Location: Tahiti

24 duffel bags are stacked and packed in the saloon, ready to be taken up on deck and off Vela. It seems just like yesterday I carried my bag down the companionway into my cabin, ready to unpack all my stuff, in what I thought back then, a way to a small bunk and cubby. Now these bags are filled again, not only with clothes, shoes, and towels, but with memories of a lifetime, more than 7500 nm, seven countries, eight time zones, two oceans, one equator crossing, and 31 people that turned into family.

Now, it is time to sail goodbye to Vela, a life on the water, and to waking up to a new scenery every day. I think for all of us; it is going to be weird to come back home and to unlearn some of the habits Vela has taught us over these last 90 days. It is going to be weird to lay in a bed that is actually not moving, not having to time opening the fridge with the movement of the waves to make sure you are not attacked by four jars of jam and three cans of pesto, not having to fight with 24 others about who gets the blue bed sheets and who has to suffer in the orange ones, not waking up in the middle of the night to discuss some of the weirdest questions with your favorite people, not eating every single meal with 30 others, not cleaning what sometimes seemed like IKEAs whole supply of kitchen utensils up on deck, not checking what your job of the day is and not being able to share all of your best, worst, happiest or angriest moments with your best friends, who were never more than 112 ft. away from you.

Everyone back home has asked me if I am going to miss the traveling and sailing, and Yes, I, and probably everyone else here for sure, will. I mean, how could you not? But for now, I am going to miss the little things. Toria’s perfume every morning, Morana”s leecloth dangling into my bunk, Saskia”s unlimited supply of snacks, holding toes with Elise all night, Lexi”s laugh, journaling with Lake, toe time with Ula, Carla’s daily report of new skin care issues, Gabby”s fear about wrong pool pH, Sammy”s work struggles, Miles” obsession with Shaun (I am sorry, Hermoine), Steph getting annoyed by Miles obsession with Shawn, Ben”s FISHING, William making questionable choices. Daphne striking him for it, Nella never having an answer to the squeeze question, Kirby”s 18, Matt and Drew’s sex(tant) time, Dylan rocking his white crocks, Tom attacking me with dishes through the gopher hole, Charlie”s burping, Owen (not) holding Fargo’s hol little hand, Alexis’ I DO, cosmo’s unlceaned mugs in the sink, Smash crying when she comes close to tortoises, Ted claiming he knows how to cook rice and falling asleep simultanously with Skyler in class.

I want to thank every single one of them for making my time here the best, most memorable, incredible, and teachable three months of my life, but most importantly, Thank You, Vela, for giving us a second home, for sailing us safely across the Pacific and for creating a place in which I could always be truly myself.

So for one last time,
Number 31
Signing Out