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Location: Friwin, Raja Ampat

Dear family, friends, and acquaintances,

We began our morning traveling to yet another part of Raja Ampat: an area about two hours away called Friwin. While underway, we had Oceanography class, taking our second Oceanography quiz (which was returned to us just hours later. I love boat school!) Oceanography was followed by Seamanship class, where we all worked on our Nav Master skills with Gabe.

After lunch, we split into dive groups to explore the “most amazing coral we’ll have seen on the trip so far,” as promised by Tim. It did not disappoint. As we descended, we were met with layers upon layers of coral of all colors, shapes, and sizes. Even the spaces in between coral were packed with more species of coral. I felt like I was in a real-life Windows screen saver. Some even spotted Devil Rays by the reef, but more importantly, I saw my first Nemo fish (Clownfish) family! Immediately after the first group returned from their dive, we spotted dolphins a few boat lengths away. So we loaded back into the dinghies and raced over to see them. (Unfortunately, I was napping on the chart house at the time and missed the dinghy ride out to see them. Therefore I cannot accurately describe the absolute wonder and beauty of seeing the dolphins. Hope we all get another chance to see them!) When groups were not diving, many of us were just j chillin’ up on deck. Some were working on their second head chef menus, some studying for tomorrow’s Oceanography exam, some jumping and flipping off the bow, and others basking in long-anticipated cell service.

At sunset, the sky blazed pink and orange as D, today’s head chef, with Matt, and Carly, our sous chefs, served up an absolutely scrumptious dinner of breakfast burritos. As the night darkened, we all gathered at the sides of the boat, looking down to see small fishing gliding through the water that left behind glowing blue wakes of bioluminescence. After dinner, as we were beginning our nightly squeeze appreciation circle, a small flashing motorboat began to approach Argo. A man soon emerged from it and began to try to sell us his crabs. Unfortunately, we did not provide him with our business tonight and soon returned to our squeeze. We were planning on a night snorkel, but a nearby lightning storm had us call it off for tonight. It was amazing to see the night sky light up with flashes of lightning and hear the dim thunder. It was definitely a very distracted dinner and squeeze, but for all the best reasons.

Today was good.

Love to everyone I love at home, and a massive happy birthday to Lucia’s Dad!!