My first night of sleep was a success with my bunkmate, “Fish” (Drake Soccer Player Megan Fisher). I felt as if the boat just rocked me to sleep. We both awoke at about 7 am and got to experience the sunrise a bit. The meal bell rang at about 8am and we grabbed some grub. After breakfast we met in our watches and got to speak with our watch leader. My watch got the lovely watch leader named John, who also happened to be the co-mate. My watch (on duty crew) had the first watch. Edward and I headed to the bow (front) of the boat. Our duty was to watch out for coral heads as well as other boats or items in the water.
MY CREW! (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT): MEGAN STREIT, ME, EDWARD WURSTER & NATALIE LARSON.
Amanda (our Watch Leader, part of the ship’s crew) came up to Edward and I and told us we were to climb out on the bow sprit to stuff the outer jib sail. While we were standing there stuffing the sail, a dolphin began to swim underneath us. To experience this on our first day sailing was truly amazing. Edward and I were stoked, I think more me than him. Although I wasn’t able to capture the moment in a photo or on film, it was one of the coolest thing to see on our first official day of sailing.
MICHAEL SAGE JUMPING OFF THE BOW INTO THE SEA!
Edward and I rotated to the helm and did a couple boat checks. When are watch was over, it was noon, we grabbed some more grub and then set off in the dingy. I was on the first dingy over to Allen’s Cay (pronounced key) and when it was in sight we all were in shock. Iguanas were everywhere. I had never seen them before but seeing close to 100 was just nuts. We tried to lay down our towels but it was pretty pointless because the fact that they just crawled all over it.
Once everyone arrived, Moonster (Sarah) and I took off for a swim; we went to the other side of the cove and found conch shells on conch shells. A bunch of us found a coconut and Jake broke it open and we were all able to drink some of it. Moonster and I then set off with my goggles and were able to see a dip in the sand and even found a sand dollar. She was nice enough to go to the bottom and grab it, even though it only lasted about 5 minutes of holding. Captain was snorkeling and happened to find a giant hermit crab.
ALLAN’S CAY FEATURED SOME UNIQUE VISITORS…
Allen’s Cay and sailing was a great way to see the wildlife we sure don’t see in Iowa. Who can say that they see that much stuff in just a short day trip in the Bahamas? I never thought I was going to be able to cross so much off my bucket list, in just a few short hours. This is only the start of our adventure on the boat; I can’t wait to see what adventures lie ahead :)
**The blog is back in business, we hope to catch you up on many stories, writings and multimedia from our excursion!**
As I look back on this trip and our time in Nassau and aboard the Liberty Clipper I hardly know where to begin in explaining what this trip has meant to me. I couldn’t imagine going on this trip with a better group of people. Unlike other classes I have been in, I think we all share many common traits with each other and this was evident throughout our time together. We are all outgoing, ambitious, caring, and focused on becoming better leaders and better individuals. This was an adjustment for me when normally I tend to take on the role of the leader and I often have a hard time taking a backseat behind others and being the follower. In our case there was no evident leader of the pack the majority of the time and we all had to adjust and learn to work together with all of our strong personalities.
I am so thankful for everyone on this trip for many reasons. For having the patience when I often did not have patience. For showing kindness and forgiveness when we might have said things that we didn’t mean. For including others and making them feel like they were an important part of the group so that no one was left behind. I am so proud of all of us and I can already feel a deep bond that has formed between us.
Another lesson that I plan on taking with me from this trip is that you always need to keep in mind the role that you play in any given situation. I think it’s easy to get involved from a superficial standpoint and to count yourself as someone who was present in a given situation but often we get so caught up in the team aspect that we don’t ask ourselves, “what role am I to play in this situation?” or “What will my contribution be?” because that is the first thing you need to figure out before you can be effective. It’s also the only way you’ll ever know if you’re heading in the right direction, if your conduct is in check, and whether or not you are a benefit to those around you. Know your role.
I want to thank everyone again for this amazing experience. It was absolutely wonderful, amazing, and I gained so much more than I initially thought I would or could have ever imagined. When Jacqueline asked me if I could some up this trip in one word what would that word be, I instantly thought, blessed. I feel so blessed and so fortunate for having the chance to be a part of this.
Personal Running Reflection
—by Sarah Mooney
**Attention, this is the last blog post until Jan 26th, see Cam’s post below**
When I attended the first meeting for this course, it was mentioned that we would be volunteering for the Bahamas Marathon. It soon became an option for us as students to race the marathon, half marathon, or form a relay team. I always thought that people who raced such extremely long distances were out of their minds. However, the next thing I knew, I registered myself for the half marathon. I’ve been really good about running throughout my junior year and knew that I could plan out times to train and hopefully be ready for the race. Plus, experiencing my first half marathon in the Bahamas was an added bonus.
Getting up at 5:15 this morning for my 6AM race wasn’t exactly the way I wanted to spend my lat morning in Nassau, but by the end of the race, I was glad that we started that early to avoid the heat. Megan, Avolyn, and I all hung out together at the start line, trying to calm each others’ nerves and get excited for the next 13.1 miles.
My favorite part of the race was all of the encouragement. People I didn’t even know were cheering me on and shouting out encouraging words as I ran by. The water stations were great, and I loved seeing my other classmates there. They all freaked out and had so much energy and excitement for us Drake runners that passed by. My halfway mark was the first exchange for the relay and Luke had finished a while before me. He waited around to encourage the group of us who were running the half marathon. It was the six-mile mark and just about the time where I was starting to wear down a little bit. When he saw me, he ran along side me and gave me encouragement to keep running this race for myself but remember that God’s got me and He will carry me through the end of this race as long as I’m running to Him.
About two miles out, I caught up with Megan and Michael and we got to finish the race together. Since I was understandably exhausted, I was glad to have these two friends supporting me and keeping me motivated all the way to the finish line. Megan and I finished 4th and 6th respectively in our age group, which was fantastic and totally unexpected. Finishing right on the beach was a great view, plus being able to lie down in the sand and relax was exactly what I needed after running for two hours.
This marathon was an experience that I will never experience again. To run 13.1 miles in the Bahamas with a group of my classmates was truly once in a lifetime, and I am so happy that I made the decision to register so many months ago and took advantage of this opportunity.
**Click on archives button up top to see all the posts from our class thus far**
To all those have followed thus far, we appreciate your interest and support for our class! Now we have reached the point where our class will board the 125-ft large schooner, “Liberty Clipper” for a 6 day sail across the Atlantic as we learn the importance of leadership, teamwork and seamanship. Along with our 24 members, The Liberty Clipper features a 9-man crew including two captains, a first mate and chef.
We students have been dispersed into four different watch groups, our watches will learn the way of the seas and sail throughout the Atlantic as we will be considered crew on this ship. Our captain has a navigation route which will include visiting the outer islands of the Bahamas. Since there is no set agenda, everyone is very excited yet very interested and curious to see how we will be able to sail this ship and where it will take us!!
The trip has been amazing thus far, this group has bonded closer and closer each and every day. We have expanded our knowledge on leadership as we’ve learned to identify and apply Situational Leadership. This sailing experience will now test our levels of teamwork and companionship! Once we’ve learned our ways, the watches will be performing sails and will be using communication and collaboration to perform tasks efficiently.
Unfortunately, the boat and any island we visit will not have wireless Internet so again, I really appreciate your interest in our class and our blog. The blog will still continue to update but not until after January 26th when we return back to Des Moines.
Thank you again, our Lead at Sea class is inspired and ready to take on this task! Come Sail Away!!
Michael Sage won 1st place in the Bahamas Half Marathon (20-24 age group) with a 1:38:51 time. The Lead at Sea class is very proud of his achievement and representation of this class and Drake University!! Despite gaining first place, Sage showed his humility as he sat along the finish line cheering EVERY person who crossed. Michael is just one Pexample of the strong leadership and teamwork values we’ve learned here so.
Photo via Katherine Clark
Here is one of the water stations in which we volunteered for the Bahamas Marathon. As I mentioned earlier, the shifts started at 4:30am EST and despite the early time period, we all showed great enthusiasm as we passed out water to all the runners. Drake University was definitely well-represented during this event!
(From left to right - Michael Terrell, Edward Wurster, Avolyn Fisher, Devin van Hoesteijn, Sarah Mooney, Megan Fisher and Michael Sage)
Here are our Drake students who ran and FINISHED the Bahama half-marathon!! Wow, what an achievement! Runners started at 6:00am EST as other Drake students served as volunteers at water stations, who reported to duty at 4:30am EST this morning!! We all stood out as we created a positive energy for all the runners. “The most beautiful run I’ve ever completed” said Michael Sage who stood on top of the podium as he won 1st place in the age 20-24 division of the half marathon. I’ll post a picture later of him with his medal. Go Drake!!