I’m sitting on the plane for my flight back to NYC, scheduled to land at 11:59pm. Other than the mild anxiety due to the turbulence I don’t know how to feel right now. It feels like so recently I found this passion for ocean sailing and forever that I have had a passion for the sea – yet my dreams are coming true. I feel eager to finish college with as best grades as I can manage with all of the day dreaming I will be doing. This Antigua – Puerto Rico trip does not feel real. All that I know is that I have to get back out there and I am grateful. I have to be on the ocean again.
It all started with some hand shaking at the 2015 Annapolis Boat Show and a very long string of emails. Then – BOOM I arrive in Antigua at the Sea Breeze Café saying hello to Andy Schell (Oh my God! Andy Schell my inspiration for so long – “play it cool Liz”). I was not nervous, but I definitely was not in my comfort zone. I tried to stay in the moment and not think about the next ten days or the magnitude of this trip compared to my typical college student life. We talked about my flight and Isbjorn’s health and how she just got put back into the water after the rudder repair.
When we arrived to the boat Mia and Andy showed me around—the V-berth, the pilot bunk (my bed for the week), the galley, and the head (boat restrooms and how they worked were totally foreign & terrifying to me before this trip). Soon after we ate lunch, went for a hike and a drink, and back to the boat for dinner. I was pinching myself. This was how the trip went. We often discussed business grabbing a drink or during dinner. I quickly learned the offices of 59-North were seaside cafes with wifi or beautiful anchorages. None-the-less we worked for hours and got a lot of computer related work done every day.
Though the boat was just repaired I still had the opportunity to help Andy with some projects. I helped install the propane solenoid, organize lines& sails, HA and tighten the rudder packing because Andy and Mia could not fit in the lazarette!
It felt like even if we weren’t working on the business or doing boat work I was always learning. Both Andy and Mia are so full of knowledge. I ended up writing down a list of books, movies, blogs, recipes, famous sailors, website editing tips, exercise tips, and more. Not only was I always learning – but it was information I was interested in.
The day I left it was bitter sweet. I thought to myself: I have now had this amazing experience and am guaranteed another now that I am working with 59- North. I did not want to return home because frankly I never wanted to stop ocean sailing. I am infatuated with ocean sailing and this lifestyle. I am so grateful for this opportunity -it is challenging, beautiful, scary, intellectual and much more. I simply cannot get enough.