Location: 36 26.2' N 004 06.9' E

Today was a wonderfully busy Tuesday packed with classes, passage prep, and even a bit of sailing. The chefs were already hard at work in the galley making french toast when I began wake-ups for everyone else. Rumor has it they got up at 5:45 to bring us a lovely hot breakfast this morning. I chose the classic tune “It’s A Great Day To Be Alive” by Travis Tritt to wake everyone up to, which was met with mixed reviews, but I find it a great way to start any day. It was a bit of a slow start at first, and with the pressure of getting breakfast out on time, the chefs decided to cook all of the French toast at once in the oven to make a sort of breakfast casserole which actually turned out to be a hit.

Afterward, everyone joined Shona for a leadership class on the dock, and then we jumped straight into passage prep. Getting off the dock was a bit of a process as the wind had started picking up by midday, blowing us directly onto the seawall. It took a little trickery with the lines and some repositioning of fenders, along with a helpful nudge from our beloved rescue tender Tia, but we eventually made a clean escape and once again headed out to open water. As always seems to be our luck. The wind was not in our favor to start. As soon as we had the mainsail, both staysails, and both jibs set, the wind all but died, and Vela scraped along at barely three knots while those who could stomach the rolling sea went down below to attend Marine Biology class with Dylan and learn about sponges. Those who were feeling sick up on deck got some temporary relief from their mild misery when a pod of 20 or more dolphins with a few babies following their mothers came to surf the waves next to us for a while.

By the time class was over, a moderate breeze had returned, and Vela was finally gliding along at around six knots, but the joy of finally having a great sail was offset by the slight feeling of stress in the air as the shipmates either proofread their Oceanography papers to make some final tweaks or rushed to write as much as humanly possible by the 6 pm deadline while maybe wishing they had started a few days earlier. Once the deadline came and went and dinner was served, we enjoyed our daily ritual of the squeeze where there were many appreciations for finally finishing a big assignment and feeling like a weight had been lifted. The squeeze question asked everyone to describe a big adventure that they would like to undertake in life, which led to some pretty interesting answers. Goals ranged from backcountry skiing trips and hang gliding to antarctic expeditions, but I think Joe may be the most ambitious with his plan to visit the ultimate adventure destination… the Moon. All in all, it was a very jam-packed yet smooth day, and we are all excited to see the Rock of Gibraltar on the horizon tomorrow morning!

Until next time,
A few shots of our sunset dinner sail


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