Location: Nelson's Dockyard, Antigua
I awoke, clutching my water bottle and the churning in my stomach that reminded me I was at sea. I immediately grabbed my PFD, an instinctive reaction, and maneuvered through the watertight doors up the companionway to watch. This was a routine that was so dialed in after 87 days onboard that I could do it in my sleep and sometimes do. This was a special morning to stand watch because the sailing portion of our trip was ending, the wind was in the sails, and it was a completely student-led passage. I clung to the helm with the wind in my hair and just reflected on how much I absorbed from this trip and how great the people who surround me were and had become. Watch to me was always a cherished time because it was a time to really get to know a few individuals and bond with a staff member. I will never forget nights of singing to stay awake surrounded by stars or, in the case of this morning, singing the sun up while belting Macy Grays- I Try, a watch team favorite. Also, it wouldn’t be a closing day of sailing if I didn’t hug the cap rail a few times to puke. Though our day had just begun, we soon docked for the last time and started our last and final Boat Appreciation, which will extend for the next two days. This was filled with a lot of sweat, maybe some sunburns, and hard work. Then as a reward for our hard work, we got a night out. We were dinghy shuttled over to hike up to where we would soon be entranced by some local steel drum players. I managed to puke on the way over to the hike on a 100m dingy ride, which I thought was more impressive than anything. The crew soon started dancing once the second act began of a local reggae band. It was amazing to see everyone come together for the celebration and merge as a crew; it was at that moment that one could really tell we had all got something out of this amazing experience. It was the first of lasts for many of us, and it felt great to celebrate in style. The sun has set on another fabulous Argo day, and it brings tears to my eyes to leave this home soon.