I got up early today because I knew we were sailing. Our departure date was supposed to be a secret, but when you live on a conspicuous white ship in Africa that is nearly impossible. The radio was telling folks our departure date! Ha! So we tricked them. We left a day early. Why would you trick the people Michelle? Mainly because we didn’t want to pick up stowaways. But that is for another blog post.

The deckies got to work. They loaded the last landrovers. The dive team pulled up all the intake filters. We had one last at sea drill to make sure everyone was accounted for. We had one last stowaway search involving all crew big and small. Then we made our way to deck 7 to watch as, one by one, the mooring lines were thrown off, the gangway lifted up, and the entrance sealed. The engines began their familiar growling as the ship moved away from the dock. Then the tugs came to push and pull us away. All the dock workers waved us goodbye with shouts and blown kisses. As we pulled out of the port, the tugboats chased us and blew their horns in a raucous goodbye. Finally, the pilot boat moved alongside as four pilots jumped off our ship onto their own.

As all the horns were blowing, I cried tears of sadness and joy. Au revoir Guinea! I will never forget you! I will carry you in my heart for eternity. You have given me more than I ever dreamed possible. Mercì! Thank you God for allowing me to know your beautiful Guinean people!

Love… Michelle
Philippians 1:20