"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

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>> Friday, November 4, 2011

November 3, 2011: My first actual blog entry

For those of you who thought I previously posted a blog entry without my name on it, think again. Apparently, it was never submitted at all. I apologize for misleading some of my current readers over the phone. Back to the point: I’m having a great time! What follows is a brief summary of recent events.
Samaná has proven to be one of my favorite ports so far. After the captain and crew met with our local guides, Martín and Ricardo, along with several “officials” conducting a search of the boat, we settled into the relatively action-packed schedule of anchorages. The only restful moments we have at anchor are our one-hour anchor watches, which involve little activity relative to our four-hour underway watches. Early anchor watches were entertained by a constant thrum of music from the shore. The day after we arrived, we ate breakfast and lunch ashore with some locals, one of whom followed us to the produce market to help us supply provisions for the ship. Apparently, Pedro has spent the better part of his life in New York. His expertise with both English and Spanish proved tremendously helpful at the market. After our time in town, we hiked (or rode horses) to a mountain waterfall, where we enjoyed a brief period of swimming before returning to the base for lunch. The following day featured more swimming, a dinner ashore, a dance featuring traditional music from a local band, and a chance to say goodbye to our friend Pedro.
Our days have been action-packed ever since we left the D.R. on October 30. We have been sailing due east, against the mighty Caribbean trade winds. In addition to this inconvenience, we are taking much more responsibility for the ship as Junior Watch Officers. J-WOs assume all the responsibilities of a mate, from navigation and weather to sail handling and management of daily routines. Some of the J-WO’s stress is relieved through the assistance of a student quartermaster, who oversees minor details while his/her superior concentrates on the big picture. So far, all of us have served as a J-WO at least once and a quartermaster numerous times. Though we have seemingly taken command quite effectively, we are still hundreds of miles from St. Eustatius and running low on fuel. As such, we have been forced to make an unplanned detour to St. Thomas, in the Virgin Islands, where we plan to refuel. If winds prove favorable enough to do without the motor, we will sail on to St. Eustatius from there. Most of us are hopeful that we will get there in time for a full day ashore.
Jacob Dombroski


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