Location: Underway to Bonaire

Our third and final day started bright and early for watch team 3. The best watch team. We woke up at 4 am, running on a few precious hours of sleep, the stars were out, and we were sailing. It is our last day at sea until we reach the shores of Bonaire. Excitement is building as days of sea sickness, long lectures, and sleepless nights come to a close. Watching the sunrise from behind the clouds while sipping on a hot cup of tea is an experience many of us will never forget. As we kept sailing downwind, we started to lose speed, and we needed to lower the jib and the flying jib to then get the engine running. Watch team 3 ended our watch, lowering the flying jib as watch team 1 woke up to take over and take down the jib.

As the clock approached 0900, a flock of birds circled a patch of ocean. As we got closer and investigated, a humpback whale was spotted. The best term I could find was that it was “blowholing.” Unfortunately, watch teams 2 and 3 were fast asleep and missed out on the opportunity to see the whale. Watch team 1 had a fun game where they tried to see who could do a boat check the fastest. Ted had a time of 7 minutes and 4 seconds. I was sleeping from 0800 to 11:15 and then had to wake everyone else up. Lucky for me, everybody had started their day. Lake made a great stir fry with the help of captain Tom and Toria, probably one of the healthiest meals I’ve ever had. After lunch, we cleaned up the boat. While everybody else was busy scrubbing the decks and cleaning the heads, I was at the helm. At 13:30, we started our lectures. Dylan gave us an incredible lecture on food webs, basics of (marine) biology, and interesting things that unfortunately went in one ear and out the other due to the long nights and hard work. After marine biology, we had our first student leadership presentation.

Skyler and Carla delivered an awesome PowerPoint on Introduction to Leadership, a very important skill. We learned about how leaders can be anyone, leadership is a group effort, and leadership needs strong relationships. Leaders share values even when their leadership styles may differ. We also learned that followers are not called followers but rather participants because everyone brings something to the table. LEADERSHIP! We then debated who we thought were good leaders; our three contestants were Captain Jack Sparrow, Lord Voldemort, and Ben. After some awesome convincing by a great leader Ted, we settled on Lord Voldemort being the best leader due to his patience, perseverance, and adaptability.

After class, watch team 3 went back up on deck to finish their 1400-1800 watch, Ben and I talked about college, fishing, and skiing while others on watch did friendship bracelets, and we all thought about some cool riddles. After watch, I finished and submitted my leadership essay while head chef Lake finished up dinner. We had enchiladas and rice. After dinner, my question of the day was, “If you were stranded on a deserted island but could save one condiment, what would it be?” I said sweet chili sauce, and my appreciation for the day was the sunrise early this morning on watch. Then I came down to the chart house to write the blog, and my good friend Carla helped me outa great way to end the day. We expect to reach Bonaire at 0400. Right now, we are motoring at a speed of 9 knots. Watch team 3 will be the primary team on watch once we reach land, and then tomorrow is a regular day on the dock. With wake up at 0800, we all get an extra hour of sleep.