Location: Sandy Spit
It feels almost like home being back in the BVIs, seeing all the small islands we are all accustomed to. It is rather bittersweet though, because this marks the nearing of the end to our 40 day voyage. We started the day off in GHP and with an astounding sail, showing off all of O-Stars glory to the action quest fleet whilst we raised sails and came off the mooring without the engine! We managed to raise all six sails again as well. The main, fore, stay, jib, flying jib and fisherman. With the fish flying high between the mainmast and the foremast we raced through the water on a solid downwind tack, throwing in a couple of skillful gybes along the way. Some of the shipmates even got to take turns testing their fear of heights, and set out to climb the ratlines all the way up to the crows nest! The payoff once you reach the top is most definitely worth the effort. You get to see the boat underway in ways you could not imagine otherwise. We sailed past Soper’s Hole, on the west end of Tortola which is where we began our journey so many days ago, and will inevitably end. We rounded the point and began to sheet in all sails with our eyes set on our destination, Sandy Spit. Sandy Spit is one of the islands you might see on the cover of a vacation magazine, or on the background of your computer screen. A tiny picture perfect island with white beaches and only a few palm trees. It’s only a stones throw from one side to the next but it seems surreal. After lunch was served, the crew split up and half of them went on a dive to a site deemed The Playgrounds. It is a moderately shallow dive, but you swim through a maze of large rocks, littered with swim-throughs and small caves. North of it lies nothing but the vast Atlantic Ocean which makes it the perfect place to see big fish and pelagic creatures. One of the groups even got to see their first shark! While the first group was out diving, I was back on board leading some arts and crafts time and was attempting to teach some of the girls how to make nautical bracelets. Those who were not participating in bracelet tying were hard at work, racing to put the last minute touches on their presentations for Ivy’s oceanography class tonight. There was also enough spare time for the shipmates to soak up some sun on Sandy Spit. For dinner tonight we have some good ol’ barbecuin’ to do. The chefs may have been Sydney and Ivy, but they bestowed upon me, the title of Grill Master. Which reminds me, this is the last time that I am going to be cooking for 16 hungry sailors. These past 37 days have come and gone faster than I could have imagined and the summer job of a lifetime is slowly coming to a sudden halt. With only a few days left until we fly out of here, everyone is starting to think about the changes that they will have to make in their daily routines which they have been accustomed to for the past month. No galley shenanigans and no more dishie team to laugh with while ruthlessly scrubbing burnt food off of big saucy. No more Caribbean showers or pumping the heads. The sunsets will just not be the same. No more pre-dinner squeeze questions. There will certainly be a lot to miss. But I am anxious and excited to see all the people I left waiting for me back at home (also to not hit my head nearly every time while entering and exiting my bunk!) I can only hope that the shipmates will take home with them some of the life lessons learned on this trip, and that in some way, it would have changed their life for the better as it did mine, some 3 years ago. I hope that they retain the humble appreciation for these beautiful places we called home and never lose their adventurous spirits. So long Ocean Star. Aaron, out.