Location: Jolly Harbour, Antigua

When have you felt most alive? In the height of an adrenaline rush? Relaxing before a golden sunset? In the giving of a gift to somebody deserving? A small part of everybody’s inner workings was revealed at squeeze this evening, and we were all reminded of just how many things, big or small, are worth appreciating, are worth living for.

Anticipation has been mounting for the advent that was today’s shore excursion. Fourteen days of group isolation in this watery world have mounted the thought of hills, snacks, and exploration taunting to the freedom of being able to stretch our legs. Ocean Star was plunged into an unfamiliar quietness as shipmates were ferried ashore after Alex, Nic, and Meghan’s superb lunchtime quesadillas. Jolly Harbour is a sleepy town on a Sunday during these times, but this meant that adventure had to be found in some unlikely places, and one of these places was the nearby supermarket. Three full and healthy meals a day still receive their due appreciation, but the gnawing feeling of the desire for a nibble in between was a powerful force for some. Upon returning to the vessel this evening, a full rotisserie chicken was revealed to be a comforter on a midnight anchor watch, while others stocked up on other nibbles which carry them through.

The St. Johns Cathedral was an interesting visit for some. Its grand architecture has stood a few centuries and is an impressive feat, built from locally found limestone. The number of churches found on the island is impressive, and many of them are beautifully finished with a locally found green limestone. Others simply enjoyed the shade of a tree on a pearly beach as the warm afternoon sun crept for the horizon. Certainly, everybody, at some point, splurged on a fresh, chilled, invigorating soft drink to take the edge off of the summer Caribbean heat.

Today’s change of pace has been welcomed, having woken up to new scenery on the calmer, leeward side of the island. The shallow and pale waters still beckon for us, and we look forward to returning to a dive routine. But tomorrow is shaping up to be a fine sailing day, and we need little excuse to shake out the canvas. Those with prior sailing or boating experience find a new thrill in handling the coarse strands of three-strand twisted lines or in taking the helm for the first time on a sailing schooner to watch 88 tonnes heed their command. And those new to the role of a deck get to feel for the first time, the heel of the rig against the breeze as Ocean Star is swept along. Ultimately, we realize the extent of all that we have to be thankful for right now and yet continue to realize more and more. We are glad for our health, our strength, and the smiles that we wake up to and surround ourselves with each of these days.