"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines.

Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

>> Friday, October 28, 2011

We’ve been out at sea for around ten days. I’m not quite sure exactly how long, it seems I’ve lost track of time. I awoke this morning to the sight of a faint silhouette of mountains lining the horizon, and by noon lush green cliffs were in sight. The anxious anticipation aroused by seeing land is beginning to replace my previous melancholy feeling of our long sailing voyage coming to an end. Although I wish that we were sailing for a few more days since the winds just recently picked up, I am excited to visit the Dominican Republic and gain a sense of their culture.
Thinking back to my previous days on this long stretch of sailing, I realize how far I have come, how far everyone has come. I am no longer mindlessly following orders without understanding the purpose for my actions. Everything is beginning to come full circle as my knowledge and understanding has increased. The feeling of knowing something so different is exciting, and every day we continue to advance.
However, the most exciting part of this voyage has been going aloft. After working my way up to aloft clearance, learning my knots, and the running and standing rigging, I was finally able to go aloft with Angela. After going over the safety, I began my ascent to the top of the port side foremast shrouds. My first step on the sheer pole was sturdy, but from that point on, my legs trembled with every ratline. I could feel the ship dancing with the waves below, and the unsteady shrouds breathing with my movements. With each step I gained more stability, but less room, and soon enough I was perched on the cross trees at the top of the mast.
Focused on calculating my movements, I never had time to look down during my climb. Only when I reached the op did I peer at everything around me. I was greeted by 360 degrees of crystal clear azure waters. There was nothing else except the ship below my feet, the bird’s eye-view. Suddenly, everything was put into perspective. This ship, my temporary home, was so insignificant. Something so large, large enough to hold so many of us, was so miniscule in comparison with the tremendous seas we depended upon. The view was absolutely breathtaking. Inspiring. And although I should have adrenaline pulsing through my body, I was calmer than ever before. -- Michelle


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