Location: English Harbour, Antigua

The day began overcast and drizzly as Ocean Star’s staff sprang into final preparations before the student crew’s arrival this morning. Floors were scrubbed, countertops polished, and beds made with care. Ocean Star has sat on the dock (and on the hard) at the Slipway in English Harbour since the middle of December. Although we appreciate the opportunity to work on projects and keep her looking and sailing great, the boat has felt strangely empty for the past two months: no excited voices, no dinnertime chatter, no mid-afternoon dance parties. Ocean Star is our beloved home, but something always feels like it’s missing when we’re not on the program. We’ve been looking forward to the arrival of the student crew for what feels like ages, now, and were thrilled when noon rolled around and a new semester (finally!) started again.

Taxis rolled in one by one throughout the day, bringing SCS19’s student crew to the dock where they boarded Ocean Star for the first time. Students unpacked and got to know their way around. Some even made a short trip to nearby Galleon beach to soak up some of the intermittent rays on this (relatively) cool, overcast day. By late afternoon everyone was chatting in the salon and gathered amidships where we traded stories and talked about what we most anticipated about the trip.

Dinner, cooked by Alex and Matt C., was alfredo pasta with sprouts and broccoflower. We ate at tables set up alongside Ocean Star’s cap rail. Afterward,we kicked off a Sea|Mester tradition: the Squeeze, during which all crew members take turns answering the skipper’s Question of the Night and reflecting on something they appreciated most about their day.

Today’s question: What is your name? What is your Quest? (and what did you appreciate most?)

My answer: I’m Tina, Ocean Star’s program manager, medic, provisioner, leadership teacher, watch leader, and dive instructor. Today I appreciate everyone arriving with all of their bags (even if some bags were a little later than others). My quest? To finish off this semester safe and sound, sitting around the dinner table in English Harbour feeling so grateful to be part of an incredible team, crew, and family.