Location: Underway to Panama City 2.0

This morning started at 4 am. Watch team 1 climbed up the companionway and, unfortunately, were met with little wind. Motoring with a broken propeller is quite tedious. After an hour and a bit on watch, we were having such strange 5 am discussions. As we looked around, there was a large glowing patch. We saw our first whale of the trip. It was glowing thanks to the bioluminescence and stayed near us for a couple of minutes. Once it decided to swim away, there were fast-moving ghost things in the water, dolphins. These came mere seconds after Dylan said, “Now all I need are some bioluminescent dolphins.” After those exciting moments, the sun started to rise, and the watch went by smoothly. We did some sail handling with the jibs, and everyone is really getting the hang of sailing.

I quickly got back into bed and managed to sleep until lunchtime. Lunch was Pad Thai made by Toria, Lake, and Tom. We ate under the scorching midday heat, and all felt as though we were going to melt. After lunch, Tom had to have a meeting with the members of the fo’c’sle. Apparently, the moldy, wet smells were starting to annoy some of the crew. I can’t think why so much of the cleanup was spent cleaning our bunks and making the fo’c’sle a little more bearable. Although Tom did basically say he was proud of us and respected us for living in the fo’c’sle, so I guess we are the real winners.

After a bit of cleanup came our oceanography test, I had a great time during it and thought it was light work. Maybe I’ll backtrack on that statement when the results come back. The next class we had was crew, two groups presented videos, and both were very entertaining, although I’m not sure anybody actually learned anything. Miles, Ted, and Fargo’s video was some of the best comedic footage ever recorded, although my group’s video was quite funny, given the amount of effort we put into it. After class, we went back into the fo’c’sle to tackle the biohazards that were creating the crazy smells. After a bit of wiping down, organizing, and putting away dirty clothes, we found the root of the issue, a pair of wet Adidas shoes. We quickly did an emergency ejection through the hatches, and the shoes went flying onto the deck. Hopefully, the last of the smell is gone by tomorrow morning, although with six dudes living in a room the size of a large mattress, I’m not sure the fo’c’sle will ever be restored to its original state.

I went on watch from 4-6 after this, and it was very fun. We did a lot of sailing, and it was funny when Smash told us to raise the fish, but Tom said that the limit was 20-knot wind speeds. We put the fish up at 19-knot winds, and about 2 minutes later, we were sustaining 23 knots, so in the span of 10 minutes, we raised a sail and then lowered it. Tom did say that in the past week at sea, we have done more sailing and sail handling than most Seamester programs do in the full 90 days, so we are becoming quite competent sailors. For dinner, we had mango chicken salsa, and it was really good. My squeeze question for everyone was if you had to name your first newborn child a part of the boat, what would you name them? I said bilge, but some that stand out are 6-man stack, bulkhead, and d ring. Everybody was feeling hungry after a busy day of watch, and this was our last meal before getting into the marina to fix the propeller, so we were all getting excited. We are going to sail into the night and hopefully arrive at the marina for a 7 am docking. Luckily for my watch, team 2 will be on watch, and I will be nicely asleep in my bunk. Tomorrow is an exciting day, Travis is coming to Vela, and we are going to start getting the new prop and making preparations for a second passage to the Galapagos.