Location: Underway to Madeira

Hello there!!!!

For watch team 1, the day started off with a fire alarm at the ripe hour of 6 am.

Everyone except for the people on watch team 3 was abruptly awoken, and most of us were very disoriented. Thanks to the drills, and a capable team, the response all around was great, all of the fire extinguishers were mobilized, and almost all of the Gumby suits and type 1 life jackets were brought up to the cockpit! It turns out that we had broken a belt in the engine room, creating a lot of smoke. Max noticed it on his boat check, sounded the alarm, and Calum quickly dealt with it.

It all happened very fast, and before we knew it, all of us (except for watch team 3, who had to finish their watch) was shuffling back to bed.

Unfortunately for watch team 1, our next watch started at 8, so we had to roll out of bed 2 hours later. 08:00 to 12:00 was a blast. Sophie and I did a boat check and added it to the engine room selfie collection. Asa was Asa. Skyler and Hendo worked on the fishing line that had been tailing Vela for about a day. Skylar got slap-happy again (this time morning edition!) Carolyn and most of the team posed for magnificent photos. After our fabulous photo sesh, we raised the main sail as well as the jib. As you can clearly see, watch is not a task for the faint of heart.

Lunch was magnificent. We had quiche! While we were waiting to serve ourselves, we spotted a sea turtle! It was a smallish orange one swimming along the surface. Unfortunately, he wasn’t as fast as we were, so we quickly lost track of him, but that was pretty amazing! Anyways, the quiche was great. Shoutout to head chef Jac and sous chefs Anna and Emy!

Also! A few days ago, when we were still docked (I can’t remember exactly how long ago, you lose track of time here), John and I discovered and saved a beautiful monkey by the name of Maque. It’s really inspiring how much love everyone has doted upon this gorgeous creature, especially as he had a rough start to life, surviving off of scraps on the streets of Gibraltar. Ghost, especially, has grown a soft spot for Maque. She has been quoted as saying things such as “Boy, do I love Maque” and “Wow, I sure appreciate having him onboard to protect us”.

Following Lunch, we took our Oceanography midterm exam. It’s crazy to think that we’re already almost halfway through the journey. After Oceanography, we had Leadership led by Rachel and me. Our chapter was titled “Understanding Others”. We talked about empathy, communication, and the importance of diversity. Rachel was getting very seasick and impressed all of us by pushing herself through the lecture.

We ended the day with dinner. Jac’s dad’s pasta recipe! It was delicious. Today’s squeeze question was, “what animal would you ride into battle”. We got a range of answers, including hippogriff, ostrich, appa (from Avatar the Last Airbender), pegasus, whale shark, rhino, and a narwhal. After dinner and clean-up, watch team 2 started their 08:00 to 12:00 watch.

Worthy of note: Anna, Izzy, and Maya made a wonderful tea: Lemon, ginger, and a secret ingredient (Anna informed me that it was imperative to my survival that this was mentioned).

Hi to Mom, Dad, Sam, Buppa, Oma, Opa, Uncle Kolja, YAK, Aunt Laurel, Uncle Joe, lil’E, Horst, and Tichi! I love you and miss you all loads, and I hope that you are all doing well!!!

P.S. Ash is now to be referred to as the Kraken king.