Location: Machico, Madeira

Coming up on deck this morning to see three distant islands silhouetted in the sunrise was a great way to start my morning. For the other people who missed the sunrise, getting an extra 40 minutes of sleep was beneficial, especially since it was the first night we’d done anchor watch for two weeks. Waking up to the smell of banana bread wafting from the galley got almost everyone excited for breakfast; luckily, the banana bread was as delicious as it smelt. Along with the scrumptious banana bread, we got beautiful views of Madeira’s mountains and rocky coastline since we were moving the boat to a different anchorage for a short time so we could get cleared through customs. After breakfast, we rolled into clean up, where everyone did their jobs in a timely manner, but for me, while I had no job to do, I helped drop the anchor since we had arrived at the location where we would be able to get cleared so that we could go onshore tomorrow. Getting through customs almost went off without a hitch, except one person’s passport wasn’t stamped when they arrived in Italy, which was a small problem, but it got solved. While our captain was off at the customs office we had oceanography, where we learned about air-sea interactions like how winds form, the Coriolis effect, and how the earth’s rotation affects things that are not fixed to the earth’s crust. Once oceanography was over, we did boat-to-bed and a mini boat appreciation. During that process, the resident troll on board was rinsing the booms and got a lot of the people handling the sails on deck wet with the mist from the hose. While people were up on deck cleaning and re-flaking sails that we did a bad job of flaking yesterday because of high winds, the chefs worked hard on building your own ramen bowl. As we were finishing up boat-to-bed, a ship that looked very similar to a pirate ship sailed by, and that came with jokes of us commandeering their ship and sailing off with their boat or vice versa.

After boat-to-bed was finished and Calum got back, we weighed anchor and started the 1-2 hour motor back to our original anchorage. As the anchor was getting raised, the lunch was getting gopher’ed up on deck from the galley. The gophers had to goph’ up lots of different sized pots and pans for the build-your-own ramen bowls, which was another bangin’ meal. As we began the lunch clean up, we could tell we were about to get rained on, so people either put their foulies on or were just wearing a swimsuit. When cleanup was coming to a close, we were approaching our original anchorage. It started to drizzle on us, so after the dish pit was done, many people gathered below to avoid the rain, but a few people stayed on deck to help drop the anchor. After the anchor was dropped, we all gathered in the salon to do an activity that all GxG attendees do with black and white postcards. In this activity, you have a bunch of postcards laid out across the salon, and we are given prompts, and we are supposed to relate with the cards according to the prompt. Following this activity, we did a lab where we got to snorkel around the bottom of the cliffs on the coast, which was super cool; we got to see many different organisms like groupers, sea urchins, some weird-looking crabs that looked like spiders, and sea stars. We swam around the base of the cliffs for around an hour. This made the majority of us quite chilly because the air and water were cold. While we were out doing the lab, some people who stayed behind took on cooking duty, and they got the dinner of chicken noodle soup and white bread rolls about half an hour after we got back from the snorkel. The bread rolls were the best bread made by a bread-maker yet, props to Lindsay. The chicken noodle soup was delicious and an amazing way to end the day.

P.S. Sophie did her laundry today. She’s not stinky anymore.