June 4, 2017
I’ll admit, I am most likely three quarters delirious as I write this, a product of yesterday’s night-sail, which began around 5 p.m. nd ended around 9 a.m. this morning. Each member of the crew took their turn on the helm, sailing us through the blackness of the night, while the other members grabbed an hour or two of sleep before awakening for their turn on watch. This cycle repeated itself until we arrived back in the British Virgin Islands, returning from the foreign yet beautiful Dutch Caribbean.
It really puts a lot into perspective to present yourself in a moment, realizing you are standing on a vessel (that has become home to you) in the middle of a powerful dark sea, with no land in sight and no people around you other than the crew members you have learned to trust and rely on with essentially your life. It’s one of those times where you click in with the presence of each fleeting moment and try your absolute best to take it all in, pleading with your mind to never let these memories of what it all feels like slip away. The pale blue reflection of the moon on water shimmering with the rhythm of the wind, the sound of the waves lifting your boat up along with them and rocking you back down again, the smell of the salty air colliding with your face, the chill of the cold air that surrounds you, and the sound of the roaring, seemingly endless sea that reminds you that you will never fully understand it.
It’s an experience I’d wish everybody the opportunity to enjoy. It’s an experience definitely worth the delirium.
Julia M, Echo student, age 19, Winter Springs, FL
The greatest challenge during the program was staying entertained during the quarantine period. Not being able to leave your boat and not having a phone, which was a crutch against boredom, it was difficult at first to stay entertained.