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Location: English Harbor, Antigua

After months of anticipation, we’re finally here!! It is so exciting to finally come aboard the beautiful Ocean Star. It’s honestly bigger than I was expecting. Slowly but surely, the crew began to arrive and make their way onto the boat. A few of us had arrived on the island early, and we were the first to board. The next wave came when seven students who met at the airport all arrived in the same taxi van. It is hard to remember everyone’s names, but I am sure they will become clearer as we all begin to get to know each other more. As more began arriving, we found ourselves hanging out on the deck, anticipating which cars coming into the slipway were holding more students. I think it is safe to say we are all in disbelief as to how stunning and beautiful it is here. Although we are all very anxious to get into the water, I’m sure we will get our fill throughout the next 80 days of our adventure. With the bunks assigned, we began unpacking and joking as to how much room we had for our overly heavy duffel bags. By a stroke of luck, each cabin has a spare bed, so thankfully, we don’t feel too crammed. As sunset rolled around, we were all grateful for the delicious meal made by Meghan. With the stress of travel floating away, the cockpit was suddenly silent, the only noise being the crickets on shore and the hungry mouths consuming food. Following dinner, we had our first squeeze session, comprised of introductions and the passing of energy via squeezing hands.

We shared a laugh as we all held hands in a “circle” after Captain Freddy had just joked about it. It is incredible and interesting to hear how people have come from all over the world for this program. Students have come from a multitude of states in the US as well as other countries, including the Netherlands, Germany, Mexico, and Brazil. Next up came a description of all the jobs present on the job wheel. While we all tried to remember what we were assigned for the night, the jobs were described. It will definitely take me a while to remember all the roles and to feel comfortable doing everything. But with an amazing and supportive crew and staff, I am confident we will all feel like the Ocean Star is home soon enough. I think I can safely say we are all ready for an early bedtime after such an exciting and exhaustive day of travel. Hopefully, we can all overcome any jet lag as we prepare for an early 7 a.m. wakeup tomorrow. I have no doubt it will be worth it as we embark on this inspiring adventure!

P.S.
Thank you again to my loving family for always supporting me. I love and miss you already!
Love, Olivia