Location: East London, South Africa

Today is the day that has been looming over the heads of our shipmates for the past few weeks: Navigation Master Exam Day! Eager to have it behind them, the first batch of students, Elle, Jack, Henry, and George, elected to begin their two-hour exam at 5:30 am. Although after the random watch hours of passage, 5 in the morning has started to seem a relatively normal time to be awake. Due to a total ban on the activity in the salon to allow for a quiet exam space, other students found new study spaces in the hallways and on deck. Today’s chefs Alexander, Charlotte, and Hugh cooked chocolate chip pancakes in total silence. It’s definitely been a quieter day than most.

To break up the day some, the students not taking the exam in that half of the day went to the East London Museum. The museum encompassed a large variety of exhibits; everything from Victorian furniture, African pottery, geology, taxidermied animals, and even a coelacanth (a fish alive during the dinosaur era that was long thought to be extinct.) It also had the world’s only Dodo egg. Students also indulged in the joy that is a hot coffee from the museum’s Coelacanth Cafe.

Since returning, students have used the late afternoon to run and do yoga on the dock or catch up on some napping. Or study for finals coming up, so Jules says. For dinner, we look forward to Chicken Enchilada Casserole.

– Carolyn

P.S. Maman, Daddy, Helene, and Alice, today was total Alabama weather, and no, I did not have enough warm layers. The locals keep promising it gets warmer. I can’t wait to see you in Capetown!! Love, Carolou