Location: West End, Tortola, British Virgin Islands

The sound of rain and singing filled the salon as Emma, Sam, Allie, and I jumped around to our favorite boat songs to wake up the rest of the crew. In no time, we were up on deck for breakfast, ready to have an epic day! Fueled up and full of energy, we pulled on our yellow rubber gloves, filled up the acid buckets, and got the hoover ready – right back into BA! For the next 6 hours, we scrubbed, scraped and swept, stopping only for a quick sandwich lunch, followed by our last dishy pit! Sydney and Sam enjoyed every moment of saltying for the last time while Emma appreciated the soothing feel of bleach water, and Allie had fun drying with our favorite damp dishy-towel. We then got back to finishing all of our BA projects and making Ocean Star shine again!

All the hard work was worth it, and we did deserve the boom swing!! Different ways of swinging were attempted, resulting in some hilarious falls and belly flops and then WE SAW BEN and his parents on the dock. We all rushed to jump on the dock and screamed so loud that it even made Steve come up on deck!
The great return of the boat dad was so exciting, but what was even more awesome was the fact that it felt like he hadnt left at all. Just as 40 days ago, we were all joking around and telling short stories. It really warmed my heart, realizing how strong the connections are between the members of our boat family. Ian, Steph, and Carolyn showed Bens parents around, while the rest of us were getting ready for the closing program and dinner.

All dressed up and ready to go, we assembled in the salon, anticipating Carolyns special surprise, which turned out to be a slide show of pictures from our voyage! It brought back so many amazing memories and funny moments from exploring the islands to unforgettable times on watch to crazy dishy pits. It was so hard to believe that it was the end – those 80 days seemed to have flown by! Right after the slideshow, we decided to give the Secret Santa presents, and some Santas went all out with their gifts! The best gift was probably Steves – Sydney received a 5-second hug. We were all jealous! Carried away by the joy of gift-giving, we forgot about the time- our taxi was already waiting to take us to Captain Mulligans. There, many members reminisced about their time aboard Ocean Star, which started as a ship, and ended up as our home. It was indeed a pleasure to have sailed and learned aboard S/Y Ocean Star.