The Final Test, New Beginnings, Cold & Boatless

After a final night’s sleep on the boat, it was time to get up and get moving. I probably shouldn’t have had those extra glasses of wine the night before, but there was a celebratory feeling in the air and all I had to worry about navigating was my pencil on the test page, so I went with it. And I suffered a bit for it. We all pretty much packed ourselves up while waiting for Jen to return and administer the final test. When the test was complete we received our grades (my lowest score – a 92) and our official log books with our hours spent during the trip. I was really excited about this, but the excitement started to give way to something more somber that I couldn’t put my finger on at the time. We unloaded the items from the boat to clean it out for the next crew, then took group photos. We were so excited by our new abilities we just had to check out the other available boats for charter at that dock and daydream a little one last time together. Then it was time for goodbyes.

Jason and I grabbed some sushi until we could check into our hotel. We had booked a privately owned unit for the night in the Hilton Beach Resort and it was absolutely gorgeous! It was ready for early check in before we were even done with our sushi so we headed over immediately to “clean up” before heading out on the town.

The day/night started and ended with a margarita, with some walking, biking, eating and galavanting about Ft. Lauderdale in between. We were still feeling the buzz from the experience – reanalyzing moments, feeling confident in our abilities and newly acquired skills, and looking towards future possibilities.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but all I can say is that I felt loss and promise at the same time. I lived an amazing week with a few strangers and it is an experience I will never forget. I could never get around my fear to learn to fly a plane, but I am now sure that not only can I sail a boat, but that I love the thrill of it and could happily spend years of my life as a live aboard. I am kind of a little salty that I don’t have sails to trim or a course to plot – I guess that is where the sense of loss comes in. SV About Time, Jen, Kevin and Tyler will hold a special place in my heart and I hope it is not the last time that I’ll see any of them. I hope we can find a way to have a sailing student reunion in the future (on a boat of course) and I know they would be excellent crew to have aboard!

I long to be the girl on the deck of the boat anchored in No Name Harbor, recognizing SV About Time and calling out fondly, “I learned on that boat!” In the meantime, I am cold and boatless in Virginia dreaming up schemes to get back on a sailing vessel as soon as possible.

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