Location: Underway to Devil's Island

Dear Friends and Family,
Special shoutout to staff member/ tutor/ adult friend Ben’s Mum: Happy Birthday!!

Today was a very special day because we are now officially in the Northern Hemisphere!! That’s right. We crossed the equator!! The day started off with watch team three (Amanda C., Ben, Katie, Emma, Tim, Max, Nolan, and Ellie (me)) on the 12 am to 4 am. Followed by watch team one (Elder Gabe, Peter, David, Gabe G., Brina, Nat, Will, and Elisabeth) having the 4 am to 8 am watch. Today is filled with birthdays because today is also Will’s birthday, so to celebrate it watch teams one and three sang him Happy Birthday before watch team three was relieved. Shoutout to Will’s twin sister: Happy birthday!! However, watch team one’s watch was nothing close to normal because, at 7:11 am, we were all huddled around the binnacle in the cockpit, watching as the latitude coordinates made their way down to zero. I would also like to add a quick side note and say that Will calculated that we would cross the equator on the exact day and time 58 hours and 12min in advance. Shortly after, the Court of Neptune summoned the pollywogs, who were dressed in their finest outfits, to sacrifice something to the court to ensure a safe passage across the equator. The Court of Neptune was satisfied with some of the sacrifices, but if they were not, you had to pick a performance out of a hat and do it until the court was pleased. The sacrifices that were approved usually involved shaving some or all of the hair off your head. Emma, Beau, Peter, Elisabeth, and Tim were the people who shaved their heads completely.

On the other hand, I wanted to sacrifice the sleeves on my shirt, but that was not satisfactory, so I ended up eating out of the mystery bucket. Max had to do a crab dance, Nolan had to bob for apples, and David had to dance with flippers and goggles on. After some shaving hair and more performances that pleased the Court of Neptune, the celebration of crossing the equator came to a close. The Pollywogs had officially become Shellbacks. Watch team two (Claire, Amanda S., Audrey, Zoe, MG, Elene, Gabe D., Nick, and Beau) took over for the 8 am to 12 pm watch. Then lunch rolled around, and today we had Elder Gabe as head chef, so we had okonomiyaki, which is Asian cabbage pancakes. After lunch, we had our Oceanography presentations that were about our recent lit reviews. My presentation was on Jellyfish Blooms, Elene’s was on Marine Tourism, and Audrey’s was about Sea turtles; after a couple more presentations e had Leadership class. After classes, we had some downtime before dinner; which was ma po tofu. To bring our day to an end, watch team three has the 8 pm to 12 am watch. We are estimated to arrive at Devil’s Island in about four days if this wind keeps up. Hope everyone is well at home. We miss you all!! Now for some wise words from Elene about her experience today.

Elene, how was your day today?: it was very busy. I cut a lot of hair and did my oceanography presentation. It was good, though. I enjoyed starting a subjective movie, Vampire Academy, with Ellie and Audrey.
What was your favorite sacrifice to watch bestowed to the Court of Neptune today, and what did you sacrifice?: I think that my favorite sacrifice was Nick’s interpretive dance about a sailor’s journey, and I sacrificed some of my hair and am letting Max and Nat shave designs in the side of my hair.

For a final question for our special Birthday Boy, Will.
How was your birthday today?: Today was a splendid day, started off with a smashing time at the equator. I cut my hair shorter than it has ever been in my 19 years on this planet. This day was made by everyone, and I hope that everyone who is reading this has a lovely day. “Slay the day away”