Location: Sardinia

August 18th will forever be remembered as the busiest relaxed birthday ever. Happy birthday Syd!

First, let’s go back to last night. After a late evening diving, all go to bed tired and content from their marine life sightings. Then, 0045 rolls around. The wind picked up, raving clouds streamed the skies, and powerful blasts of hot, sandy air hit us while at anchor. By now, our second time experiencing this, we were well prepared, Zoe and Daniel alerted Tom, staff came up on deck and the anchor was brought back in while the engine kept us in place. After a hectic few minutes, we were able to anchor again and witness the sad sight of a fellow sailboat that did not have such an effective watch and landed ashore. They eventually got towed out, a shorter night for them than for us.

Second, after such an eventful night, wake-ups were scheduled for a blissful 0815 with banana bread breakfast. I learned that on average we eat two Nutella jars a day, and wanted to share this fact in the blog title today. This was the true beginning of Sydney’s birthday bash. She was welcomed into the age of almost all things legal with happy birthday signs and a dance party of her favorite songs. And as all good stories go, threes are more memorable than twos; we had another big gust of wind, so we decided to move anchorage during breakfast. After albeit a pretty late one, we had some free time to write end-of-semester thank you cards, study for oceanography and PSCT, and to complete our final oceanography projects.

Lunch was a delicious curry by Sage and their chef team of Gigi and Calum. Advanced divers had their last certification dive with Carolyn, which went amazingly well, as they say. Other students were busy doing boom swings off the cap rail, which Sydney says was a great part of her b-day. The elected student leaders for the passage to Rome were busy discussing what was to happen, with navigators in the chart house and Annie in the engine room.

Then, we finally made it to dinner. It was a beautiful selection of burrito toppings laid out on the chart house for all to choose from. We have been well fed this semester, but with that came a huge amount of canned fruit. Max and Amanda thus came up with a fruit-eating contest. Organized events were peach plunge, pineapple, x, and y. The winners were: Max, Carolyn and Dylan, Kayla and Kayla again. Special awards were given for spectacular performances by speed-eating Duncan, flying Abi, food juicer Mal and all-in Natalie. Overall, a great way to eat our excessive amounts of fruit as any dropped HAD to be eaten.

After cleanup of the event, we had a squeeze with today’s question being: What educator had the most impact on you? Sydney, of course, got a happy birthday song to end squeeze. We then had actual dinner cleanup and proceeded to have our Marine Management and Climate Change oceanography quiz. By then, it was 2100, but we still pushed forward with an oceanography review for tomorrow’s exam on our last three sections. We celebrated the end of both tiresome but beneficial testing periods with birthday brownies and sprinkles.

It is now 2240, and we all have a big day tomorrow. Over the past few days, we all have, in our own way, been thinking about the end of the trip and our amazing time all together. We have had such good moments, and I truly believe we have enjoyed (almost let’s be honest) moment of it. Thanks for following along on our journey across the Atlantic and in the Mediterranean, bientt!