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Location: North Atlantic

The 12-4 watch is not always the most pleasant. Being woken at 2330 after only a few hours’ sleep and coming on deck to lively seas can be disorientating and disorientating. This morning, however, was a pleasure. For the last few days, our lives have been dominated by a high-pressure system to the North-East, so overnight, we have been motoring over flat seas, with no need of oilies or even jumpers. After receiving our briefing from the previous watch, Jessie (team leader for the day) assigned Watch Team 1 their trick at the helm and timings for the above and below deck checks. The watch passed with the usual mix of lookout, coffee making, and conversations, with the added bonus of a meteor shower jumping between the stars. With a bit over an hour left, the slightest of sickle moons rose above the horizon, followed shortly after by the sun making itself apparent, slowly turning off the stars to the east. At four, we were relieved by Watch Team 2, leaving them to enjoy the sunrise.

By 0900, the vibe onboard was very different. Watch Team 3 had got dressed up in clothing not traditionally assigned to their gender in order to celebrate Brianne’s birthday. I don’t see the correlation, but hey, spirits were high, and it was a beautiful morning! By the time I arose, Alexa was braiding everyone’s hair, and Brianne was creating a surprising amount of confusion in Calum’s clothes. Unfortunately, the breeze which had been joining us in the early morning and lasting for the day would not be coming today, and so we continued under the engine.

For the afternoon, the students had a busy time with lessons below, leaving Captain Tom and me to stand the watch and discuss the advantages of a series drogue in heavy weather and other such boat chat. When the deck was slowly beginning to fill again, a small pod of pilots whales crossed our stern, too brief for all but those in the cockpit to see, try as Savanna might to raise everyone with calls of ‘dolphins!’. Calum, Darius, and Alexa cooked up a storm for supper, and Tom, tired of the engine noise, put her in neutral and let us drift in peace, enjoying pizza rolls and the gold outline of clouds over a red horizon as the sun said goodbye for the day.

Photo 1: Brianne’s birthday celebrations! From L to R, Leoni, Courtney, Brianne, Alexa, Ines and Anna wearing the lad’s clothes!
Photo 2: Cam, James, Jack, and Ale wearing the girl’s favorite pieces!
Photo 3: Elan, Ale, and Spencer hoping for the pilot whales to return
Photo 4: Supper at sunset