Location: Mackay, Australia

We woke up to the nice cool temperature that Mackay had brought us. Fortunately for me, I love sleeping in the cold and woke up happy. Unfortunately, for the majority of the crew, this cold weather, along with the little sleep from the night out, was not the perfect mixture. We had our breakfast and quickly got into oceanography class. We had an extended class where some students gave their presentations, took a quiz, lectured, and watched a documentary on the dangers of over-fishing our oceans and how we seriously need to change things.

After class, we had a bit of free time where the group split up to do various activities. Some stayed in the marina area where they had a beach day, and Mike was turned into a mermaid while others sat at some of the restaurants on the water while they devoured food that was not made in a boat galley. A couple of others and I ventured a couple of miles away to the actual city/town part of Mackay. We had to take a 10-15-minute taxi over there, and we were speechless on the way over. We saw multi-story buildings, car dealerships, giant warehouses, and even the holy grail and golden arches (McDonald’s). In other words, we found actual civilization, something none of us had seen for 67 days. There was a large mall where a couple of people lost themselves to guilty pleasures, such as Taylor finally getting her Acai bowl and Margaret H falling in love with a massage chair.

We had to be back on the boat for dinner, so we slowly made our way back, and the afternoon ended, watching the tide go out on a beach that seemed to stretch for miles. It was a great time to think back and reflect where the heck the last 67 days have gone and face the scary reality that in less than two weeks, you won’t have to read these blogs anymore. We will just be telling you what happened.

P.S. We are waking up at 4:15 am to drive 45 minutes and watch kangaroos on the beach with a sunrise. I am sure you’ll read all about it tomorrow. I just wanted to get a head start.