November 13, 2017: Today marks the end of our 14.5 day transit from Fernandina, FL to St. Croix. The past two weeks have been full of squalls, stress, and tears. But this morning as I woke up, I heard “Land Ho!” from aloft Aidan. Coming out of the focsle, the sun was shining and the clouds were puffy and white. At around 0730, the faint shapes of the islands could barely be seen, everyone’s anticipation growing by the minute. For me this was especially exciting, as I have never seen or been on an island before. Everyone’s stress and worry disappears as the islands get closer, and come into view. The fine details of the islands and rocks come into view when I was at helm. The islands, beautiful masses of green and the water a lovely blue-green. The pop of color lifts everyone’s spirits as the only color we’ve seen lately is gray. We are t-minus 4 full days until we depart this boat, the boat we have called home for the last 2 months. Everyone rejoiced together by jumping into the magical Caribbean water.
The past few days I have been reflecting on my Ocean Classroom experience, the ups and downs. All the times I have questioned why I did this, and all the times I never wanted to leave. I have learned so much from everyone, students and crew alike. When I think about what phrase or combination of words that sum up my Ocean Classroom I can only think of one thing, with tears in my eyes.