Love for the Ocean

Posted on April 24, 2019 by Class Afloat student, Emile L.

72 percent of the earth’s surface is covered in water. We don’t call it the blue planet for nothing. You can travel as much as you want but you will never be able to see all the beauty of this blue planet. Every time at sea is different. Every time is sensational. Every time is exceptional. Sailing the oceans is a lifelong project. Not only because it takes time but because you need to develop skills and abilities to do it.

For some people, sailing is the best feeling ever and for others it’s the worst. This perception is dependent on whether you spend your time puking because of the waves or you get the feeling of being gently rocked. My experience started 5 months ago, and it is easy to say that what I’m doing is clearly my best experience ever. The last 5 months passed way faster than I expected. Like I said, every time on the ocean is different. We just ended our sail from Dominican Republic to Havana, Cuba. A pleasantly sunny eight-day sail in the Caribbean, one of more to come. I have so much to talk about but let’s focus on the most important things.

Whale watching
We spent at least an hour gazing at the whales, shouting excitedly whenever one surfaced. There was about 6 wales around the boat following us all day. According to Cody, they were minke whales. Their length is about 7 to 10 meters long and their weight is between 5 and 10 tons. It was really impressive to see. We were able to see their white bellies flashing under the water, which made it easy to spot them.

Every time I come back on board after a port I feel like I am coming home. Yes my home is a boat. That might sound crazy but living with 60 other young people is incredible. It is fun to discover new things but being able to do it with a group of friends and sharing the experience makes it so much more fun. The sail between the Dominican Republic and Cuba was really something for every one. The 4 first days were like the others. We all had our regular schedules like usual: class, then watch, then free time, and finally night watch. Some people use their free time to read, other to study, and some use it as a nap time. I prefer to use this time to workout to spend energy and stay in shape with my friends Lukas, Vincent, Tristan and Seb.

The fifth day, we had visitors who changed and disrupted our schedule a little bit. My geography class was about to start when we heard a shout: WHALES PORT SIDE !!! There is nothing better than missing class to see marine life swimming alongside the boat. They were HUGE. It wasn’t the first time we’ve seen whales since the beginning of our worldwide voyage but it the first time they were that close. As they breached, one would like to the think they were smiling at us with their big docile eyes. Then they would dip back under, turning their bellies up, cajoling and playing. I took this picture of students staring in awe during supposed class time.

The following days were also really fun. We had sun every day and the weather was perfect. The size of the waves were also perfect because they were not big enough to make people sick but just enough to destabilize our feet. If you know me, you know what I like to do when it’s moving: go aloft with Lukas. We went up there for the sunset and to feel the waves from a different height. If you think about it, the higher you go, the more you feel the motion of the waves, which is really fun if you like adrenaline. For the following picture, people that are afraid of heights should not look.

The sail between Dominican Republic and Cuba was an incredible experience full of discovery and adrenaline. Nothing is better than traveling the world, learning about new things every day. Like my mom said, traveling makes people grow.