Location: Isle Fourchue
One major aspect that still has not been explained to you that makes Ocean Star feel so much like home is the four staff aboard. These people are much more than staff, though; they are the spine of our new family, home to vast amounts of knowledge in every aspect of life. A few of these aspects include sailing, marine biology, funny jokes and accents, life advice, geography, different cultures, engineering, and even punk rock. I could go on for a while, but I think you get the picture. The four crew aboard are Captain Smudge, Marine Science/ Diving Instructor Anne Marie, First Mate Eric (or Slimric as I like to call him), and Second Mate Ian. Each one of these people brings something new and quite unique to the table.
I will start with Smudge, our beloved and exceedingly English Captain (surprise surprise he starts each morning off with a cup of tea). My first impression of Smudge was a rather serious man not to be trifled with. He knows when to be stern, but I quickly learned he likes to joke more than one would ever guess. He is our captain who we love dearly and wouldn’t trade for even a week’s worth of fresh showers…I think.
Next up is Anne Marie. She is quieter and reserved, but once you begin really talking to her, a new side of her can be seen. She tells you of her many travels and enthralls all who listen to her incredible experiences. Not to mention, she is one of the smartest people I have ever met. She has a keen eye underwater when it comes to pointing out specific creatures of the sea and shares with us all the knowledge she has to offer.
The first mate Eric is by far the handiest person I have to know. Whether it be fixing a sail in the middle of a screaming squall, unclogging a toilet, cooking some incredible meals, or helping to fix the engine, this would be the man I choose for any job. In our eyes, though he is much more than just a handyman, Eric is downright one of the coolest people to talk to on Ocean Star. He always has something interesting to say or talk about, and I never walk away from a conversation with him without a smile on my face or some food for thought.
Last but not least, we have Ian. I swear, this guy has a movie quote for just about every situation imaginable. He is a nonstop stream of fun and laughter and will never fail to lift your spirits in even the direst of situations. In addition to being the second mate, he doubles as boat medic and takes incredible care of us constantly checking upon us to make sure we are healthy. He perfectly combines work and fun and has had the whole boat laughing on multiple occasions.
Each member of the staff is nothing less than absolutely astounding. They are part of what makes this experience truly unforgettable and are the people I look up to and wish to emulate in my life. To Smudge, Anne Marie, Eric, and Ian, thank you for all that you do and being the shining example of the people we should strive to be.
Much has been described to you, our loyal readers, over the past couple of days. Incredible experiences shared with even more incredible people. New friendships have been built upon the trials of life at sea. As you well know from previous posts, we almost always remain occupied during the day, whether it be diving, learning sailing theory, or cleaning our new home away from home. Our adventure has led us to countless new places and forced us well out of our comfort zones. At the beginning of this trip, the one phrase that stuck with me the most came from the infamous Captain Smudge, “You are not here to be passengers, you are part of the crew,” and boy did he mean it. Each student aboard this vessel has taken on more responsibility than they anticipated going into this adventure. But I guarantee if you asked each student if the work assigned to them was too much, they would say no. I know I can speak for all of us when I say that we are beyond proud to be apart of a ship as amazing as Ocean Star, and we wouldn’t trade our work and our experiences for any other boat. We work for each other to achieve our goals. First comes the boat, then comes your crewmates, then comes yourself.
And to answer the question in the title if you have not already figured it out, home is not necessarily a specific house or city, but a place comprised of the things and people you love more than anything 🙂