Location: Moyo, Sumbawa

Today has been a beautiful and melancholy day. We had a few of our first lasts, finished up the majority of our school work, and started writing our little cards to each other to express the appreciation, admiration, and love we have built for one another over these last 74 days. After a morning of oceanography exam and passage prep and an afternoon of class and schoolwork, we all jumped in the ocean (adorned with jellyfish) for our last ocean swims off of Vela. Ocean swims have become something so precious to me on this trip, a way to have my body move and feel weightless and free without all the sweat of moving around on the boat, so I definitely felt a little pang in my heart to know that today was the last time I will do a wonky little backflip off of Vela’s bowsprit. In the spirit of firsts and lasts, Margaret re-attempted her first backflip off the bowsprit and got super close (She did a little spin with a shriek), and Emma conquered her fear of heights and jumped off twice! After a final ocean shower, we all dried off and scampered down to the salon for our last species ID quiz for Marine Bio… and a surprise 6th species ID quiz where the species in need of identification were all of Sydney’s boyfriends! This was actually one of the most hilarious things I have ever seen. We had Sydney’s whole roster of boys up, with key ID features and hints to all of the funny stories Syd has shared with us about them over this trip. It was a marvel to behold. We all have favorites. Mine personally is Billy (New Zealand racecar driver who says NYOOOM when he drives the cars. Awesome)… I’m rooting for you!

Also, today I tried my hand at hairdressing… Perry and Kee became my very trusting test subject and victim, respectively. I gave Perry some nice layers (pictured below) and did Kee’s shave out… perhaps leading to a rogue chunk of hair falling out (allegedly). She still loves me anyway (as proven by the hug picture).

Before dinner, I was sitting in the cockpit with Kee, Larkin, Dray, Tom, Margaret, Smash, and Ben, thinking about how I am going to start writing my note to each of the people on this boat. It feels so strange to start thinking of goodbyes. This boat and these people have become my day-to-day life, and I can’t really comprehend that I will not start and end each day with these faces I have come to adore. Dinner featured a truly astounding sunset. One of the best. We all sat in the cockpit before filling our plates, listening to Kee’s music playing softly in the background and watching as the sun, a glowing red orb, sank into the sea. We shared a moment of quiet together, appreciating our last dinner at anchor. For squeeze, I asked each person to share a funny story or memory about the person sitting to their left. What ensued was a hilarious recap of the truly comedic moments we have shared as a crew. My personal favorite was when Dray twerked at me underwater while we were surfacing from a dive, causing me to laugh so hard that I used 500 psi.

After dinner, we finished up passage prep and embarked on our last passage from Moyo to Bali. This was our second student-led(swed) passage, skippered by yours truly with 1st mate Kyrgistan (Kirstyn) and navigator Periwinkle (Perry). After Barb did us the honor as engineer of turning on all the enginey things, we got underway. Helming through an anchor raise in fishing-boat-infested waters at night was a bit of a comfort-zone jump for me, but I got through it, and it was super fun! Such an adrenaline rush. We encountered a squish boat or two but emerged unscathed. I am writing this a little late, as we have arrived in Bali after a successful passage. I cannot have wished for a better or more supportive crew!

(Skipper)^2 Weez signing off!