminder that I had practically family around me made the walls of coral, radiant fish, and the occasional ray or turtle even more special and ethereal. In between dives while drinking plenty of water, munching on carrots, and motoring past the classiest boat in the Caribbean Sea (Ocean Star, obviously), I was struck with the thought that such times would never happen again with these people. Disheartening as it is to look around at new friends and realize the precariousness of our relationships, it makes things like spontaneous dance parties, harmless pranks, and passage conversations more vibrant. The moon is full tonight on our last passage, and as I think back on the last time we crossed this specific crossing of water, I am struck with how much more united and settled we are. I certainly did not feel like our last day in Saba was the beginning of the end of our adventure, but just another perfect day to join ranks with the other ones experienced on this trip. I’m sure that the harsh realization that will occur on Sunday morning when I have to leave will be abrupt and emotionally damaging for some, but until then, we’ll just keep embracing the opportunities given to us and moving at a full run the whole rest of the way.