Location: Antigua

The final morning of every Seamester trip is always very bittersweet. Students are excited to get on vacation or see friends and family at home, and the staff is looking forward to the slower pace of interim. But there is always an air of sadness because we are going to miss our big floating family so much. Throughout the last 80 days, we have had many highs and lows together, gotten each other through night watches and early wake-ups, kept each other awake in class, got each other excited for hiking, saw some amazing underwater wonders together, and so much more. We’ve all gotten out of our comfort zones together. We support each other in ways that are sometimes hard to describe or imagine if you weren’t there to experience it yourself. As a staff team, we are incredibly proud of how far each and every student has come throughout this trip. Through diving, sailing, academics, and just social life on Ocean Star, they have all grown and learned and matured.

We all woke up by 8 am to see off the first taxi with Nate in it. Then many of us walked to the next-door French restaurant to get some coffee and breakfast. While we were there, Kennedy’s parents arrived, and Joseph headed off to his Airbnb. Then we headed back to the boat for some parent tours and a last-minute gathering of things for the rest of the students. Several of the boys headed out to their accommodation on the island for the next several days, and Kaiden left with his mom and sister. With the group dwindling fast, we headed over to the nearby Italian restaurant for a quick lunch with the last few students. At 1 pm, Matthew, Josh, Miranda, Jill, Jade, and Jon all caught their taxi to get to the airport. Carolyn, Amy, and I wandered back to the now quiet and empty boat, already missing our friends. We spent the afternoon finishing up some work and thinking, and reflecting on our successful and fun semester. It was not always easy, but we had an amazing time with the students, and I think we all learned a lot from each other. Friends and family, these students will come home filled with lots of stories, and even though you might not be able to understand or relate, let them talk. Because they have experienced so much over the last 80 days, and we know they are excited to share with you.

Though we gave lots of hugs and waved many farewells today, we hope that they are just “see you laters” rather than “goodbyes.” Ocean Star student crew, fall 2019, you will be missed. And we look forward to hearing about the rest of the adventures in store for you in the near future.