Location: Vela

I’d like to start this blog by saying I have not read any of our other posts, so apologies for any overlap.
These first days of passage have tested some of us more than others. Speaking personally, it has been difficult not to be in control of our sleep schedules. Watches are 4 hours on and 8 hours off but are not at consistent times each day. This inconsistency, paired with a fair amount of seasickness, has made it challenging to get into a routine. This phenomenon – however challenging – has made all of us infinitely more appreciative of sleep and downtime. Sleep has somewhat become a hot commodity on Vela. Last night some of us had to choose whether or not to heed the call of blissful unconsciousness or study for our marine biology exam the next day. Adjusting to our new environment made it so that most were either sleeping or “resting the eyelids” for most of the day. The general sentiment after the exam today was one of relief and contempt – not too shabby.

More notably, we turned the engine off today and got our first feel for some sailorly wind harnessing. The ship feels so much slower without the constant driving force of the engines; we are also noticeably rockier. These feels are backed up by cold hard facts: our speed is approximately half of what it was with the engines (7.0kn vs. 3.5kn). Helming the boat (as we all have done by now) is also a bit trickier without our mechanical advantage of 450 horsepower. We all have to pay more attention to the direction of the wind to make sure a sudden change won’t swing the sails around and save some the trouble of walking the plank.

Today was also the day we said goodbye to no-mohawk-Jack and hello to Jack-with-mohawk. Our great glorious Captain Tom did the honors of this transformation. (Not to worry, friends and family of old Jack, he is loving the look and suffered no major personality change from looking so cool)

A more personal note to my family: I love you all and miss you dearly (more so the cats, but also all your smiling faces). Everyone here is wonderful and unique; I have learned so much already from each and every one of them. I have not seen my lunch twice as of yet, so all preventative ginger stockpiles are very much appreciated. Thank you for sending me on this amazing adventure; I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Some messages from other students:
From Maggie: “Tell them Im awesome, oh, and I love you, family.”
From Emma: Sending love home <3 Nani
From Nora: The three-stack Cabin is the best one
From Romeo: “Change the world” (said in a weird voice) + sending love to family and Katie
From Lexi: “Dear Mom and twin, I am still alive.”
From Sierra: “Love you guys. Please check in with Lela’s family tomorrow if you get the chance.”

Also, my name is Not Brabara. It is Barbara.