Location: 17 53.925N 55 19.245W

Day 15 of the Atlantic crossing. Not a very outstanding day in a conventional way, but I would like to say it has been an extraordinary day Vela-wise. What does fifteen days of passage mean? It means not seeing land for fifteen days, it means being on this boat with just ourselves as entertainment for fifteen days, getting swung back and forth at every point of the day for fifteen days, waking up at the odd hours of the night, for fifteen days, but it also means so much more. Every day of this transatlantic crossing, we have come closer and closer to the Caribbean, but we also have every day become closer to each other. All of the things that fifteen days at sea have meant have, in their own ways, brought us closer together. Being just us and not seeing land has shown us that what makes life so wonderful is the people and the small excitements of the day. Getting swung around the boat shows us that we have each other to lean on. Getting up in the hours of darkness for four hours each night has provided us with bonding time that I don’t think is possible in many other ways. Being on this boat for fifteen days has meant us getting fifteen times closer than before.

So, how was today extraordinary? For watch team three, it started out with the 8-12 watch, a very pleasant one with us listening to some Christmas music and crime junkies, when all of a sudden, the fishing line behind us moved. Jimmy jumps straight to his feet and, together with Matt, starts reeling it in. All other team members (except for the helmsman, of course) are staring intently at them, wondering what it could be. Jimmy notices the weight, and we see glimpses of its big size. Finally, it’s up on deck, and we see the beauty of a spearfish!! It also brought some of its remora buddies!

We all stared at him for some time, taking the sight in, and since it’s not an “eating fish,” we gently put him along with his friends back in the ocean. After this, the day pretty much rolled on as per usual. We had Sophie’s version of Calum’s sweet potato sammies for lunch. They were just as good (if not better) as the originals. The day proceeded with some class time, oceanography, and then seamanship. I have to say, as hot and rocky as these latest classes have been, I think that we’re all just a little more focused and appreciative than usual, knowing that these are some of the last we’ll have. Before dinner, we had a few minutes to relax, where some people got their daily head scratches and foot rubs; the rest will be given and received after dinner. Dinner was very good, but oh so messy. Sophie treated us to some pizza, and we finally got to test out Owen’s Papa John’s pizza-making skills as a breadmaker. We finished dinner with a squeeze in the sunset, where everybody shared some of their favorite moments from the trip so far; many of them included dancing, swimming, hiking, and looking up at the stars in the middle of the ocean.

Standing in the chart house, reminiscing about this day, ready to write about it, I heard multiple yells: “fish on, fish on.” I, with everybody else, ran to the stern to check it out, and after some moments of anticipation, Jimmy pulled up a Wahoo! Now, this is an “eating fish,” Calum tells us, so we’re all looking forward to eating our second meal of hand-caught fish, and Joel can’t wait for his second attempt of eating an eye (as of now, Joel-0, Riley-1). Wow, this really makes you feel part of nature!

Last night, at the beginning of our night watch, we enjoyed a sneak peek of Emy and Rachel’s Vela song. As we were sitting there, under the stars, listening to the Disney movie quality of a song about this voyage coming to an end, we had a common understanding of how amazing this has been, is, and will continue to be. But in the true spirit of club three, we wallowed in sadness for a while but quickly broke out the dance music and moves. We ended watch with a performance of singing in the rain for watch team 1, and Mia, Maya, and I extended our watch with a dance party of our own in midships. As cool as we feel while dancing on the boat at one in the morning, some might say we look like pregnant women in dance class.

The last time I wrote this blog, we were embarking on the second chapter of this trip, now, the crossing is coming to an end, and we are entering the last one. The 73 days where we have called Vela our home have been amazing in so many ways. These 15 days of passage have, for many, been life-changing, and we look forward to the next 17 days with bitter-sweetness.

FWI: Now, my favorite part of the day is about to begin, the tradition of tea and chocolate tasting. Izzy, Alison, and I have been discussing tonight’s menu all day, and I think tonight will be a pairing of ginger tea with some orange chocolate.

P.S Joel-0, Riley-2

P.P.S Jag saknar er alla dar hemma sa mycket, och jag ar sa taggad pa att beratta om allt det har for er!! Jag har det sa bra har, och samtidigt som jag ser sa mycket fram emot att traffa er alla sa vill jag inte att det har ska ta sitt slut. I’m so excited to arrive in the Caribbean where I will see many of you soon!