My name is Sophie Strock, I am from Barnstable, Massachusetts and I am currently a junior at Eckerd College studying marine biology. After leaving Nadi, Fiji and sailing for the past few days we have anchored at Levuka, Fiji. Our first days at sea have been very challenging but also extremely rewarding. From dealing with seasickness, to setting the sails, we have been constantly learning about ourselves and the world around us. It has been refreshing to be disconnected from the outside world and to be forced into the present moment. One of my favorite moments so far was watching the sunset, while flying fish passed to the left of us, and having the full moon rise through the clouds. Today was also very special for me because we got to jump off the boat since we are anchored! This is the bluest and clearest water I have ever seen. Swimming in the ocean has always been important for my mental well-being, so this afternoon I feel very refreshed mentally and physically (that was also my first shower).
As I mentioned before, there is also some challenging parts to sailing such as seasickness. If you know me personally, you would find it ironic that that I have to topic of seasickness to write about (I’m a big yacker). Also, if you didn’t notice, we skipped our blog post yesterday because I was too seasick to write this. Sorry, but not sorry, to all the readers. Anyway, seasickness is the result of your eyes and inner ears perceiving different environments, so it causes the brain to release stress-related hormones that can lead to nausea, vomiting, and vertigo. Thankfully we have a lot of medicine on board that can help prevent and stop this from happening. However, our first night at sea we encountered twelve foot waves and thirty knot winds, so the medicine did not work for quite a few of us. It was definitely a bonding moment as five of us stood hunched over the side of the railing throwing up our past dinner. Someone, who I shall not name, did not make it to the side of the boat and threw up all along us. That was probably the first and only time I smiled that night. It was a struggle to get back to my bed, but once you are asleep it becomes much easier to deal with the seasickness. Sleeping also helps your inner ear balance to the motion of the waves. After the first couple of days, we all began to feel better with the help of medicine, calmer conditions, and patience.
Missing Mom, Dad, Ruby, and the rest of the Strock Family! Everyone please enjoy the fall New England weather for me! For my friends in sunshine state, keep having so much fun in my honor! Love you all!