Semester at Sea

The Pool Deck

I felt like a child again. Feeling lost and insecure. Admiring beauty I considered greater than my own. New experiences every day left me numb and confused.

I can remember those days when I lay out on deck half-naked in my skimpy bikini. The sound of the everlasting wake behind our great ship serves as a warm reminder within my memories. The beautiful sun blasted rays onto ourselves and the wooden deck, illuminating the clear blue pool. The image of fifty white lounge chairs underneath glistening bodies of every shade is so clear in my mind.

Lest I forget the stunning blue ocean surrounding us. On dark days the ocean turned a dirty blue, sometimes a gloomy grey. But the power of the ocean water and its darkest depths were a constant reminder of the breadth of our travels.

Every day I sunned out there on the pool deck was like a recurring dream — I was awoken only by the looming time for class or the impending weight of homework. But the stress I normally relate to those truths never came. One glance at the ocean blue left me thoughtless. There was nothing to write in that moment. Nothing to fear but the water itself. I never saw my reflection in those waters, nor that of the ship, for that matter. I only saw the white tusks of the waves…and I only heard the constant slap of water against the ship’s hull as we surged forward.

In those moments, peace finally came.

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