I have gone an entire month without personalized contributions to cyberspace – no quips, no pics.  For those of you who enjoy the occasional Kayleigh updates by wandering through my words, I apologize, but the truth is the past month was not out of the ordinary (in terms of ship life…); not until the last week anyway.

We’ve done four weeks straight of the exact same itinerary, and today only marks the halfway point.  I can’t say it’s too disappointing repeating the same places over and over again.  It’s given me the chance to save money, stay rested, and explore ports more thoroughly (which I plan to start taking advantage of soon…).  I’ve been using my time to study Spanish and read more.  I need to take advantage of this next month of relaxation because before too long we’ll hit European shores bringing with that, full days of adventure and exhaustion, not to mention a couple amazing parents for an entire week of European discovery!

This past week was a great milestone.  My brother joined Rob and I for a whole week as his 21st birthday present.  He had a fantastic time and contrary to my hesitation of spending seven days with a previously pesky and irritating sibling, it was truly a pleasure having him join us.  We planned to go moped-ing through Grand Turk, kayaking in a bioluminescent lake in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and SCUBA diving in St. Thomas.  All great things, but unfortunately everything went wrong!

There is a fire drill every week in Grand Turk and unlike NEVER before, Rob and I have emergency functions to carry out and thus can never get off there before 11, leaving us less time than required for our round-the-island trip.  In Puerto Rico, the US Coast Guard decided to come on since they postponed in Florida so we had drills for two hours and no crew shore leave.  Plus that tour sold out.  And in St. Thomas, Rob had an abandon ship drill and the dive trip left at eight.  So pretty much all the plans we had made fell through.  Luckily, my baby bro is not the type to let plan changes get to him (plus he got a very realistic dose of what ship life is really like).

This is what ended up happening:

After drill in Grand Turk, we went snorkeling for a bit and laid in the sun before a quick lunch at Margaritaville in honor of the parentals (it’s a shame they never wanted to go there).  In San Juan we walked up to the forts and through the cemetery, ending with Indian food dinner; and in St. Thomas, we took the sky ride up to Paradise Point for a beautiful view paired with an overpriced but tasty lunch.  Luckily, he had the best time at our private island of Half Moon Cay swimming with sting rays and enjoying the beautiful beach.  I think that totally made up for everything else.

Having him here provided a wonderful reality check for me to remember how awesome and unique my life is.  His constant awe at every little thing I take advantage of helped me to realize that.  I am very fortunate, despite the chaotic children and unappreciative parents.  With any luck though, that line on my resume will soon be in the past as I look toward other options, both at sea and on land.

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