Location: Somewhere at Sea
Hey, hi, and how are ya from just off the northwest corner of Madagascar:)
Today, I would say, was an average day on passage. We woke and slept according to our watch schedule, we studied for our Marine Bio midterm today, we ate a good lunch and dinner (thank you, chefs, 3), and I had the whole day to think about how, when I’m not barfing, I love the way Vela makes us feel so stable in the instability of the ocean. The weather has been pretty choppy the past few days, and it’s been super fun getting back into feeling the swells and needing 3 points of contact at all times. It’s exhilarating to see the bowsprit slowly go under and triumphantly jump back up with a huge dramatic sea spray announcing its arrival. As you read yesterday, the sea spray is kind of a new adjustment to us and has given us a few unexpected indoor showers- I woke up about 45 seconds before Trey had his midnight soak and got to see the whole thing play out from behind the safety of my lee-cloth. It was hilarious to watch secondhand but not as funny as I got completely smacked during my 3 am deck walk- Karma can be like that sometimes. Overall, we are doing much, much better than the last time I wrote- Just in case you couldn’t tell, I (and I think I speak for everyone else on board at the time) was pretty overwhelmed at that point. At that time, I was dreaming of and counting down the minutes until we could see land, but what I wasn’t expecting was how much I and others would miss the simplicity and solitude of life in the middle of the sea once we dropped anchor. Seychelles was amazing, but I think we were all ready to move on to our next adventure by the end of it, looking forward to not just the destination but the journey to get there. I consider myself one of the luckier ones on the ship at the moment because, in the shuffle of adding a new watch team and changing from a 4-8 to a 3-9 hour schedule, I got placed in a completely new watch team. I will always love watch team one and the deep dives into the way everyone’s minds work (I particularly enjoyed learning from Zack and Trey. They both have a really cool perspective, perception, and a good solid sense of how they want to go, if that makes sense). Still, I am really excited that I get the opportunity to start my learning process all over again in Watch Team Toby fish (Toby fish are pretty dope, by the way). I think we all really like the new schedule because it gives us a little more time to decompress, even though I still wake up always thinking I’m late for watch when I still have another hour and a half. Every team is at least a little different, and I think we are starting to fall into our rhythm as teams faster this time because this isn’t our first rodeo. Also, being on the helm in the middle of the night with huge sprays illuminated by the port and starboard lights while BLASTING my Kanye playlist (specifically “Hell of a Life”) might be one of the most badass moments of my life so far. Like I have said the last time I wrote, I didn’t think the sailing life was for me- but honestly, I can’t really imagine life without the sea anymore, and I don’t want to. While in Seychelles, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed (and honestly, being out here made me realize that I think Instagram and the whole social media thing kinda sucks. I want my thrills to come from feeling like I’m sailing a boat in the Indian Ocean, not from the number of times people double-tap my photo of Avocado Toast) and I came across The New Yorker magazine account, who was all giddy about a new Margaret Atwood poem they published on the 2nd. Me being the poetry person that I am, went to check it out and found that it pretty accurately articulated how I saw and felt about things out here- so instead of rambling on and on like I tend to do, I am going to leave you with some homework; Go read Margaret Atwood’s “Flatline” and Rilke ” To the limits of our longing”; sometimes they can say it better than we can. Our squeeze question tonight was based on the last 2 stanzas of “flatline,” and we pondered what our own flatlines were.
To my Mom, Dad, Cousin, and whoever else I know reading this, I hope you’re well, and I miss you like crazy. I am hoping I get the opportunity of the transatlantic crossing, so I might be out a little longer than expected if I’m lucky, but I cant wait to see you- whenever that may be.
Fair winds following seas,
Photos: (All by Dylan Hardt)
1. Sam has a drink of water
2. Lucia, Trey, and Myra (Left to right) enjoy their time on watch
3. Amy draws on Finley’s first mustache!