Location: Komodo National Park
The day started for most at 7 am as I walked through the cabins playing gamelan, which is traditional Balinese music, courtesy of Gabe, the head chef. Jack, Zack, Margo, and Amelia helped me wake the stragglers up with metal plates and spoons, the military wake-up song Reveille, Bop to the Top from High School Musical, and just plain pokes to the shoulder. It was quite fun, despite the numerous glares thrown our way. Gabe treated us to a breakfast of Johnnycakes/grits. He definitely planned on making grits the entire time and totally didnt attempt to make Johnnycakes. Many politely opted for boatmeal instead of the grits, which tasted heavily of nutmeg. After cleanup, we learned about tides in Oceanography with humans. The PSCT students recognized a lot of the materials as we were preparing for a tides exam with Lolo.
Some of the crew and staff went ashore for a clinic, boat parts, and provisioning trip. When they were gone, we had a delicious lunch of Tom Kha and Eggplant, accompanied by Bangkoang. This root vegetable tastes kind of like a mix between apple and turnip. Everyone helped fill in for missing people during the cleanup as we daydreamed about going ashore ourselves. Once cleanup was finished, there was a lull while Amanda C and Margo took trash ashore. Rykleigh and I braided challah for dinner and started the gluten-free challah. Once Margo returned, Gabe started seamanship. We learned how to correct compass measurements for deviation and how to create a deviation card. While we plotted and struggled with simple addition and subtraction, Amanda C hung up bananas and put some mangos and passionfruit in the hammocks. Our stomachs rumbled, and we speculated what other goodies Lolo might bring back.
After class, we hung out at the chart house. Some of us played Farkle (thanks again to Hus mom), and others thought about making plans together after the semester ends. Most of our ashore friends got back from the clinic, joining us for a lazy afternoon. Should we have been studying? Probably. But lazing about in the shade of the tarp with a light breeze was just too wonderful for productivity to be even vaguely tempting. As the sun got low, Lolo returned from provisioning, bearing coconut water and crunchy fried treats. We tucked into dinner, Cholent and Challah, which was incredibly delicious. My squeeze question today was: What life skill have you not learned, or have you struggled with? For example, I cannot ride a bike, ice skate, or whistle. Some popular answers included time management, skiing, and reading analog clocks.
During cleanup, I was interrupted by taking everyones temperatures to help Lolo pull up the anchor. Earlier in the day, our hydraulics hose connecting to the starboard anchor burst, leaving us to pull up the anchor manually. Tim devised a solution of connecting a line to the anchor chain with a hook, wrapping the line around a bollard and through a shackle stabilized by more lines, then pulling in the line with a winch. We were able to pull up the anchor 3 meters at a time, with two people on the winch at a time. Many of us rotated through, getting a great workout in the process. Thats right. We were not just j chillin sessile this evening. We engaged in physical activity like responsible human beings – hope that makes you proud, dad. After a couple of rounds, I joined Sydnei and Lolo at the bow, helping protect the deck and feed the chain back into the anchor locker while keeping an eye out for the anchor below the surface. Around 11, we finally got the anchor up, allowing us to return to our dugong anchorage. After tidying up, we realized the entire process had taken four hours! It was a long end to a relaxing day, and after a glorious freshwater shower, I crash-landed in my bunk at 11:30.
Hanging out on the chart house
Sid, Chloe, D, and Rykleigh at sunset
Amelia, Sydnei, and a happy mango
Me and Lolo working away on the winch
Gordon and Amelia working hard