Location: Underway to Galapagos 1.0

Wow. Didn’t think I would be re-writing this blog. I wrote it ten days ago, AND it got deleted when the bloginator went down. Anyways, good thing I journal cause otherwise, I would have completely forgotten what happened ten days ago. All of the days become one big lump of watch, class, fun, and sometimes more fun. This blog is about to get really personal. Brace yourselves. So! The 4:00-8:00 watch was actually one of the best watches I have ever had. Magda and I had bow watch from 4:00-5:00 because we were in an area of high boat traffic. We talked about how Seamester is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and the people you meet here are your spontaneous adventure buddies for life. We talked about our emotions. Typical Magda-Gabby watch talks. Some may say the fact that we cry is a weakness. We argue that it is a strength. We know that if we need comfort, everyone on this boat loves us enough to provide support, which is an environment you can never compete with. When Kirby and Fargo came to relieve us at 5:00 AM, neither of us was ready to go, we could have stayed up there the whole watch.
Well, anyways, today was an Uh-OH day, dare I say. I am skipper, hence why I am re-writing the blog. I wanted to do individualized wake-ups like head scratches, though most everyone was awake by the time I came down. Lunch was fried rice mush – not that telling you this matters, but hey, maybe you care about what the Vela crew ate at 12:00 on March 19th, 2023. You know that class that just makes you go, gosh darn it? Well, yes, we had leadership today. Just kidding! Leadership is loads of fun.

After class, we got to swim in the SPECIFIC OCEAN! We did some super awesome backflips off the bowsprit. It is crazy to think we are the only people in the entire universe to have ever swum in this spot – it reminds you anything is possible. People were getting stung by jellyfish left and right! Carla wanted to go off the bowsprit with me. She wanted to just “fall off.” She kept explaining it as sitting over the edge and then slowly falling off – I did just this and SLAPPED into the water. My thighs were all red. Turns out she wanted us to either jump or flip off, yet somehow could only describe it as “falling.” Classic Carla. After swimming around, we all ocean shartied (shower party) and got power washed with the high-pressure freshwater jet hose.
Now, do you remember how I said this was an Uh-OH day? Well, here is where life on Vela as we know it begins to crumble. Tom sat us all down in the cockpit. There had been a loud bang before we went swimming. Dylan and Steph dove to go check it out. You already know what’s coming- yup – our propellor broke. An entire blade was missing. Dylan believes it’s a manufacturing error. We can’t continue sailing on like this. Our only option is to go back to Panama and get our propeller fixed. What does this mean when you’re in the middle of the ocean, a few days away from Galapagos? We cannot motor back the way we normally can, as this could potentially cause further damage. The speed vessel we once knew Vela as now has to race at one knot in the deep blue sea. It will take us many days to get back to Panama, and unfortunately, it is all dependent on the wind and weather, so there is no way of predicting how many days the many days will be. This is the second time this has ever happened in Seamester history. What does this mean for the rest of the program? Questions left unanswered, tears left undried, worries left unattended. There is so much uncertainty, but I think this curveball will be a positive in our lives, looking back at this trip. I think we grow most under high-stress (yet safe) situations. We know the staff is still going to do everything in their power to make this an amazing experience. Given our propellor situation, I would certainly use the word ‘experience’ to describe what turning around halfway out at sea is.
Between oceanography and leadership, Dua Lipa and Da Baby (Fargo and I ) made a guest appearance, levitating on the salon benches. Leadership class was run by Ben and Morana. We had to make skits about cultural acceptance – what is the better breakfast food: beans on toast or yogurt and granola? Can’t we just all get along and have beans on yogurt? After class, I shared two passion fruit with Ben. I can confidently say this is my new favorite fruit, although Dylan, unfortunately, reminded me that it’s like eating the brains out of a tiny person. After class, Ted ran to get Ben because his fishing line caught a dead bird; Ben is a murderer. Meanwhile, I was swing dancing in the galley with Ula listening to Owen’s music as he head cheffed in the kitchen. The galley and salon were so full of love and light. I danced up on deck with Kirby and Toria and then danced my way toward the cockpit, where I was brutally restrained by Steph, Allie, and Skyler. No matter how much they hold me down, they cannot stop the music in my soul. I feel the groove no matter what – even during a dead bird funeral. Should I have been working on my fish IDs today… yes. But bird-funeral dancing doesn’t come up often in one’s life, so take the opportunity when it is presented to you (my life advice to whoever dare reads this blog).
Owen’s spicy mac n cheese was apparently delicious. I took one bite and had to eat a bowl of lettuce because my spice tolerance was below zero. Everyone else seemed to enjoy it, so I guess that’s epic. Matt kept arguing that the cream of mushrooms was a can of mushrooms that had been creamed. Thus, whipped cream is whipped that has been creamed. You can whip, so does that mean you can mushroom? Can YOU mushroom? Questions were left unanswered, just like the itinerary for the rest of this trip. At dinner, I made an announcement about the head cleanliness and how I am going to go crazy if we did not all come together and make sure our heads stayed clean. I practiced my announcement on watch with watch team 1. They prepared me because, in all honesty, I HATE making announcements at dinner.

Safe to say, my announcement did not go as planned. My squeeze question was, “what is one word you can never spell.” Mine is definitely. If I have spelled it wrong here, there is no bother in trying to spell it correctly because that is my forever-incorrect word. Other popular words were “restaurant” and “Caribbean” (two Rs or two Bs??) After my announcement, everyone stood in solidarity with me, so we did our squeeze standing up – to this day, the only time this has happened on our trip. Anyways, I have run out of things to say because this day was indeed ten days ago, and my little brain can only go back so far. I hope life back at home is fantastic, for life on the boat is certainly that. I am so happy on this boat. I never want to leave these 31 amazing people. I’ll check in again in 21 (not 31!) days. In the meantime, work hard and play hard. Peace n LUV!