Location: Horta, Azores

You would think that crossing the Atlantic would be the biggest test we could give the bonds of the watch teams, but you’d be wrong. The students had their biggest hurdle yet today; the leadership challenge course. Brought to you by the chaotic brain of Gabe, the students awoke today to Calum’s soothing voice saying to get ready, get hyped, and get your foulie jacket on, as it is raining. After a breakfast of yogurt and granola, the students started their walk to the park, where all of the craziness and shenanigans would begin. For the first part of the course, the watch teams competed in a three-way tag game and had to find special items to gain points. Those special items were hidden with Claire, Phoebe, and myself. Phoebe climbed up a tree with her CPR dummy head, I crawled into a cave with my type 1 PFD, and Claire climbed down into an empty community pool with the ship’s bell. Once Gabe explained the rules, they were off! Sprinting in all directions, hunt for the items while avoiding the team that could tag them. After 30 minutes of absolute chaos, including people climbing trees, slipping over rocks, swimming in the ocean, and laughing their butts off, watch team 2 become victorious in points-although the bell was lost to the ocean (big sad).

Meanwhile, Claire, Phoebe, and I got into position for the next part of the challenge course; riddles and games. The clue to me led the teams to the beach, where they had to navigate a team member through a maze blindfolded. Phoebe was at the ferry dock where people had to undo a human knot, and to Claire, where the floor was lava! The final boss battle was with Gabe for the ULTIMATE slack-jaw dance-off! In the end, watch team 2 were declared the overall winners, with watch team 3 doing the impossible and making Gabe laugh during the dance-off, and watch team 1 taking the scenic route/setting their own course-a true seamester mentality.
After running around all morning, everyone was stoked to have some pbandjs for lunch! Afterward, we had an afternoon full of oceanography! We learned about seawater, competed in Water Olympics (testing its viscosity), and learned about all of the science gear we have on board! Exciting stuff!
Dinner was a delicious pad Thai, and the night, of course, ended with some gelato!