Location: CT

There’s a lot about Seamester that made it so life-changing. And at first, I couldn’t put my finger on what made the trip so unique and impactful, but after having ten days at home to reflect on the experience, I can say that it was the sense of family you gain on Ocean Star.

I will take you back to one of my favorite memories. It was day 14, we were somewhere west of the Leeward Islands, and the twenty of us were preparing for our first night underway. We had just finished dinner, which was a delicious meal made by hardworking chefs. However, the majority of us didn’t eat much as we were feeling the effects of seasickness from the rough sea state. In fact, some of us were camped out on the leeward side in preparation for seasickness to get the best of us. The sun was setting during cleanup, with the salty bucket sliding down the starboard side, and the deckies holding onto the grab rail as they swept the deck in their best power stance. I remember watching a fork slide overboard and immediately disappear into the white cap water, then looking at Sash shake his head in minor disappointment. Everyone started getting ready for bed, which meant taking off PDFs as soon as you safely made it down the companionway and immediately throwing your damp, salty body into bed. It was a miracle if you made it into your bunk without getting thrown into the salon tables from a powerful wave that night. There was no point in trying to change into pajamas or even brush our teeth because we knew that we would be woken up at some point in the night for our three-hour watch.

At this point, you’re probably wondering why this is one of my favorite memories and thinking it sounds terrible. But through all this chaos, there’s something that makes you feel like everything is okay. We were sailing through the night on an ocean with swells taller than me, with people we met less than two weeks ago, yet I’ve never felt so safe and like I belong. It could have been the billions of stars during our 1 am to 4 am watch, or maybe the sound of waves crashing against the hull, or the glowing dinoflagellates showing off their bio-luminescence off the bow. But more than anything, it was the nineteen other people on Ocean Star that made these moments so worth it. The sense of family on the boat is unmatched, and I am so glad Seamester us together.

Pictures: shower time at sunset after our first full day in Grenada and a very happy, clean Cara