Location: Underway To Galapagos

Where to start, where to start? That is the question for the day. 1st, Watch team 2 saw bioluminescent dolphins on watch last night (I was not there, but Skyler said that she was so excited that she almost cried). The bioluminescence was so bright last night that we had a trail behind Vela, and it made her glow! Morana and I also were really loving the stars last night on bow watch. They were so bright, and we even saw a few shooting stars. I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to go back home and not see stars like what we can see right now.
When we were getting ready to enter the Pacific, the staff was saying that there might not be much wind as we go along, which meant that we likely weren’t going to be doing much sailing [boo 🙁 ]. But guess what, folks? We went full sail today! I think Tom was really excited about it, too, because he stood on the bow for a solid five minutes and just watched. Watched what, you may ask? Im not quite sure. All that I can say is that he was up there looking at something. This is the first time since Le Saintes that we’ve put up the main sail. It’s been so long since we’ve put up the main sail that there have been a plethora of jokes about it since we started sailing on the program. Jokes begone today; it finally went up! Skylar, Smash, and Magde killed it with lunch and dinner today. Lunch was Pesto Pasta and salads, and if you know anything about me [which you likely don’t], I love salads.
After lunch, what did we do? We had our first marine bio exam. The staff turned the AC on for all of us so we didn’t drown in our own sweat while we took the test. I think that the exam went ok. Much of the consensus was the same between many of us. The stuff that we knew, we knew well. The stuff that we didn’t know, we guessed on. Classic. After marine bio, we had our first Crew class. In between marine bio and Crew, Ula interviewed Smash for her leadership paper. Tom guest-starred as Smash as well. After that, there was a conversation that we should try and do that with other people on board as well.

TBD if that’s actually going to happen. For crew class, we had it in the cockpit, and there was a squall. Not really, but someone did give Matt the hose. Since it “started to rain,” there was a group of us that ran to shut all of the hatches, which was apparently hilarious to all of the staff. I was talking to Morana about it later, and she said that while the rest of us were running to close the hatches, she ran to go turn the hose off so that way there would be no more rain. That didn’t stop Matt from using the hose, though. After we got our first assignment for the class, Matt stood in the back and started to spray people and also really obnoxiously drink from the hosea menace on the loose.
After crew class, we had free time to work on class stuff or do whatever we wanted. I chose to do laundry because I needed to really badly. It’s incredible how quickly you go through your clothes. What’s also equally incredible is how dirty the water gets after washing your clothes. Typically I only do two buckets (one fresh water for rinsing and one salty water with soap for washing), but today I did three buckets (2 salty, one fresh), and the water was still gross at the end. The laundry was nice today, though. Since we had all of the sails up, there was plenty of shade on deck to sit and wash my clothes in comfort. It was also nice because we received a bird friend today. It kind of feels like we’re carrying banned goods right now, though, because it’s a land bird, not a sea bird. You might be asking yourself right now, why would a bird be banned goods? That’s a great question. It’s because of the Galapagos. They’re really strict about bringing stuff in that’s not supposed to be there, and our bird friend falls under that category. Anyways, Toria and I named the bird Landry because I was doing laundry when it appeared, and it’s supposed to be a land bird. Toria is in love with birds, which is also classic. Hopefully, it finds a different boat to land on that’s not Vela because I would be really bummed if we didn’t get to go to the Galapagos because of a bird that we didn’t even want. Besides the bird, I was also joined by Lexi about halfway through, and we had some good conversations.
After all of our free time, it was time for dinner. Dinner was chicken satay with all kinds of good add-ins. And surprise, surprise Allie, Saskia, and Magde made chocolate chip cookies for everyone! They were actually some of the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had in my life. Everyone got two at dinner, and they made enough that we all got one cookie on watch tonight. The squeeze question tonight was, if you were to be a tree, what kind of tree would you be? Shockingly enough, more than one person said a pear tree which I thought was really interesting. Some other answers that I heard a few of were oak trees and cherry blossom trees. There was a pretty wide variety of trees represented, though, so that was pretty fun. To end squeeze, we went a little wacky. So first, we all had to squeeze hands, and then, using the same amount of joy that two year old would use seeing one in real life for the first time, we all said FISHY FISHY!!! I told everyone that if they didn’t do it gleefully enough, we were going to do it again. We didn’t have to do it again! After the squeeze was over, we all split up to do our clean-up jobs. Drew came around and gave us our grades for our nav master exams, and Elise and I both passed! Did we have the highest grades? Absolutely not, but did we still pass? Heck yeah, we did!
Today was a good good day! There was bioluminescence, full sails, birds that weren’t allowed, and some really, really good cookies.