Location: 36 57.3' N 000 50.1' W

Waking up in the morning is perhaps my least favorite activity ever. Waking up at 3:30 am, however, is remarkably worse, especially when one accidentally stays up binging Game of Thrones the night prior. That all said, it has come to be apparent over the length of our Atlantic crossing that sometimes the watches stationed at the most inconvenient times end up being some of the best four hours that you spend with your shipmates. Today, for example, my watch team (team two) started the day at 3:30 am to prepare for our 4-8 watch. As today’s watch leader, I established a bow watch because we are still near a major shipping area, where it becomes even more crucial to have a set of eyes looking off the bow. Recently, I’ve taken up the watch nickname “eagle eyes” because I have continually been the first to spot faint glows over and beyond the horizon line. Anyways, today’s watch went a little something like this: wake up, ponder the life decisions that brought you here to a 3:30 am wakeup, try to delay getting out of bed, and eventually detaching yourself from the warm and cozy bunk as you start on the way towards watch on deck. Nothing super extravagant happened on this watch, but we all had fun listening and singing along to Ariana Grande’s songs. Our bow watch was on the hour in groups of two (James and Keally, Ceci and Cam, Jessi and Ben, Elan and myself), meaning two people stood by the bow to keep a lookout per hour of watch. Elan and I took the 5-6 bow watch, which of course, included coffee and long discussions about life. As we talked over shows such as She-Ra and Adventure Time, we found that we are not only both huge fans of the same shows but also both invested in music and the reality of how healing it can be.

Eventually, the sky became lighter, but not light enough that we couldn’t still see the splattering of stars overhead. The stars over the ocean are truly unfounded, and in a way, it almost feels as if the stars and planets we see are moving with us. Two nights ago, while on one of the final Atlantic watches, we had a large cargo esc ship off to our port side named Zeus. Behind us, the planet Jupiter was shining off our stern, and the constellation Scorpio hung above us on our starboard side. I’m sure Greek and Roman mythology fans can connect the dots as to why that was such a funky little coincidence, but I’ll still explain. Zeus is the Greek god of the sky, and Jupiter is the Roman version of the same god (but a bit more aggressive). It was exciting to see that we were flanked by Zeus while also being chased into warmer seas by Jupiter. Moreover, we are sailing on Vela, the sister ship to SeaMester’s other boat named Argo. In Greek mythology, Jason was the demigod son of Zeus, who sailed a boat named Argo into the Med. It gets better, though. In the book series Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the character Jason Grace is the present-day Roman demigod son of Jupiter, and this version of Jason helped Percy Jackson (based off Perseus in Greek mythology) sail straight into the heart of Rome on the Argo ||. You know who else is sailing towards Rome? The whole Vela crew! Pretty cool coincidence, I would say.

Aside from watch, the day consisted of classes for everyone, followed by a little bit of free time for those, not on the 2-6 watch. Of course, it was just my luck that I happened to be on that 2-6 watch. Yay. The day went on, and PSCT students took one of their exams today, so we’re all rooting them on. As the 2-6 watch ended, we all gathered for dinner; Leoni and Paige made an honorary cake to celebrate our completed Atlantic crossing as we continue on our journey and tackle the Med. After eating, we gathered for our daily squeeze, then moved on to a beautiful sunset cleanup.

Additionally, watch team 1 wants to let everyone know that they saw bioluminescent glowing dolphins last night on their watch. Moreover, Courtney was delighted to see a very large school of dolphins directly after dinner tonight, and she says it was by far one of her favorite parts of the entire trip. I can attest to the dolphins, in fact, being very fun to see as they swam along the side of the boat all the way up to the bow.

Now, watch team one is on watch from 8-12 am, then watch team two will continue from 12-4 and watch team three from 4-8, and so the cycle continues. We will likely hit the Prime Meridian at some point tonight, probably very early in the morning, around 3 am. With that said, our trip has reached day 49, and most of us have realized that we only have about twenty days left, which feels impossible, but alas, is true. For now, we will enjoy and cherish what is left of the open sea as we sail closer to our next adventure on land.

Your loyal stowaway who likes to hide in the bilges,
Kaleigh O’Leary

Image One: Elan is taking a picture of me as the sun begins to rise
Image Two: Elan, Cam, and I are enjoying the fact that there is only an hour left of watch, counting down the minutes till its nap time
Image Three: Calum is on the top staring into your soul, James to the right, Cam to the left, Kaleigh on the bottom