Location: Underway to Richards Bay

I began my day with a wake-up from Ava in her speed goggles, standing over my bed smiling at me to tell me I had watch in 30 minutes. I was thrilled to feel from my bed up in the Foc’sel that the sea state had significantly calmed down from the day before. I rolled out from under the soft ski jacket that I used to sleep on rather than to keep me warm and gave her a little wave to let her know I was awake. To help the morning start on a nice note, I peeled open a face mask and smoothed it over my face, ignoring the thought of all the joking comments I’d receive as soon as I went up on deck. The 12 pm-2 pm watch is one of my favorites because everyone is waking up together for lunch and it comes right after the big sleep when you’re done with the 12 am-4 am watch, which is also one of my favorites. Zoe was preparing a toast bar for lunch as head chef. Everyone always gets excited when there’s freshly made bread involved with meals. Everyone enjoyed lunch, and after cleanup, we had marine bio and leadership. Marine bio was the usual, Steph sitting on top of the fridge in the galley and using her ‘teaching voice,’ which is really just her yelling to teach us the day’s lecture.

Leadership with Smash is always a test of character… literally, we test our character and personality types. I’m a beaver, which means I like things a certain way, and I need to learn that it’s ok when things change. I know my dad is looking at my mom right now thinking, “Yep.. that’s our girl”, fortunately and unfortunately. The other groups people were broken up into were the golden retrievers, the otters, and the lions. I love taking these personality and character quizzes because they’re kind of like horoscopes but for your leadership style and personality type. You can see the results, and they’re vague enough to interpret in different ways but specific enough for a diverse group of people to fall under the same category, when in reality, like the beaver group today, they are not very similar when it comes to those things. After leadership, I wasn’t on the 2 pm-6 pm watch, so I had free time, or as I like to use it, nap time. Today, though, I decided to go crazy, stay awake, and be productive, so rather than sleep, I laid in bed and watched the Princess Diaries. To be fair, I did work on my species log book while I was watching, but that’s literally looking at a picture book of fish and other strange creatures and documenting your interactions with said species. My parents would also be looking at each other right now, saying, “Wow, what a nerd, she must love that,” and they would be right.

I am a nerd, and I do love it. Mom and Dad, you’ll be thrilled to hear that in this section of my logbook, I will be talking about the crown of thorns starfish. For those who don’t know, this is a sensitive topic in my family, given that the last time we were all in the ocean together, we saw one. I proceeded to pull everyone to the side and give a 15-minute biology/ecology/sustainability lecture on this singular starfish. Ruby finished her watch and came to join me in our house up in the Foc’sel. She’s also a top bunker and is right across from me. One of my favorite things is when she and I are both reading or doing stuff in our own spaces but together. It’s especially fun in the red light when everything else is dark.
In the photos, you will find my watch team trying to signal to me there’s another boat through the porthole as I’m writing this, my engine room selfie from one of my earlier boat checks, and the gorgeous sunset that Siena claims to have seen the notoriously elusive ‘green flash’ after. I was there… I didn’t see anything, so I think she’s just craaaaaaaazy.
To everyone’s family, I’m speaking for them when I say they all miss you tons and are sending love from who knows where (I know where because I’m looking at the latitude-longitude reading of exactly where we are hehe).
To my fam, hey, shawties miss ya lots, but I’ll be back to calling you every free second I have in no time when we get to Richard’s Bay. Give Tai and Milo my love.