Location: Michigan

Hello, all you dedicated blog readers!

Man was it a long time ago when I wrote my first blog post. 74 days! To be exact and holy moly is that a long time ago. But then again, it feels like yesterday. I still remember the feeling of the crisp, salty air and a light breeze with the sun on my shoulders and not a worry in the world. There was still a nervous but excited energy when we buzzed around the boat, going through our busy schedule. Everyone was still a little bit nervous about who these other people were, as I was skipper only four days in. We were still getting accustomed to a strange new way of living, but it helped to be doing it with people who seemed ready for change and motivated to succeed. Little did I know I changed quite a bit with them. I think we all changed each other a little bit. And we’ll be forever changed by this experience because it is one that we so closely held to our hearts. It was very hard to say goodbye to people that were closer than friends, we were with each other only a short time but it felt like I had known these people forever. We made a home aboard Ocean Star and called it our own, each person a different part of the home. And we were proud of the name. We WERE the star of the ocean and our egos were as big as the dark night sky, thinking no other vessel could compare to our majestic sails and regal crew. And we were the best damn crew out there because we were a family. I don’t think I’ve ever met people who were harder to say goodbye to. We spent quite a lot of time together over the six weeks on board, and now online after, much more so than a typical group of students would spend together after meeting each other. Many people (even myself) would think that spending that much time together with the same people would make you insane. But I loved every second I spent with these people. I never wanted to say goodbye to them, and I knew the day would eventually come, but I didn’t know that it was going to come out of nowhere. It really made saying goodbye that much harder because I was not prepared for it at all. I knew there was a possibility the trip was going to be canceled as soon as we weren’t allowed onshore, but it still didn’t really hit me until the words actually came out of Isabel’s mouth as she was reading the email. Coming back home to a life without my new homies was very disappointing. Who was going to yell at me to get up if I didn’t listen the first time? Who is gonna be chef now and what are they going to cook me? How are we supposed to annoy all of the instructors if everybody’s not with me? Having people fall out of your life like that is very difficult, especially if it is under circumstances that are not in your control. We still are connected through social media, and posts about OC really hit home, and I wouldn’t want to share them with any other group of people. All of the crew really mean a lot to me, and it’s going to be a big adjustment to somehow accept that there will not be ten people around me constantly for the rest of my life. It is strange that we met in such an odd way and had such massive impacts on each other’s life. I’ll never forget my experiences with everybody on this boat trip and will treasure those memories forever. I think we are all suffering from a little post-boat depression because I miss every single person that I spent this semester with. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to have this experience with and will never forget any of them.

Signing off for one last time,
Skipper Rob