Location: English Harbor, Antigua

The day started by listening to Crossings of the Heart, our vela playlist. As we took our leisurely 30 minutes to get out of bed, it sunk in that today was our last full day. None of us want to leave, we spent the last 88 days together, and we have grown so close. After our final breakfast of cereal, we met together in the salon for a meeting! We filled out class evaluations and finished up some last-minute paperwork. Allie then gave us a speech about life after vela. She told us that we would never see any of these people again, and so we had to go work for GXGthe obvious solution. We cried.

We then started on our final BA. It went a lot like normal, except for the fact that we had to pack our bags. This process took so long!! As a top bunk (best bunk), I went first. Mid-pack, my mother Natasha showed up at the boat with gifts for everyone. She designed an ornament with a picture of all of us on it!! It was so cute! We then had lunch, our last meal on Vela, and continued on with BA. Sophie, John, Jac, and I worked in the galley, and it got MESSY. The stove oil got all over Sophie and me, the fridge water bucket spilled all over the ground, and Skylar made an appearance to clean her recent murder scene (don’t ask).

Around 5:30, we all gathered for our last squeeze before our last sign-out night. We did our last count, and it was perfect! For squeeze, I decided on the question: What was the best lesson you learned on this trip? Just before we started, I was informed about an alternative squeeze question: Kiss, Marry, Punch with the Vela crew. I instantly decided it had to be incorporated. I gave everyone the choice to answer either question. It certainly got interesting. We ended with a group hug and our last round of Birdie on the Perch. We then celebrated Rachel and Skylar for getting their DIVEMASTER CERTIFICATION!! So proud of you guys!!!

Our last dinner was the perfect way to end our day. The food and drinks were delicious, everyone was laughing together, and we all momentarily forgot that it was our last night together. This entire trip has been one that has changed all of our lives. It is impossible to say that we will not all think back on it at some point in our lives. We all grew so close to each other, saw each other’s bests and worsts, laughed, cried, and we became a family. We came onto Vela thinking it was just a piece of floating metal, but it turned into our home. I cannot think of a better crew to conquer the world with. We love you, Vela!

Thank you to everyone who helped us get here. Everything was worth it!

To all my fellow crew, I love all of you, and I hope you all create so many more amazing memories! As Sam once said, “Don’t let this be the craziest thing you do.”

With so much love,