Today marks day 31 of our Ocean Classroom experience. The past few days have been emotional rollercoasters for many of us. The midterm workload quickly built up, late-night study sessions began and study guides covered the tables of the main salon.
If we’ve learned anything aboard the Roseway (besides how to tie a bowline), it’s that plans can change at the drop of a hat. Although everyone was looking forward to arriving in Charleston, SC, unfavorable wind and tide patterns took it off the agenda. We spent another night anchored outside of Cumberland Island, and the Charleston Port Report group still presented their research findings (in the form of a rap song and game of Jeopardy). We then continued down the east coast to St Mary’s, GA.
We were fortunate enough to dock side by side with the Peacemaker, a Barquentine ship built in 1989 and owned by the Twelve Tribes. The owners of this beautiful vessel turned our 24 hour stay at St. Mary’s into a luxurious and fun-filled day. As soon as we docked, we were peppered with a constant stream of snacks and refreshments. We took the opportunity of a few restful hours to clear out, spray and wipe down our racks. This long-awaited project was much needed. The odor of Lysol hung in the air for many hours. The Peacemaker graciously provided 21 disgusting high-school students with warm-water showers, and we sent our crusty clothes to be washed. Our cleaning was interrupted by the arrival of Captain Tom laden with our mail for Charleston. He drove (stuck in traffic for hours) all the way from Charleston to bring our long-awaited mail. We ripped apart a record-breaking number of packages, devoured an ungodly amount of sweets, and teared up while reading the heartwarming messages sent from family and friends.
A slew of activities followed our mail session. We were granted free-time in the small town of St. Mary’s. Some of us came back with books, ice cream and other various goodies (as if the packages weren’t enough). We broke down boxes, consolidated and moved trash off the deck, and packed Roseway full of food to begin the two-week transit to St. Croix.
We are all nervous. We are all excited. We will all be very tired. But all of us are prepared, whether we know it or not. The journey ahead will test us physically, emotionally and mentally. We are treasuring each and every day that we have with each other - there are only 28 of them left.