Boats and Dolphins/Whales/Ducks/Squids
Location: Underway to Richard's Bay
Today was incredible. It started off yesterday at 11:30 pm when I went to wake up watch team 1. I blindly entered the foc'sle in the dark and tapped Audrey awake. As I turned to wake up Zoe and Kasey, my foot landed on something squishy, slimy, and cold. I became a little bit frantic and urged Audrey to turn her light on, and it revealed a squid inches from her face. It had flown in and somehow made it right through the hatch. After a great night's sleep, I was woken at 7:30 am by Finn, who brought me a cup of tea in bed. He had made all of watch team 3 their own cup of tea for wake-ups. I walked into the galley to make a bowl of oatmeal before watch, and as if this morning couldn't get any better, Star Wars music was playing. When I reached the top of the companionway, someone from watch team 2 shouted, "Whales!" I immediately heard a blow and when I turned to the right, I saw a MASSIVE Sei Whale blowing spray from its blowhole and coming out of the water alongside Vela, literally no more than 20 feet from the side of the boat. My jaw dropped out of my head, and my eyes were wide, as this was a big moment for me because I missed every whale and dolphin sighting that happened, besides the one time in Coco's Keeling. Every 30 seconds to one minute, the whales would surface again. Watch team 2 was playing Thotiana when we came up, and they claimed that the whales loved it, as well as SZA. Sure enough, Lucia played Normal Girl by SZA, and literally no more than 2 seconds after the song started, the whales surfaced again. Then we wouldn't see them for another two minutes, and someone would say, "They want Thotiana back," and 2 seconds after the song started, the whales would surface again. It sounds unreal, but it happened probably five times. The whales hung around for 30 whole minutes, which was wild. Ruby thought they might want to hear a pretty underground song called "Metaphors" by artist Lucia Cutler on Spotify, but some may say that was the last song that the whales heard before they parted ways with Vela, which was a harsh reality. Later on in the morning, Ayden and I were sitting in the salon doing our Fish ID Logbooks and drinking out coffee and hot cocoa when, all of a sudden, a rogue wave, unfortunately, tipped my nearly full mug of coffee all over me and the salon bench. As I was doing a little bit of laundry to get the stains out, I heard someone yell, "Dolphins!" I ran up to the bow to see probably 30 dolphins leaping out of the water, surfing on the waves, weaving through the water at the bow. I couldn't stop smiling, and as I looked around me, neither could everyone else. We were all laughing and shouting whenever one would do a flip or when we would see a little baby dolphin. The dolphins stayed with us for about 20 minutes until they parted ways, and everyone returned to their responsibilities. Ben pointed out how cool it was that we watched dolphins jumping out of the water and then just went back to "normal life" of doing laundry, going back to sleep, or cooking lunch. Steph made us crispy tofu tacos for lunch with pineapple slaw, micro greens, perfectly crispy tofu, and more. We had Marine Biology and learned about marine birds and reptiles. I learned that sea turtle eggs' sex is determined by temperature, and if the environment is warmer than 29.9ºC, they would be female, and if it is cooler, they would be male, which I thought was really cool. We then had optional nav master practice, which I completely should have participated in. Still, unfortunately, I could not keep my eyes open no matter how hard I tried, so I surrendered to my bunk and took an unreal nap for a couple of hours. While I was asleep, watch team 2 drop the mainsail and the jib and center-lined the sails. For dinner, we had some delicious creamy pesto pasta with basil chicken meatballs, that were the size of baseballs, with super good bread and butter made by Siena. For my squeeze question, Jackson gave the idea of the best "boat quote" that we'd heard so far. My favorite was said by Jackson himself, "I believe anything other than raw milk is poison. Actually, I don't just believe it, I know it." Kasey's favorite was Daniel once saying that Ayden's beef at lunch was "so salty that it could be added as a salinity source for Oceanography class," which was even funnier because we had just learned about salinity sources in the ocean. Now, cleanup is just ending, and through the porthole in the chart house, I am catching the beautiful sunset that is happening, with orange and pink streaks lighting the sky and purple and pink clouds all around. We have been so lucky to have such calm seas, especially when they mirror the colors of the sunsets. Staff Allie had the great idea of having a movie night tonight and making popcorn, cookies, and snacks, and we're going to watch How to Train Your Dragon. (thanks, Jake!)
Shaun- Steph has absolutely nothing to say to you aside from "suck it."
To my family- I miss you!! Sending hugs to everyone <3