Location: Bali

Today was bittersweet. We spent the day giving back to Vela. Emma, Heather, and Lillie kept us well-fed with some yummy meals while we emptied out the deepest parts of the bilge and climbed high up the mast to spread the love and care for the vessel that safely carried us nearly 6000nm through the South Pacific and Indonesia. We rinsed and cleaned all the dive gear that accompanied us on countless dives and flaked and covered up the sails that we’d raised and flaked so many times through all sorts of different sea states and conditions. As we did this big final clean, I felt waves of sadness that this could be the last time I see all these wonderful people I’ve grown so fond of. Spending 80 days on a 112′ boat with like-minded individuals that share your passion for adventure and the ocean is something truly special and hard to put into words. While the waves of sadness would pass, I also felt many moments of immense happiness and excitement for all of the students. Watching them confidently monkey up onto the boom to tie on the covers or remove a halyard or seeing them drive the dinghy to and from shore on their own made me incredibly proud. This group of students has all come so far and learned so much, and grown together in such a beautiful way. I see all of them going off in different directions with different goals and paths ahead, but I am confident in one thing. They have all been changed by this trip, and it will impact their futures in the best way. I can’t wait to see how all of them continue to grow in the years to come.

After we completed our boat appreciation work for the day, we had a great dinner, including some dessert s’mores Emma whipped up, followed by a clothing swap where we traded off clothes with each other. There were some serious wins. My favorite was my trade with Tom. I got a cool shirt of his, and he now has my shirt with Chewee (my dog) on it! It’s nice we did this because a lot of us really liked each others clothes and now we can think of each other while wearing them. Hand-me-downs are my favorite clothes!

My squeeze question this evening was what was the most you laughed on this trip and what was the most scared you felt.

The hardest I laughed was when our dear Margret “attempted” her first back flip off the bow and really just jumped backward, swinging her arms around in the air and then surfaced yelling. “Did I do it!?!” That was hilarious.

Everyone telling their stories from throughout the trip was like going on a journey back in time to different funny and scary moments of our voyage. It was a lot of fun. I took pride in knowing Heloise’s scariest moment was when I scared her on anchor watch. The funny part was I wasn’t even trying to scare her!

It’s late as Im writing this, but everyone is still up, finishing up their cards. They are writing for each other and spending their last evening relaxing in each other’s company. Tomorrow they finish packing and do a final cleaning. Then it’s out for dinner for the final night.

So this is it for me, Kee signing off for the last blog post for me of this Sea|mester.

Lots of Love, Kee