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Location: 24 00.52'N 32 15.023'W

I’ve done a lot of sit-ups in my life, but before this, none of them had been on a rocking deck at 1 am with a trail of bioluminescence in our wake. There’s a certain strategy to timing the upward motion of the sit-up with the heeling of the boatone that I haven’t quite mastered. After six days at sea, though, Watch Team 1 is still grinding out the reps to win absolutely nothing but boat-wide bragging rights in Brianne’s Atlantic Crossing Challenge.

It’s been another day of motoring on Vela. After a productive 12-4 am watch (I was inspired by Arden’s effortless 1600 reps and did 650), Watch Team 1 got the morning to sleep. For the past few days, we’ve had a slight sea state and clear weather, but I woke up to dogged hatches and reports of rain. Rain means that the cabins take on a slightly musty stench of unwashed laundry and sweat, a smell that resists any air freshener. Still, rain is a good change of pacewe’re hoping that any sacrifices to Poseidon pay off and that we get good winds so that we can turn off the motor and sail for the next leg of our trip.

For now, though, our entire days are governed by four hours of watch and afternoon classes, sandwiched between lunch and dinner. It’s sometimes a relentless cycle, but it makes the small variations stand out even more: Arden feeding me couscous at the helm, plotting our position and watching us inch towards the Caribbean, and getting to braid Freddie’s hair every other day. The big picture doesn’t change at allwe’ll be staring at an open horizon for the next two weeksbut it’s the small things that we appreciate, at least until we run out of snacks and have to eat Joe!

Shoutout to my family at home, especially my dad, for supporting me on this adventuredon’t forget that you have four children, not three! It feels weird to think about Thanksgiving without you.

Cheers,
Clara

Photo 1: Our Nav Master course has taken a turnJack has been sacrificed to the chart gods.
Photo 2: Grace: “I’m here to drive us to Canada,” with Bubba and James as her henchmen.
Photo 3: Some watches are harder to get through than others. Above, Sam on the struggle bus during the 8-12
Photo 4: An engine room self-timer from Watch Team 1’s favorite boat checkers.
Photo 5: The best chart-plotting partners clearly wear matching headbands like Joe and Emerson.

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