The ocean water was a toasty 50 degrees, but that didn't stop us from having splash fights with our paddles! We spent our time getting wet, exploring coastal caves, and watching harbor seals and porpoises swim withing 100 yards from our kayaks! Oh, and we can't forget the bright purple starfish and squishy green sea anemones that we all had fun looking at and touching!
We will end our trip tonight with a testimony meeting and wonderful feast prepared for our food committee! As we reflect on the AMAZING trip we have been on, we had everyone write up some highlights:
Cassidy: It's so hard to pick a favorite moment out of such a fantastic trip! Some of the moments that really stand out have been our wonderful gratitude meeting everynight, the team time with our amazing race groups, and our 3 days on the boats! Thank you to everyone who made this trip possible for us!
Parker: My highlight for the trip was probably when we went biking because I haven't ever used any type of bike besides a mountain bike and these were cross between road and mountain and you could get going really, really fast. That was one of my top moments out of the whole trip but there are still more high lights.
Niklas: Well i think its obvious what my favorite highlight was, or is it? From biking to sailing, from walking to running, the answer isnt very clear. One of my favorite highlights was the chance to relax on the sailboat, SPIRIT III, this vessel was smooth and fast and showed its elegance in the water. Another favorite highlight was eating Cassidy's famous caramel rolls.
Andi: My highlight of the trip was the down time I got to spend with my NLC family. We learned a lot about each other and became closer than we already were. Playing cards at the hostel, a trip to Uwajimaya, and many other alone times we all spent together. I was really proud of the way we helped each other no matter what the problem was and I love everyone so much! And hangin' with Dean.
Dean: I won't give a cliche about how all the moments of the trip are my favorites. Without a doubt lying on the boats, whether it was the power boat or the sail boats, while baking in the sun and working on my beautiful tan, and to top it off having talks with my great friends (like my #1 Andi). Without a doubt, life doesn't get any better... well maybe if the water was warmer...
Jess: I have to cheat... I have two highlights because this trip was so bomb. First of all, crewing the sailboats was the most fun I have ever had on water (or land for that matter). My crew got really good experience tacking on the second day because the wind was so superb! My second favorite moment was on the second to last evening driving home from bowling. I was in the back of the bus, rocking out to the blasting radio with the rest of my class. I have never been happier in my life. I was surrounded by people who love me, by people who support me and I realized I never want to leave this group. Even though we will soon be separated by land, we will always be connected by our hearts. I love this class so much. They just make me so happy!!!
Hannah: I also have to cheat. Out of this entire trip 2 things stand out to me the most, and those things I will remember forever! First, is everything that had to do with our sailing trip. I love to sail! The first two days I read, researched, and mapped the orca whales. I then looked at our source map and figured out what day most likely we would see them. My research payed off! On the third day along the Haro Straight we saw them! They were amazing, and huge! Second, was each moment that I got to spend with the 21 people I call my family.
Shane: I have to say that my favorite moment (or moments, depending on how I feel on the end of the blog) was when Jen & Mark told us that we were going sailing as we got out of our bus. We walked down the gravel road and saw Puget Sound (I hope that's spelled right), and it was gorgeous. Okay I do have another favorite. It was when I was on Spirit III with my scurvy scallywags, heading out to see the fireworks for 4th of July. I was in a pile of sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows. It was raining and the fireworks were awesome while we listened to Lady Gaga. I'm glad that I got to share this moment with my most favorite people in the world.
Robiny: My favorite part of the trip was probably either sailing on a gusty day or our debrief after our Wednesday night testimony meeting. The sailing was spectacular because the wind made me feel extremely empowered-- like every time we tacked we were conquering a great force and using it to our advantage. It required the entire crew to work together swiftly and harmoniously, and we all had smiles on our faces. The debrief was just a great moment for our class. We all opened up, sharing testimonies, encouraging each other, and revealing challenges. I think we all cried a little, and laughed a lot. I've definitely grown a new respect for my classmates, my NLC parents (Jen and Mark), my real mom and dad, and my Father-Mother God.
Shelby: My favorite part of the trip.....hmmmm......so hard to choose! I loved everything! So I'll tell you a few of mine. One of my favorite parts of the trip was all of the Urban Adventures! Those were so exciting and got you pumped up! I loved working with my team and we did an AMAZING job! The second thing was when we got to go sailing!!! That was just an awesome opportunity and was glad I could do it with my NLC class and all the other people that contributed to the whole entire trip. Also, I loved learning all the cool words for the boat (port side, starboard, bow, stern)! Then we got to learn how to navigate and DRIVE/SAIL THE BOAT!!!!! Being at the helm was the best out of those three things.....and I can't believe it but I am actually good! Last but not least, I loved the Kayaking Adventure that we did. To tell you the truth I am not a big fan of kayaks, but I got in it and did a great job and enjoyed it a ton! I am so glad I got to be on this trip with my class mates, older brother, parents, mentor, and the additional people that chipped in to help! I can't wait to see everyone again I am going to miss them sososososososososososo much! Oh and P.S. I loved are dance party on Spirit III!!! THEY ARE FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)
Collin: Whenever I'm with the class I always laugh a lot, but last time at the All Class Retreat my voice was starting to change. I had an obnoxious laugh with lots of cracks and high pitched squeaks in my voice. This trip my voice has deepened since then, and according to other people in the group, I have a contagious laugh. I love being able to laugh so much and so loudly, and being able to make others laugh just by purely laughing.
Another one of my favorite parts was during our first urban challenge in Seattle where we raced to the Seattle church. After half-hurling while eating the pickled plums and sushi, we got to the church. My group, the Toy Box, tied with team 'Tupac'-olipse, but neither of us had assembled our piperoid figure. As we raced to finish our Muscle Joe piperoid, we put the last piece on and yelled: "DONE!" That was the first time we actually won a challenge.
My other favorite part was the sailing. All the crew and skippers were great and I appreciate "Captain my Captain" dealing with our rowdy group for the first two days and teaching us how to sail. It really made me want to live on one of the San Juan Islands when I'm older.
Robin: I loved this trip soooo much!! I really feel like I bonded with all of my classmates ten times more than I ever had. So much growth was involved for me and the group as a whole throughout the trip. Some of my favorite times in specific were the urban challenges in the B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L city of Portland! We were treated to an enlightening experience of biking and hiking through both the wildlife and the city. This included an exhilarating thirty minutes of running around in a public fountain :D The other mind blowing part of this trip, to me, was the sailing aspect of it all. I had never sailed before or really spent much time on a boat, but this completely made me fall in love with both the San Juan Islands and the overall sailing experience! The way the icy water rushes white into the boat along with the amazing clear skies and rocky evergreen islands made me wonder how I could have ever lived without such a picture perfect painting. I am so incredibly greatful to have spent such an amazing trip with the even more amazing people that I was able to experience God with, and am excited to take my learning experiences into my life both at home and at school.
Amy: One of the best parts of the trip for me was the day we biked all around Portland for our urban adventure. I hadn't biked in a long time and it brought back memories of biking in my town with my momma when I was younger, something we did very often. This time it was to the backdrop of the beautiful city of Portland with lush landscape, lakes, and tall buildings. It was also the first day it was truly a race against time until the end and I had a ton of fun with my team, and we were the only ones to make the time requirement. Also, during the trip it was so inspiring to be with all my classmates as I grew spiritually and got closer to God.
Meg: I could never choose a highlight of the trip, but I know this trip is the highlight of my summer. I love my NLC family and I have learned so much about God, adventure, and my spiritual identity and individuality. A huge thank you to everyone who helped put such an incredible, memorable, AMAZING trip together. NLC is such a blessing and I am so grateful for all of the precious experiences we are so fortunate to have with this awesome group. NLC 2013 forever! time to get on the plane! i love you all! thanks mom, dad, mark, jen, tom, and everyone else! :)
Japhet: Well one highlight? That's impossible! I loved the whole thing! Although there were some utterly awesome points and they were: Going to Tent City, going the EMP, Sailing, and well everything! But those were just the actions we did, the feeling surrounding you when your with 21+ people who are the bestest, coolest people and being inspired by them is amazing and a definite highlight. I am always in awe of these great people and will miss them but know that God is what they express and I can't be taken away from that! Thank you Jen for everything including folding that laundry, and looking in that one pocket that my boarding pass was in, I love you! and to Mark thank you for being such a great dad to our class and keeping me, at least in line! I love you also! and to Tom thank you for being that perfect man that we as Christian Scientists are supposed to see in everyone and for staying up till 2AM with me and being ditched at the bowling alley with me and you better be on the service trip! and to every other awesome person that contributed to the trip Thank You so much! and thank you God.
Cooper: My highlight was when we were sailing for 4 days and saw all the orcas and the beautiful scenery. :)
Jordan: I'm going to cheat on my own rules. The whole trip was incredible, but two moments that really stick out to me are as follows. First, Collin and I were going on a ride where the whole thing's spinning and then you can spin your own "car". Collin and I were spinning as fast as possible and laughing our heads off the entire time. It was the best kind of joy. My second part of the trip happened almost every night. We would give gratitude and sing "Wither". Thank you to everyone who made this trip wonderful