Location: Underway to Mauritius

Life underway was, as usual, today, save for a few events that made the day a little different than the rest. We had our first Emergency First Responder (EFR) class, and Marina taught us how to assess and respond to a situation needing first aid. We learned how to identify different distress situations a patient may have and which methods to apply. CPR was covered extensively, and we had hands-on practice as well. We will have another class on EFR on Thursday and a test when we get to Mauritius to get our certification. The fire alarm was triggered in the afternoon, and we went over the fire drills for our respective watch teams. Many of us joined new watch teams since Cocos Keeling Islands and had to be re-drilled on the different roles that were assigned to our watch team in the event of a fire. During the fire drill, the Captain called for a Man Overboard situation while fighting a fire, and we carried out those drills as well. We were all relieved that we knew our roles in the event of such emergencies and had the added security that a competent crew had our backs if something goes awry. Our chef of the day, Sam C., gave a hearty meal of fried rice in the afternoon for lunch and tasty Pad Thai (Thai-style stir-fried noodles) for dinner. In celebration of Annie’s birthday today, our Marine Biology Professor and friend, Carolyn, prepared a delicious cake for dessert.

The fifth day of our expected fifteen-day passage across the Indian Ocean has passed, and day 43 has come to a close. All of us have earned our sea legs, and seasickness is now a thing of the past. The 1.5 x 2 x 6-foot bunk that I thought was a little tight at the beginning is now more spacious than I had ever imagined it could be. Human beings’ ability to adapt is indeed amazing. Unfortunately, with adaptability comes a sense of normality. After being on the boat for so many days, somehow, this routine of classes, eating, keeping watch, and sleeping is now the norm, and life before seems rather strange. I find that I have to remind myself that this journey we are undertaking is indeed an amazing one. Crossing the Indian Ocean is not something that many people have the opportunity to do, let alone have classes, handle the boat and sails, gain qualifications for various skills, meet people from all over the world, and have a wonderful time along the way. We have to be constantly aware that we are truly blessed to be having such a voyage, and we should appreciate it to the fullest.