Location: Slipway, Antigua

Apart from a few birds chirping and hopping around above the chart house, it was a quiet start to the morning. Some were awake, out and about on deck, by 6 am, others weren’t stirring until closer to 8 am, but shortly after La Brasserie (a cute French bakery/ restaurant next to slipway) opened, the students went to have breakfast all together. After breakfast, Mike, Luc, and Thomas had to catch a Taxi at 10:30, and thus the goodbyes were started. The finale was a big group hug and huddle of all the students, ending with an “Omama” chant (their nickname for Ostar) that sent the boys off on their way. The girls spent the next few hours chatting, making small adjustments to packing, sitting on the bow sprit (and licking the deck all together as a farewell?! Haha) until it was time for all of us to say goodbye at noon.

What an amazing 80 days it’s been. Day 80 is a big one. The anticipation of seeing dearly missed family and friends, the sadness of leaving your new boat family (for now), the reflection of struggles faced and accomplishments made throughout the semester is a lot to take in. I think a quote that may some up this morning better than I could is: “You will never be completely at home again because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place” – Miriam Adeney. Through many years of traveling, I find this quote to be such a fitting depiction of an experience such as this one, where you’re introduced to an entirely new way of life and grow to fully embrace it before departing back into what can feel like another world. I think it’s a beautiful reminder of how many lovely places and ways of life exist out in the world and how much we all have left to learn from each one that we are lucky enough to experience.

While Ostar is known for being incredibly homey, the energy from the group makes a world of difference in how day-to-day life feels. Thank you to our Fall 23 group for being so close and caring to everyone on board and making this trip exceptionally fun-filled for all of us. I appreciate you, and I can’t wait to see what each and every one of you will end up doing in the future. I hope you carry your memories of all of us with you and continue to explore and try new things. Have a wonderful rest of the year, and good luck on all of your future endeavors. You’ll always have an Ostar family!

Enjoy some semester highlight photos 🙂