Monday, June 2, 2014

The End... For Now.


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CAF Graduation Ceremony


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The capst'n 
“I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by, and the wheel’s kick and the wind’s strong and the white sail’s shaking, and a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a bright dawn breaking.” -John Masefield

Saying goodbye is one of the most challenging tasks a person faces when a journey comes to a close. We, the students and crew aboard the Sorlandet, knew that this day was going to come but never thought it would be this soon.

The past 9 months have seen the oceans change colour and the countries vary in landscapes as I sail around the Atlantic, but with these natural changes came the creation of a family which fought hurricanes, fought each other at times (often playful), faced grief in its worst form, hiked mountains, and dove in the depths of exploration, adventure and high spirits.

I hate to say goodbye but as our crew anchored outside Kristiansand and worked together to make our  home an unimaginable sight of beauty we realised that rather than see this as the end and grieve at our closely approaching separation, we should rejoice for all that our family saw and did.

From the 50 year old land in the Azores and the camel rides along the Algerian border to the cliff jumping in Curacao and the climbing aloft in a sea of stars, I have concurred an infinite bag of stories and memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life. The sailing skills I have acquired and the connections I have made with maritime crew have left me with a yearning to return to the world of tall ships.

While this may be the end of an amazing journey with Class Afloat, it is not the end for travel or sailing. I am sure that I will someday cross paths with both my floatie friends and the Sorlandet. When that day is, soon or in the in the distance, I do not know so for now we have with us each other’s phone numbers, addresses, and of course social media (it is the 21st century after all).

Am I sad to say goodbye? Yes. It’s only human to feel some sorrow, but I am happy to have been given the opportunity to see what I saw and feel what I felt. It’s been a wild run.
And with that I give my final adieu. Below is a copy of the first blog I ever came across before I left. Every bit of it sticks true to Class Afloat and the Sorlandet. Thank you for following the journey.

Yours truly,
Sophia Stewart

“You Know You Live On The [Sorlandet] When.. (by Cam)
You know you live on the [Sorlandet] when…
-Showers are noticed like a new haircut.
-Sleeping is dangerous.
-For some people, throwing up is a task that must be done regularly and without complaint, just like cleaning the scuppers.
-You regularly lie down in class for quick snooze.
-You talk to your teachers like you would talk to your friends.
-If someone is wearing two of the same coloured socks, they obviously have too much free time which they should be spending on deck or in the galley.
-You walk against the walls in order to keep your balance as the boat rocks.
-You walk against the walls even on land, by habit.
-Sundays mean [dessert after dinner]
-You hate 8-10 watch even if you get more sleep because you have to miss out on social time.
-Your shipmates are able to sympathize with your mother.
-If you roll of out bed, you hit your face on the plywood.
-You have to find grip points under the desks during class.
-You play a violent game of rock paper scissors with your shipmates to see who has to go talk to the engineers because the heads are clogged again.
-You strive to be picked to ride in the zodiac.
-If you find something that may be important to someone and you don’t know whose it is, you keep it until a reward is offered.
-You’ve been burnt, scraped or bruised by an item in the galley.
-When everything must be stored on non-skid paper in order to keep it in place.
-Changing your sheets reminds you of Christmas morning.
-You’ve ridden the broomsticks on deck while you’re supposed to be cleaning.
-You cry at the sight of land, but it’s not always happy.”

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Sorlandet after the final clean

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