“Good morning Kayla. This is your 6 o’clock wake up. You have breakfast in 20 minutes and watch in 50 minutes. We are about to go hove to and we are so close to land that you can see houses.”
That was my start to this beautiful day.
It seems strange that being able to see houses would be such an important detail to be included in our morning wake ups, but in the excitement of being so close to shore, we had the quickest first seating of breakfast this trip and then were all the earliest we have ever been to watch just so we could take the time to look around. It’s strange how after five weeks at sea, just how exciting normal things are to you. Something as small as being able to see other people had the entire group chattering excitedly and waving to everyone who passed.
Camilla and Kayla running to the visitor center
I was lucky to be in the first and only batch of people to go ashore today, and one of only two students in the group. We had started heading to shore for check in and were almost all the way there before we were informed that not everyone needed to check-in in person, but since our small group contained staff who had specific tasks to complete on shore I still got to go as well. And it was amazing just how exciting everything was.
I would be the first to tell you that I do not run, heck I think I even said at the beginning of the program I wouldn’t even run for my life, but let me tell you I got so excited at simply being able to run around and move for the first time in five weeks that when they let us off the boat and told us to head to the visitor center I took off in a full sprint. It was so weird to wear a mask again after so long, but the exhilaration of being on land again made them easy to forget about even in the heat.
Jenna hugging Pete during swim call.
Even something as simple as hearing music blaring in someone’s car or talking to the employees at the visitor center sparked so much joy after so long without the option. To make the day even better, later on after all the staff had returned to the boat and we had moved to the correct anchorage, Captain Allison dropped a surprise swim call on us. We all got so excited and shot up to get ready. We spent the better part of an hour jumping off the bowsprit, snorkeling, and just goofing off and having fun. It was the perfect way to finish off the day and kick off the start to the end of the program.
- Kayla Davis, B Watch, Eckerd College
PS. To my family : I miss you so much and can’t wait to see you. Love you all and hopefully will talk to you soon.