Location: Ile Fourchue, St. Barthelemy
Typical. The one non-American onboard would be writing the blog on Thanksgiving and asking the squeeze question at the Thanksgiving dinner! While it is not my first Thanksgiving, it is still a new and slightly alien concept that does not quite make full sense. From its disputed beginnings to consumerist today, with dashes of football and televised Macy’s parades, and of course the obligatory Facebook status paragraph of giving thanks, there are 101 ways to ‘do’ Thanksgiving. For the most part, it just seems like a second Christmas day, eating excessive amounts of food with family.
For the most part here, though, the show goes on. The French Caribbean does not know much of this Thanksgiving, and we continued program this morning under the guidance of passage leaders Wallace and Roger as they lead our short passage from Gustavia to the uninhabited island of Ile Fourchue about 6 miles north. Blustery conditions made all tasks a little more challenging and kept the crew and their leaders on their toes as we sailed into our incredibly picturesque anchorage. With our semester ending sooner than many land-based semesters, our crew has been finalizing a lot of their projects. One week and we’ll have come full circle as we sail back into the BVI, two weeks, and Ocean Star will draw to a quiet rest as her 11 shipmates move on!
What I tried to teach at this Thanksgiving was how dangerously superficial the giving of thanks could be. Unfortunately, sometimes words can be cheap and quickly forgotten, so I challenged our crew to share how they will show thanks, allowing their actions to speak louder than words. There was hope to sit and listen to wise words of grandparents more; wishes to act more lovingly and give more attention to mothers, fathers, and siblings; a willingness to show thanks for education though continuous effort even in times of hardship or stress. What was most important, though, was the presence of a little more thought and a plan from everyone to not just speak but act more thankfully.