Location: St. Eustatius

Today, the crew got pretty excited when we reached the peak of Quill Trail on St. Eustatius and looked out on a view of the entire island. We got even more excited when Mollie picked up a wild rooster like it was no big deal. And yet, no one got as close to excited as Jon Rice when after an incredible hike through this tropical island, we went to the grocery store for a post-hike snack, and he found an American delicacy he’s been talking about for weeks: Cheez-its. Jon’s face when he came running up the aisles to wave a box of 100% cheddar cheez-its in front of Jack, Brandon, and I got me thinking of all the incredibly exciting moments we’ve all experienced as this journey comes to its end. There was the time Noah caught a barracuda and had to scuba dive down to uncoil the line that was wrapped around the anchor chain. Then there was the day Brandon found and put on the first mates’ hat from the mega yacht Hemisphere, sixty feet underwater while we scuba dove one of our favorite reefs in St. Lucia. There was that night when we started a dance-off in St. Vincent between Ocean Star and another attractive vessel across the harbor to Katy Perry. There was Shea’s game night of telepictionary that has us all laughing so hard we were physically sore the next day. There were the dolphins that jumped fifteen feet into the air behind us as we sailed into a new anchorage Valentine’s Day evening.

How can I ever forget the full moon rising behind us over Nevis as we set off for our longest passage to Grenada? Or the day Jon set up race day and Shea, Sam, and I were concentrating so hard on winning we almost didn’t dodge our mast as it crashed down. We’ve scuba dove and sailed; we’ve hiked mountains and leaped into canyons. And yet, the most exciting parts of this trip are the smaller moments we experience every day. Teaching Sam and Moah how to toss pizza while blasting Frank Sinatra below deck, playing Bananagrams late into the night, watching Pirates of the Caribbean on a projection screen in the Tobago Cays and again in Guadeloupe, learning how to backflip off Ocean Star, and free dive to thirty feet below. When twelve people live within eighty-eight feet of each other for eighty days, memories are sure to be created. Every day we’re challenging ourselves, learning new things, growing closer as a tribe, and enjoying every moment of it. Today was no different. We hiked, explored the local town, went swimming, hung out on the deck, and had OCB at night. The next time I’m skipper will be our final day aboard Ocean Star, and quite likely, the last time we’ll all be together as a crew. With that being said, I look forward to enjoying these last days together to the ultimate fullest. It’s been a blast, everyone. I won’t soon forget a single one of the past sixty-seven days.