Location: Panama City, Panama

Hello to all of our lovely readers on my second blog! Also, happy St. Paddy’s Day today, which is fun. I’ve been skipper on Valentine’s Day, and now this, I’m just getting all the holidays. Let’s get on with it, though. Started off my morning earlier than I normally would prefer because I had the last anchor watch of the night from 4:30-6 AM with Cosmo. My first time having that watch as well, and we had the anchor alarm go off at one point, too, signifying that we’d gone out of the area where the ship needed to be, but Tom was able to quickly solve that. Once it hit 6, my watch was over, and I took the hour I had free before I needed to wake people up to shower. Damn, that water was cold, and it would not get warm, but it definitely woke me up. After taking care of all that, I went and spent some time with the chefs in the salon before breakfast time.

I had to catch up on my journaling anyways, so it was good to have some free time. Wake-ups were at seven like usual, and I played Walking on a Dream by Empire of the Sun; I needed to start the vibes off right today. Breakfast, made by our lovely chef of the day, Toria, and her sous-chefs Daphne and Cosmo, was pumpkin bread, maple bacon, and a side of cut-up melon, mangoes, and strawberries. All deliciously perfect. Ended up snagging some seconds of the pumpkin bread because it had turned out so well. We all had a lovely breakfast, and during our announcements for the day, we heard some people yipping and shouting, and we turned to see some commercial divers jumping into the water from their boats. They also kept up the energy once they were in the water. Who knows what they were really doing, but it was pretty funny. After all that, we had our normal clean up, where I was offered even more pumpkin bread to finish off, just because there wasn’t really enough worth saving. I ended up eating it “on deck,” as in we can’t eat down below, but I’d popped my head up through one of the hatches in the chart house to see why my name was called and then proceeded to eat the pumpkin bread with my head just barely over the ledge of the hatch. Definitely looked weird, but hey, it worked.
After all of the clean up, we had a bit of time to do more of a personal clean-up. One point made to us was that any trash we’d have left over during passage, we’d have to stuff ourselves, so I proceeded to take apart all the snacks I had and just put them into bags that they all coordinated with. It took a bit, but it ended up being quite funny to show people, especially my chocolate bag. Helped out a bit more with general boat clean up, then we had an Oceanography class, and we got back our quizzes which we’d done a couple of days ago. Did somewhat well, but I’m definitely going to review more for the next one that’s coming up. Then we had a normal Oceanography class which went well. Then it was lunchtime. For lunch, we had a cucumber salad which was quite tasty. There was also a side of grapes which I was super stoked about.
Lunch over and clean up accomplished. It was time for me to take my Nav Master exam. I was in the last group of people to take it, and I was stressing for most of the morning, but thankfully once I got down to doing it, I felt pretty confident in all that I needed to do. We worked on that for 2 hours, then finally, time was called, and we were free to go. I went up on deck, and the first thing I learned was that people had been able to go and get ice cream, and I felt so betrayed because now that I was up on deck, it was too late to go get some because we had to leave. Also, for context, while I was below deck taking my exam, Vela had moved to a refueling dock, so we weren’t anchored for a bit. What made it even worse was that people kept talking about how good it was too, which didn’t help my case very much. I also heard later in the day that before we’d left the dock, Charlie’s life was being put on the line, apparently because Vela had to leave immediately. Charlie was the only one on deck at the moment who could talk to this man in Spanish, and lots were discussed about him maybe being in trouble if we didn’t leave soon. Thankfully all is well with Charlie, but certainly a very strange experience.
We headed back out of the dock to anchor, and once all was settled, we had a Marine Bio review class for the test we had tomorrow. That definitely felt helpful, and it was good to review as a group again. Going to make sure to go over a bit more of it again tomorrow. Once that was over, it was pretty much dinner time which was deconstructed spring rolls, so pretty much all of the toppings that could be in a spring roll without the fried outside. It was delicious. It was noodles with lots of toppings to choose from as well as some peanut sauce which had been made, which I adore. I went back for seconds and thoroughly enjoyed all of my food.
For squeeze, I asked people what was something that they grew up believing, either told to by their parents or they just learned themselves, that they eventually learned wasn’t true. That ended up bringing out lots of funny stories from people, which is what I was hoping for. We had a beautiful sunset to accompany all of dinner and squeeze. Then it was time to start our passage to the Galapagos. We all worked together to raise the main and forward staysail. Then it was time for watch team 2 to start off the watches for the passage. Today was quite a good day, and hopefully, this passage goes smoothly and that. The Galapagos is as amazing as we’ve heard.