Happy Thanksgiving, Internet!
I am still in shock that it’s even November, let alone Thanksgiving. Two days ago, I was in shorts and a tank top, sweating on the quarterdeck of a sailing vessel in Mexico. A week and a half ago, I was still out of sight of land.
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Approaching land from the ocean, you are not simply arriving in port, the way you arrive at an airport or the parking garage of a hotel. Approaching land from the ocean, you have made it to port.
2,500 nautical miles after leaving the dock in San Diego, we made it to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. And now, after staying on board an additional week as a deckhand, I am back home in the United States.
Since mid-October, I’ve been living on board the tall ship Robert C. Seamans, a 135-foot brigantine. My hands are calloused. My watch is still on military time. I am having trouble convincing my body that it is no longer necessary to wake up every four hours to stand watch. Apparently there are more than 28 other people in the world. I can name dozens of stars in the sky, but without an unbroken horizon or nautical almanac, it seems more like an inconsequential party trick than an important navigational skill.
Coming home is hardest when, for a time, you’ve felt so at home somewhere else. Coming home after having been without phone, internet, or any other form of contact has been nothing short of jarring. I miss the sea, but I can’t imagine a better group of friends and family to return home to. Bear with me for a little while.