Location: Falmouth, Antigua

This morning’s arrival in Antigua marked the end of the final major passage of our incredible voyage aboard Ocean Star this fall. Given that it was the last, there had to be a bit of excitement that came with it as well… this time it was in the form of a giant floating trampoline. Yes, you read that correctly… After rotating through our three watch teams as we motored from Saba overnight, I awoke mid-morning with a bit of confusion, not expecting to have been able to sleep in until almost 10 am. I was then met by a very excited Kennedy on a boat check, telling me to look on deck because I wasn’t going to believe what was up there… She was definitely right because as I peeked out of the companionway to find a giant, brightly colored trampoline strung up by a few halyards along the starboard side of Ocean Star. We’ve joked all along about what we might possibly encounter on the high seas, but I think a trampoline definitely takes the cake from anything we could’ve possibly come up with.

After dropping sails and anchor in Falmouth, and entertaining plenty of funny looks from nearby super-yachters as a result of our new prized possession, we all immediately started in on a mini “Boat Appreciation” (BA as we call it), while our head chef of the day, Josh, prepared a delicious lemon chicken soup for lunch. Following clean up from lunch, we rolled into a bit of study time before our final Oceanography quiz, and at long last came the day’s much-anticipated battle for the title of “King of the Hill.” This is otherwise known as “shower time” but involved plenty of shenanigans atop our fancy new toy.

Though the day’s excitement made for plenty of laughs, the crew of Ocean Star got their first taste of how all good things must come to an end this afternoon. Jon had been able to track down the owners of the rogue trampoline, and as we headed to shore for dinner and a night out at Shirley Heights, they arrived to tow it back to its rightful home. They were incredibly grateful to us for giving it a tow into Falmouth; it happens to be the center of an entire water park that got loose during some high winds and was likely headed all the way to Barbuda if not for the keen eyes of Watch Team One. While we may have been sad to see the source of our afternoon funtime go, the sunset, dinner, and dancing to a local steel drum group at Shirley Heights certainly made up for it.

Tomorrow we’ll roll into the first of two days of studying and finals, and then it’ll be back to a few more days of adventure (and lots of BA…) before we all begin to head home as well. I know I’ll be taking plenty of memories from this trip home with me, and if being aboard Ocean Star this fall (especially today..) has taught me anything, it’s that you should always expect the unexpected… you never really know what you’re going to find.

Until the next adventure,
Jillybean

Pictured: Jon and Matt working hard to bring the trampoline aboard; the students of Watch Team One with their high seas treasure (from right: Miranda, Matt, Kaiden, Kennedy, and Joseph); Working hard or hardly working?? (from right: Eli, Matthew, Jade, Ridge, and Kaiden); Joseph, Kennedy, Steffen, Ridge, Eli, and Jade hanging out; King of the Hill chaos; the last of the sunset from Shirley Heights.