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Location: Atlantic Ocean

WHATS UPPPP FAMMMM! It’s your final skipper before the wheel gets reset tomorrow! My name’s Emma, but formally on this boat, I am referred to as Ems or “Crip” due to the fact that I am the chick that fell down the companionway while attempting parkour and broke my foot. It’s all good, though. We vibin’. ANYWHO… today was another great one here on Vela in the middle of the great blue sea. I was on the 4-8 am watch this morning, which I was pumped about because it’s my favorite of all the watches (Mom, if you’re reading this – and I know you are – I am now a morning person who enjoys getting up at 3:30 am… I know… crazy). It was so sick this morning, though, because I got to help us through a squall followed by some epic stars and a killer sunrise. Ah, it was epic. I made a nice ol’ cup of oatmeal around 7 am and loaded that bad boy up with all the fixings, including some protein powder that I bought back in Cape Town because your girl needs those gains. After watch I hung out in the saloon for a bit with Laszlo and finished my fish ID book that was due in 3 days (academic scholar pop-off), and then took a quick little one-hour power nap. After my nap, Frida and I helped Benno make some bread for lunch after hearing him yell out, “I put a whole cup of sugar in the bread… is that right?” No, Benno… that is not right. So Frida and I stepped in and helped Benno pull through with some awesome rolls for lunch. If you asked him while we were in line to make our plates, he would tell you that he had awesome buns. Lunch was southwestern cheese toasties or something like that. It was some grilled cheese with caramelized onions and a bean salad on the side. Was pretty delish, but I think all of us aboard are beginning to get a bit of a belly ache from the amount of cheese in our diets after Saint Helena provisions accidentally gave us 20 kilos of cheese, but we’re all pushing through. After lunch, we had marine bio with Meg, where we learned about marine worms, Bryozoa, and mollusks. Pretty cool little creatures. After that class, we had leadership with Allie, which is personally my favorite class. Today, we did three different activities that were all really cool and interesting. The first one that we did was write a letter to ourselves as if we were on our deathbed, in which we wrote about what we loved about the lives that we lived and what we wished we could have changed or done differently. It was a really cool activity; personally, I love journaling and inner reflection, so I enjoyed this activity quite a bit. After we were done writing, people who were willing to share discussed some of the things that they admired about their lives and wished they could have changed. The second activity that we did was to read through some quotes from the Tao of Leadership and discuss which ones resonated with us the most. A common one that we all really appreciated was about letting go of our fears, knowing that we often learn the most about ourselves when we’re at rock bottom, and knowing that our happiness will come when we least expect it. It was a really great discussion that I personally loved. The last activity was a little personal evaluation of where we all were a month into the program. After class, most of us who weren’t on watch did some school work or hung out and played games in the saloon. I was on watch, so I went up on deck and did some watching of the boat and the massive ocean that surrounded us. Guys, in case you didn’t know, the ocean is huge. The waves today were awesome. It’s been fairly calm since leaving Saint Helena, and I was missing some waves. During my watch, Charlton, Kadan, and I all hit a little workout. We’ve gotten into a good little routine the past few days of getting a workout in (Kip, too), which has been great for the soul. Freddie, the time ward, had us set our clocks back an hour today after lunch since we are nearing Brazil. The screen next to me says we should be there in about six days, but anything goes out here. Because of the clock set back, by the time 6 pm rolled around, we were all pretty hungry. Today’s head chef was Will; his sous chefs were Alva and Christina. They cooked us up a yummy pasta bolognese. If you ask Will, he thinks it was an epic fail, but I think we all enjoyed it. Prep for dinner did involve a dump of a massive amount of pork overboard. Don’t ask me why. I don’t know the details. Squeeze tonight; I was SO excited about it. I have had this question for weeks and have been waiting for the day that I was finally skipper to ask everyone. The question was… You’re on death row and being killed tonight… what is your final breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Maddie timed the squeeze tonight, and it took us around 24 minutes to answer the question, but I think it was a hit. I always love any chance I get to learn more about all my new friends. The sunset tonight was so beautiful. Any night that involves cleaning up with a gorgeous sunset is a great night, in my opinion. But yeah, that brings us here. I was just called up to the bow because Freddie claimed to have seen dolphins, but I did not see them. Anyway, I heard from Allie that we are doing a movie night tonight in the saloon, so I’m excited to watch a little bit of that before I get up at 11:30 tonight to watch. Another great day here on Vela. Mom, Dad, Mocha, all my fam back home… I LOVE YA, and I’m definitely never coming home. This is too much fun. This is Crip signing off. See you all in 23 days when I will be skipper again, hopefully with ten working toes.

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