Location: Roseau, Dominica

Today started with an early wake-up at 6 am. The students have gotten so used to my “good morning; it’s an early wake, so we’ll just roll straight into passage prep” that within minutes they were sleepily taking off sail covers and stowing dive gear. Forty-five minutes later, we had raised anchor and were on our way.

Solo sail raises have become a bit of a thing lately, so Emma, Will, and Zach each threw their body weight and muscles into hauling a halyard all on their own. We had a good breeze, so even with just our three boom sails raised, we set off at a steady clip of 9 knots. To improve on an already great sail, two separate pods of dolphins visited us along the way. The breeze let up a bit as the day went on, but we managed to sail the entire way to Dominica.

Taking ownership of a much-needed boat appreciation, students scrubbed the deck, put sail covers on, tidied their bunk spaces, and wiped every surface down below. Though it always takes some energy to get BAs going, once the tunes are playing and everyone gets in their groove, they can be quite fun. Today’s BA culminated with four shipmates in a dingy scrubbing topside, each of them soaking wet, covered in soap suds, and Dasha managing to fall into the water twice. Shower time, accompanied by a rainbow and a glorious sunset, ensued.

For dinner, Sydney and Allie treated us with the most elaborate Mexican night yet, complete with guacamole, limes, and homemade salsa, which had been marinating for days. Rather than a squeeze question tonight, I decided to give a squeeze answer that everyone had to come up with a question for. “10 puppies” became the answer to “what did happen to all the forks?” “what is captain Ian going to let us get to the next port?” “what’s fuzzy?” “what’s better than one puppy?” Etc. To close out squeeze, Emma introduced us to a “veggie off” that Sinclair won by personifying an exuberant zucchini blossom. The deckies just rushed down into the chart house, laughing and chattering excitedly to tell me about the giant moth that Ian junior just saved and was then attacked by. A good day was had by all. Especially Sam, who not only did an outstanding job of the jib cover but also discovered why I always call him Samwow (derived from Chamwow, the shopping network name for the chamois used by sailors to wipe down boats).

Well, that’s the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, the boat’s good looking, and all the students are above average.

– Carolyn

P.S. Maman and Daddy miss you and ET will phone home tonight, I promise.