I am a Venture Scout, which is a co-ed scouting troop. My Venture crew heard about a trip called Seabase that is offered through the Venture Crew organization. It is a base in Florida where scouting groups can go and you can chose from varying types of excursions. Our troop chose the Sea Explorer Expedition, which is a 5-day stay on an 80-foot sailboat that sailed around the Florida Keys with 1 day to explore Key West (information on this trip and other trips can be found at www.bsaseabase.org).
My dad and I were excited for the new adventure as well as being nervous because both of us have motion sickness. Luckily the scout leader was a pharmacist and had motion sickness pills just in case. We arrived at the base and were immediately greeted by upbeat people ready to get us started. This helped us to be excited about the journey we were about to embark upon. The first two days, we had to take care of technical information; we repacked our suitcases into the ship duffel bags, we were told the rules of the base and the times for meals, we all passed the swim test, and took snorkeling lessons on a small sailboat.
We woke up bright and early on the third day to get to the boat on time, and after we were all loaded up we set sail. At the beginning we had to learn the rules of the ship, and since we were the crew, we had to learn how to operate the sails as well. One of the most important things we learned was that the “ropes” that kept the sails tight whether they were up or down were called line. We also learned what the front, back, right side, and left side of the ship were called. The first mate was adamant on sailing terminology. Once that was all completed we had a normal day on the boat. We cooked lunch, took down the sails, put the anchor in, snorkeled, put up the sails, slept, cooked dinner, went to bed on the deck, and took turns for night watch.
The second day on the boat we all got really into living on a boat. We had a routine day planned along with inside jokes with the Capitan and First Mate. The other days were routine as well, except for the day we stopped in Key West. The city was upbeat and interesting. We got to go up in a lighthouse, visit the 90 miles to Cuba landmark, and shower. I think I can speak for all of us when I say the shower was the best part of the day.
I took away many memories from this experience. My favorite memory was when two of the guys were snorkeling partners and got separated. One of the guys was still in the water and we almost left without him. It was funny because we all got to laugh at them the next time we went snorkeling and they were tied together, but it also taught us all that it is dangerous and following the rules helps keep us safe.
Along with the memories I took away from this experience, I learned a lot about myself. I didn’t know I was very adventurous until this trip, and this trip taught me to try new things. The beautiful views we saw from the boat and the wildlife was humbling and it made me appreciate the earth and everything God has given us.
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