For me, I heard from my professor in early November that there was potentially a chance to travel to Cuba on an old schooner (I wasn't even sure what that was, perhaps similar to a pirate ship?!) over winter break for my Tourism Major. My major at school is a pretty small, tight-knit major so I had some reservation about being able to meet the quota to make the trip happen. Luckily the nursing students, with their overwhelming numbers, were able to make the trip happen! I feel really grateful that they did come.
I am really excited that I had the chance to participate in this journey. Not only did I learn how to sail a boat and take care of a boat but I also learned the true meaning of friendship and family. Sailing the Harvey Gamage had me experience a whole range of emotions from seasick and tired to happy and fulfilled. I had always dreamed of being part of an of a group and that's exactly what the Harvey Gamage did for me, it forced us to be part of a group. Everyone had to work the boat, cleaning souls and bowls, washing the deck, helping with the dinner clean up, doing watches. We all slept in the same area, ate together and did things together. That type of experience really forces you to get comfortable with people quick. My favorite experience is when we docked the crew (meaning the boat crew and students) went out for New Year's Eve. We were waiting outside the Marina for taxis and while we were waiting all 20 of us played games like ninja and red light green light in the middle of the road. We definitely made the guards laugh with our little kid antics. We all really bonded that night! I can happily say that we still continue our friendships back home, though with school it's been hectic for us to all get-together we have had a potluck and had Harvey Gamage shirts made. We really love each other.
Ocean Passages and the Harvey Gamage is a great crew of people to be involved with. They made sure we were always safe, educated and happy. I can't say enough good things about the program. Sailing a ship may seem intimidating but you don't have to worry about it because you know people always have your back. I would just suggest bringing sea sickness meds if your not use to sailing!