The end is quickly approaching. With only one port left before the grand arrival in Kristiansand I wanted to post a list of gratitude. There are so many people who have helped me along this journey. They have allowed me to grow into the person I am now and have aided me in my discovery of the oceans and tall ships communities which I will forever strive to be a part of. Below are the names of those who have, in some way or another, provided assistance:
- My parents for raising me in a family that allowed growth and exploration. You created a passion for learning and exploring in a daughter that will never forget where home truly is.
- My extended family. To all the grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles who have been my biggest supporters from day one.
- Bev for being one of the kindest strangers I have ever met. I am so happy to now call you a friend.
- WVYC for following my journey and supporting me before I took off but also for growing my passion of sailing from when I was little.
- My neighbours for the kind donation that caused my jaw to drop. Thank you a thousand times over.
- All the friends and the kind strangers that helped me financially so that this journey and dream of mine could come true. How can I ever repay you for your kindness?
- Mika and her family for hosting me in Chiba, Japan. I was able to see Japan but also to live it through your willingness to show me all that your beautiful city has to offer.
- Jeff and Charo for providing me the comforts of family when my own parents couldn't travel to Cadiz and visit the Sorlandet. I love you as if you were my own parents.
- Jan and Scott for hosting me in the Dominican Republic. Your house provided all the comforts that any sailor might desire for a few days rest before venturing back into the crazy seas.
- The Maritime Crew for guiding me, being my mentors, and growing the passion that I have for sailing: Drew for teaching me how to use a marlin spike and how to make my first splices, whippings, and servings, but also for showing me that it is possible to have a career in the tall ships industry; Jason for all the laughs and for being my punching bag when all I needed was to let off some steam; the Captain for providing us a safe journey and enlisting in me a type of trust that I have never experienced before coming aboard; John for all the talks that opened my eyes to a new and different perspective on life; Erin for believing that I might just have what it takes to be a deck hand, and to all the other maritime crew that made this past year what it was.
- The teachers that were more than just teachers but parental figures and friends that I felt comfortable enough to talk to about anything; Jenn and Megan for being the ears that patiently listened to all my rambles; Bryn for the friendly competition in the board games that acted as an escape from the sometimes chaotic banjer life; Chyzyk for the laughs and the really bad jokes but also for the bear hugs that warmed my heart every time; Kim for teaching me that there is no right or wrong in our society but also that sometimes we just need to deal with it; and Rafael for his comforting words that caused tears to roll down my checks (they were tears of love).
- My friends on the ship, my floaties, for helping me grow into the confident and ambitious teenager that I am today and for putting up with me through thick and thin. You are and always will be my family.
- My friends back home who send me messages and emails and keep me up to date on the life that I will soon return to.
- You, the person who I may or may not have ever met, but continues to read my blog and follow my journey.Thank you for being the inspiration to keep writing. I cannot show my gratitude in words alone.