Location: Colon, Panama

Happy Day 35, everyone!! The day started with a rare gentle wake-up since I thought the crew deserved that at least once in a while. Morana and Ula said they loved their head scratch wake-up, so I think I succeeded. Breakfast was delicious crepes courtesy of Magdi, who, after a tragic mishap with some rice last night, deserved a win this morning. Afterward, we embarked on our hike to a UNESCO World Heritage Site: Castillo San Lorenzo des Chagres (or something). The hike/walk took about 2 hours each way along a road surrounded by lush rainforests in which we saw howler monkeys and, for a lucky few (not me), saw some spider monkeys, a sloth, a big crocodile, and some baby crocodiles. We were also bombarded with some vile would you rather questions, courtesy of you – guessed it – Miles.

The fort was cool. However, the general consensus was that it was a little underwhelming. We did learn that it got built in the early 1500s, and it got destroyed, then rebuilt, then destroyed, then rebuilt. The walk back to the marina felt extremely long in the heat. I tried to enlist Miles to entertain us, but even he didn’t have much material, which is how you know we must’ve been tired. By the end of the walk (20km later), most of us were very parched and tired as our legs are not used to walking much after doing a lot of sitting on Vela for the last month. We quenched our thirst with some cold drinks from the mini market in the marina before getting shuttled back to Vela, now out on anchor in the harbor. We’ll be anchored here for a couple of nights while we wait to transit the canal, which we found out will be sometime on Monday!! Once back on the boat, we enjoyed a late lunch (Greek quinoa salad). After lunch, some of us had Nav Master class to go over our practice exams (eek!!), while the rest of us had a bit of free time before Marine Bio class. In marine bio, we learned about different jellyfish, sea anemones, and corals. Note to self don’t get stung by a tiny (fingernail-sized) box of jelly because you’ll be dead in 3 minutes, yikes. We had a bit of time before dinner, so some of us revised for our Oceanography quiz that we had right after dinner. Dinner was a very yummy fried rice and chicken meal. Tom lent a hand, and this time the rice went according to plan. At squeeze tonight, my question was, “if you had to pull off a heist with the person to your left and right, what would you steal, and what would everyone’s role be?” shoutout Matt and Allie. Most notable answers included Drew, Tom, and Matt stealing a big muscular horse for Tom and myself, Morana and Saskia stealing the Crabby Patty secret recipe for Saskia. Anyways, today was a great day, and I will definitely sleep welltime to get quizzing. Wish me luck.

PS to the O’Connor family, helloooo! Bet you thought they got rid of me because I haven’t been on here yet, but the joke’s on you. I’m still kicking. Miss you all and hope you’re having fun in the snow. A little jealous, not gonna lie. Happy late Birthday, Reagan and Keegs! I’ll be back in 55 days.

Message from Lexi:
Happy birthday, Sunshine!! I did not forget you 😉 I hope you had an amazing day. I miss you <3 enjoy your weekend Em!