Location: English Harbour, Antigua
Since the start of the trip, there has been one event that we have all been looking forward to, the Classic’s Regatta at Antigua. Regardless of who we are, where we come from, or what we want, after weeks of sailing, this is our final destination, and as far as we know, we might not see each other again after these next three days of racing. Here at Antigua, where everything started, we get one last chance to sail together as a teama very imperfect, complicated team, but still one, after all. I think my crewmates will agree that this adventure hasn’t been easy and that ship life can push people to their limits. But whether we like it or not, this is our crew, our boat, our experience, and no one else but ourselves can decide what to take away from it. Today, Classics gives us an opportunity to take that with us, take what we really want. For some, it might be sailing ability, which they can test during the race, but for others, it could just be the breeze as we move through the ocean. Whatever motivation each individual might have, for most of us, this might be the last time we will sail (at least for a while). After this experience, we will go to college, commit to a career, and truly begin our adult life. So if there has ever been a time to be a young, innocent dreamer, it’s definitely right now, on this ship. Knowing that this was the last stretch of our incredible adventure and that this will forever be a moment we will look back to in the years to come; we woke up ready to race. Breakfast was fast, and passage prep was even faster. We raised our sails, headed to the start line, and waited for the signal… So many different ships around us; big, small, very small, very big.
All from different places, all with different stories, and all coming together with one common goal; Sailing. The crew was organized, ready in their positions, and waiting for instructions. I was at the main sheet, next to the helm, where our captain was leading. Then, I heard a sharp voice come from his radio… 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. PUUUUUM!!!. A loud honk blasted into my ears. “We are racing!!!” our captain screamed. WOHOOOOOO !!! Replied the Ocean Star. And for a second, we all shared one thought: “This is it.”
The race was extreme, exhausting, and chaotic like you would expect. But at times, there was also not much going on, and it felt peaceful. I’ve realized that when you sail, things change very quickly, and you can experience so much of life in just a few hours. Rainbows, rain, cold, hot…All in one day, in one race. Even though we tried, we had a little bit of a rough start, which slowed us down a lot. We were way behind anyone else in the competition, and catching up didn’t seem very realistic. So the crew agreed to do the short course and head back to the docks, where we could enjoy some well-deserved shore time. As I said before, we all have different goals and motivations, and even though a few people really wanted to maybe even win, some of us were more interested in having more social time at the shore, which is also fair. Today we decided to attend those needs, but im sure tomorrow will be different. That’s another important thing about being in a team is that sometimes you get to do what you want, and sometimes you don’t, but you should always be heard. We anchored at the same dock we were at in those first few days, jumped off, and met the other participants of the race, including the Argo crew. It didnt take long for us to connect. I guess it’s because not a lot of people know what it feels like to be at sea for so long.
Everyone was having drinks, food, laughing, talking about the race… It was fun. Personally, I spent most of that night alone. At some point, I lost my crew and couldn’t find them, and I didnt really have the confidence to approach Argo on my own. So I just sat down on a bench in the dockyard on my own. I called my best friend from back home, and my parents too. And unlike what others might think, I also had a lot of fun. I think that in those times when you are alone, it’s important to remember that somewhere else in the world, there is someone who cares a lot about you. I know there are people who are truly alone, who don’t have anyone at all. But im a lucky person, Im only alone in certain places at certain times. I am never truly alone. My crew mates are lucky people, too, like me. They know that when things are hard when they are not feeling good, they can count on someone. They can count on YOU, the person reading this. If you read all the way to this point, it means you really care about whoever you sent to this ship. You want to know if they are happy, their adventures if they are eating enough. So, thank you. Thank you for reading these blogs for all this time and for caring about us. This is my last day being skipper and the last blog I will ever write here. My experience was hard, unexpected, fun, revealing, magical, incredible, and unique… it was an adventure. But like any other adventure, the best part is going back home to talk about it with the people that you love. I know the people YOU love are very excited to see you and talk about this crazy thing that we lived together. Thank you for reading. This is it. See you back home !!!
P.D: Mom, Dad, and Mia, I love you and miss you. Thank you for always being there for me, Los amo !!! Inaki G.