A few days ago we found out that we would have to go home early from Wellington because of the COVID-19 virus, and since then we have all been trying to make the most of what time we had left. It’s been hard. Unfortunately, we missed out on the entire last leg of our trip that would take us to Christchurch. We had no idea that our last watch at sea would be our last watch, and that we would be saying goodbye to gimbaled tables and our harnesses so soon. It has been a bittersweet 5 days since our arrival in Wellington. Tears have been shed, goodbyes have been said, and no one was ready for all of this.
However, my classmate Amy made an incredible point to me the other day. We didn’t know our last watch would be the last. We didn’t know this was coming to a close. And in that ignorant bliss we were fully able to experience all of our lasts without the end looming over our heads. We were able to fully enjoy our experiences without the thought of the end ahead of us. I want to thank Amy for pointing that out, because I think it’s an incredibly optimistic way to look at our current situation.
Our class has handled this news with ease and grace. I am consistently in awe of my classmates for all of the accomplishments we have achieved over this past month, but these past few days have really shown how fantastic each and every one of the students and staff on our voyage truly are. This news hit us hard, but it did not stop us from fully savoring every last minute of our journey. We went on our field trips, went aloft, worked on our projects, and enjoyed our swizzle (talent show, kind of) without thinking of the end, but living in the present. Last night was the best night I’ve had in quite a while. Although we had already said a few of our goodbyes, many of us were still around for one more night, which we decided to spend together. We somehow got each student and even some of the staff into one place to celebrate our journey together. We survived fair weather, stormy seas, and everything in between, together. I don’t think I’ve ever had a smile on my face longer than I did last night.
The end of the night, when we said our goodbyes, was the hardest part. I feel a bond with everyone here that many people wouldn’t understand. I’ll forever miss our time on the Bobby C, from passing around the Nutella, drinking the nondescript orange drink, and, yes, even running into bulkheads (the ship's walls, when the ship rolled while underway).
Thank you to every person on this trip, students and staff, from New Zealand all the way to Woods Hole. We wouldn’t have this incredible opportunity if not for each and every person that has been involved to get us here. This program has truly changed me for the better. Experiencing the vastness of the ocean is something I will remember for the rest of my life. I am certain that this is not truly goodbye, but simply see you later.
- Lindsay Agvent
PS: Hi mom and dad!