Finding Peace in the Deep Blue

Everything pertaining to water has fascinated me since I was a little kid. Growing up next to a beautiful lake, I had the chance to spend a lot of my time there. SALT was for sure the one thing that I was looking forward to the most in the leadership training program. I was daydreaming about how amazing it would be to live on a boat; just the ocean and your crew for five days straight. Before we took off to our second and last adventure trip, the class shared about how they feel being on a sailboat in the deep blue sea. Things like being anxious about seasickness, a shark attack and a whale jumping on our boat were all things that came up. Above all, everyone was stoked to be in nature and instead of the classroom for almost a week.

The day of our departure came around. Since the conditions in the channel to Moloka’i were really bad, we were not able to leave Oahu. A little bummed, we made our way to the harbor which was in Honolulu. As soon as I saw our boat, a catamaran called Naia (Hawaiian for dolphin), I couldn’t hold my excitement back anymore; the moment is finally here! Learning how to sail and countless wonders are what the next few days would entail. There was one morning our crew was peacefully eating breakfast. Suddenly, our boat was surrounded by a pod of dolphins. We dropped everything, put our snorkel gear on and jumped into the cold water. Not long after that, around 50-60 dolphins were swimming underneath us! We were all in awe of what was happening and Kevin was lucky enough to capture this moment on his GoPro. Swimming with dolphins has been a dream of mine since I watched Full House at age six. I had to pinch myself to be able to grasp that this was truly happening.

The second night, we were anchored somewhere on the westside with the mountains in the background. Jayde and I had decided to sleep outside. Having the full moon brighten up the scenery around us and the stars dancing above our heads was just magical. It was so simple and yet one of my favorite moments of this trip. Being away from worldly attachments and spending a good amount of time in nature makes you realize what really matters in life. People get distracted so easily and forget to appreciate the little things.

Something else that made this trip unforgettable, was getting to know everyone in a different setting. Each person comes alive in a different way. For some it is catching a big fish after hours of waiting, going swimming at a deep-sea buoy where there is seemingly nothing but a black hole, steering the sailboat (that was me) or playing card games until midnight. Junia loved this time of the day where everyone from the two boats gathered together and had a game night. Because the LTP class was separated into two boats, moments like these were very special. We also learned, who has a good poker face and who doesn’t.

Overall, the trip was a time to find peace and gather energy for the busy month ahead of us. It was a time of supporting each other when someone wasn’t feeling well and with lots of laughter, midnight talks while night watches and encouraging each other to overcome fears. It was an incredible experience that also bonded us tremendously as a team.

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