Location: N 4'28,159 E 73'41,900

Hi friends and family! Hopefully these blog posts are giving y’all a little insight on all the love and laughter aboard Vela over the past week, but if it isn’t clear, this experience is INCREDIBLE. I am still constantly in awe every morning that through all the sweat, sun-kissed, and soreness, everyone wakes up with a smile on their face ready for a whole new day of adventuring together. There are so many unique energies aboard, each one just as inspiring.We all have so much to learn from each other and there is so much more exploring to be done, both in our own minds and the planet around us.

We started the day with a relaxed morning, taking advantage of the paddle boards and surfboards we still had. Emily and Noah, both being experienced surfers, got the opportunity to surf some insane swell.. Wish I could’ve seen them myself but it sounds like they had a blast. The rest of us hung out around the boat; For those who didn’t skurf yesterday, they got some time today and the progress was so entertaining to watch. Mo and Dylan had a lot of hammock time, Tom taught a lot of people how to splice, and Trey got some guitar lessons from Noah (excited for more late night jam sessions from our talented guitarists, Noah and Robbie; feels like a front row seat to a live show). Cate and I went for a paddle and it was so surreal to float behind Vela and take it all in. She really is our own personal island, equipped for sleeping, cooking, class time, and all the fun.

Towards the afternoon, after we were freshly energized from an awesome fried rice meal, per Zak, Robbie, and Tom, we had an Oceanography class where we began to discuss scientific research papers, and the do’s and don’t’s to writing them. Although, at first, I thought a research project without internet would be extremely difficult, but I am now nothing short of excited for hands-on research. Myra, Gillian, Sierra and I will be using microscopes to examine plankton around the boat and if all goes well we will hopefully see some spectacular life that we don’t know too much about.

After dropping all our fun boards off :(, we started to prep for… OUR FIRST OVERNIGHT SAIL!!! So many people were willing to jump in and help, making passage prep really smooth. Sam was such a help, continuously coming to me for more things to do. As skipper for the day, I was so happy we got to sail because I learned so much about coordinating a passage, but I also didn’t know what half the items on the checklist meant. Our staff were so helpful teaching us all we need to know, and it makes me so optimistic that us students will be able to do it completely on our own in a few weeks time. Tonight our watch groups will be set in 3 hour increments, and we should arrive in Rasdhoo early in the morning. It’ll be a slow morning start so everyone has the opportunity to get enough sleep surrounding their watches, but once we are up and ready it should be a day of awesome SCUBA! The divers going for their Open Water Certifications, including myself, are having our first real open water dive, meaning we will no longer be able to stand up and breathe whenever we want:). Exploring new depths in a new area tomorrow should be incredible, and I am thrilled to see all the mysteries the underwater world has to offer.

I think I can speak for everyone in saying Vela is a home like no other, and we are all learning more than we could’ve dreamed. Every second we spend aboard is an opportunity to invest ourselves in the vessel, the crew, and all the places we go, and I’m appreciating all of it.

Signing off for now,

Carly

PS. Hi mama! Give Cleo a belly rub for me 🙂

Photos

1. Cate and Carly paddle boarding

2. Zak, Robbie, and Tom in the galley cooking fried rice

3. Dylan enjoying some hammock time in the sun

4. Trey starting to master some guitar tunes

5. Group shot in PFDs, getting ready for our overnight sail

6. Myra and Sam on the halyard for passage prep

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