"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


>> Thursday, November 10, 2011

Finals are arriving rapidly and I can’t help but remember the unsure girl that began this trip. All I could think was: What am I doing? Why am I here? But, as this trip progressed I learned why I had decided to embark on this journey. A few weeks ago we began embarking on our eleven-day voyage. I was completely unsure and unaware of what I was doing and if I was doing was correct. We had just begun our quartermaster phase, and would now be working closely with our watch officers. This was the next step to becoming a junior watch officer. I did not know if this was going to go over well, but I knew that whatever would happen, I would have to learn to handle it. After those two weeks passed we arrived in Samana, Dominican Republic. The ship was still in tact, we all had all of our appendages and none of us were unhappy to see land. We had made it across the Gulf Stream, down Florida and into a new land. All of us were, excited for our new adventure to continue, but also very nervous. Samana was such a captivating place that I was never really able to take in enough of it. It was also a way for me to get away from all of the commotion of ship life, and having to move unto the next step of junior watch-officer. But this beautiful distraction was only able to last me a couple of days because we soon sailed to our new destination of St. Eustasius. Statia was places were not many groups get to go. The two previous groups were not able to attend Statia, so being able to get there was a big deal for us. This also meant that the junior watch officer phase was beginning. Junior watch-officer is the phase in which, the deckhands are stood down, and it is just you, your watch and mate. A different person every watch, basically takes the job of the watch officer or mate, and you run the ship. While you are on watch you decide course changes, the setting or striking of sails, and look at the big picture of your voyage. When I was told, about this part of our trip I was the most nervous person ever. Thoughts of messing up or failing my watch were racing threw my mind, but I knew it was something I could not get away from. I would be J-WO and that was not going to change. I have now been J-WO twice and yes, it was scary and nerve racking having so much pressure on me. But I had the support of my watch members and people outside of my watch to help you with all of the decisions. The second time I was J-WO was, when sailing into St. Eustatia. It was such an amazing feeling knowing that we had finally made it there after five days of sailing, unfavorable winds if any at all, and a quick stop in St. Thomas. Then after that, it was off again, sailing North this time back towards the BVI’s and San Juan. We are currently in Tortola, and I can safely say that I am very happy in my decision to embark on this journey. Everyone on this boat has made it threw so much and I personally think that we are all mad happy to have come on this trip with each other. Ocean classroom is the second off campus program I have been on, and even though it is incomparable, to the one before it is an experience in its own glory and marvel.



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