Location: Our First Day At Sea

When I first came onto this trip, I was not sure exactly what to expect. I was excited at the prospect of doing something new and exciting, combining adventure with hard work and fun. I wanted this to be something special for me, a defining trip at an important time in my life. I hope to learn a lot but, more importantly, grow as a person. Even though it is still relatively early, it is fair to say that I have already been affected. I have been forced to pay closer attention to myself, my actions, and the others I am with. What I do affects the people around me in a way that is different then what I am used to. It is easy for me to get distracted and overstimulated when I am back home. Here, everything is much simpler, a feeling that makes me think differently. Yesterday we motored from Great Dog in BVI to Nevis, a twenty-four-hour passage. We were briefed on everything from basic safety to simple boat checks and seasickness. I am happy to say that everyone arrived in one piece, and the boat held up as it was supposed to. The latter of the three seemed my biggest problem. I have never been one with a light stomach, so the fact that I reacted as I did to the new conditions around me I found surprising. We had three shifts, each three hours long with six hours off. At first, I was miserable. It is hard for me to equate the constant feeling of internal hurt to that which I have had before. It was all-consuming at its worst, taking everything out of me and making me feel completely vulnerable. I felt at the will of the sea. I quickly learned that sitting, lying, and standing are all the same when your body and the ocean don’t agree. You can’t take a break; you just get through what you have to. The second shift was slightly better, with the onset of the sickness taking longer to hit but doing so all the same and with force toward the end. Finally, when we woke up for our noon shift, I got up and ate for the first time since early the day before. I was cautious but happy to be putting food inside of me. We arrived at about six tonight, and those six hours were my best. My body had started to adjust, and I began to feel like myself again. This small experience with something uncomfortable and out of my control has served me well. It is representative of something bigger. Through this and other experiences, I hope that I will learn to be more grateful for the good things in life and appreciate them even more.