On the 8th of November, we left Morocco to go back to sea. It felt weird at first because we had readjusted to life on land during the past week, but we quickly got back into our routine of daily life on the ship. As much as I was sad because the time we spent in port was incredible, I was happy to finally be back to the boat and sail again. The boat was not rocking so much because the waves and wind were pretty calm. It made the time to get to La Palma, Canary Islands, very enjoyable. Every day, on day watch, we had the opportunity to set the sails and be on the helm to control the direction of the boat. There is nothing that can beat a very sunny day when the water is so blue, and all the sails are up. As we were on watch, many big dolphins were jumping high out of the water. There was a big group of them following our boat, putting on a show for us.
It was really nice to see marine life after not being on the ocean for a little while. Even if seeing these animals is now part of our lives, every time someone screams to call that there are dolphins right by our boat, we always get very excited and pause whatever we were doing to hurry up to see them in their natural habitat. Someone tried to get a great shot of them from the bowsprit with their camera, but you can never feel exactly what happened in the moment if you watch it from a video. Everything is so much more beautiful and incredible when you actually live it and experience it.
Every morning and every night, we are lucky enough to see the sunrise and the sunset on the ocean. They look different every day. I usually wake up later and am in a hurry to eat breakfast before assembling at Colours, but for this sail, I woke up earlier to take a moment outside in a hammock to look at the sunrise and went outside to listen to music and work at night to watch the sunset. Moments like these are so peaceful and worth it. Even when I work inside during study hall at 19:30, I can look outside through the door or the window and see the landscape with the sun setting.
For that short sail to La Palma, the captain ordered full watches on two of the nights. Therefore, we had a blast with the ten people from our night watch all together setting the sails, talking, and eating some delicious homemade snacks that the students and the new cook had prepared. Everyone was very happy and positive, and we were very productive to get the sailing and the little maintenance jobs done. One time, we even saw a couple of dolphins swimming and jumping in the water, for the first time at night. On another night, the night sky was full of stars and beautiful, the kind that you only see in the middle of the ocean and in the desert, where there is no light.
On the 11th of November, we celebrated Remembrance Day. Some of the students had poems to read, we sang the national anthem, and we stayed in silence to remember and thank the soldiers and the people that sacrificed and died to keep all of our lands safe. On that day and the days leading to, we wore the poppy flower on our clothes and we put on one on a poster that some of us had made.
Before arrival, we were very excited because many of us had parents coming to visit in La Palma. We arrived at the island on a beautiful sunny day and twelve people climbed up the mast to be aloft for our family to see. Before arriving, we were very impatient to show our home to everyone that was waiting for us. We prepared by doing a deep clean, making every corner of the ship very clean to welcome our visitors. We were excited to show to our parents what we had done so far, to talk about our last 2 months at sea and our travels to different cities.
Written by Class Afloat student, Annie Fleurent
Photo credit: @bullock.austin