Location: 30˚55.259'S 30˚35.355'E
Good evening folks!
I hope that everyone reading this is safe and surrounded by good people like we are here, off the Southeastern coast of South Africa.
As I’m writing my blog here in the chart house (where the charts live, along with the staff), the little lights of Africa are visible off in the distance. It’s brisk out (long-sleeve weather!) and although I can’t quite explain the feeling of getting off of watch and climbing into a warm bunk, I can confidently say it’s superb. Returning to the rolling seas is always harder the first few days while we relearn how to walk, but we’re remembering fast. We have new watch teams, which is a nice change of pace out here. Sometimes doing the same thing with different people is the best way of realizing how far we’ve all come. The gnocchi was for dinner tonight, which my loved ones back home will know makes me very happy; it was very good.
Past the general feeling of floating above the deep blue, we saw a pod of dolphins and broke the 5,000-mile mark today! We’re all feeling a bit exhausted due to the fact that we are getting quite close to finishing up this semester’s academics! We’ve all learned so much in the past 80 days. 80 DAYS! that reality is honestly mind-bending. So much has happened, and yet it still feels like we’ll be out here forever. Boat time is very real, and I can’t wait to bring my share of it out into the next adventure, whatever that may be. Tomorrow we have our final group research paper/presentation due, which everyone has spent most of the day preparing. We’ve had some seasickness creeping around, but overall most people are past it and feeling a lot better! Although today was a tired one, it is amazing to see how much we all flow together now compared to 80 days ago. Who holds the door, when it’s the right time to take your friend’s bowl and clean it for them, who needs to be woken up twice (Definitely and me), and just how life works here on Vela. The term ‘pay it forward’ has found a whole new meaning for us here, especially on passages. When you go out of your way to be kind, patient, or help someone out, it has more weight than anyone really understands. That small mindfulness of others in action, whatever it may be, spreads out from person to person. Sometimes slowly, sometimes very quickly, that kindness will ripple out through the entire crew and, in one way or another, find its way back to you. I feel so grateful to be part of a group of people who are savvy enough to want to better themselves in this way. Some days it is very hard to find enough energy to even be kind to yourself, but as soon as you share some of your internal goodness, it will make its way back to you, I promise.
This will be my last blog for the semester, and if you’ve made it this far, I’m honored. If you’re wondering what your people did today… they worked on homework and snuck in time to sleep. What we’re really doing, though… is living out our wildest dreams, plowing down the southern coast of mother Africa, and searching for our life’s treasure. Who knows… maybe we’re finding ourselves along the way.
Cheers, my friends!
Fair winds and following seas to wherever your treasure may take you.
catch you latah – Noah Solt
Photos are a collection of moments before and during passage and preparation whilst on the dock.
1. Porthole sunrises
2. Seth enjoying a few moments to read on the deck
3. Clean up time in the dishy pit while underway
4. Zak attaching the halyards yesterday
5. Tom briefing the crew down below