Location: 14, 43.4 S. 8, 32.2 W
As the sun rose this morning, marking the start of our first full day at sea, the strangely familiar rhythms of passage life began to set in. Our new watch teams switched out on the same timetables as the old; we once more experienced the joys of the instant oatmeal that comprises our breakfast while at sea; we resigned ourselves to the fact that we again have to shut and latch the watertight bulkhead doors every time we passed through; and, perhaps most importantly, we can once again put toilet paper down the head instead of putting it in the trash. Compared to the frenzied activity that marked our days at St. Helena, life at sea is simple. We spend most of our time on watch, sleeping, eating, or having class; our days are busy, but there is a certain routine to it that makes days like today quite pleasant and enjoyable. Far from being monotonous, of course, every day also has its little quirks and humorous moments. They may be different for everyone on board, but we all try to appreciate the little things that make each day at sea unique.
We performed a gybe in the morning, but apart from that maneuver, today was smooth sailing. We continued on the northwesterly course that will take us closer to the equator and to Fernando de Noronha (which we all keep wanting to call “Fernando de Naranja”). The wind was significantly less than it was when we left St. Helena, but we still managed to make our way under sail power alone this morning before turning on the engine around lunchtime. As we approach the doldrums, where the wind is scarce, and the sea can be almost completely still, we may have to rely on our engine more and more frequently.
After post-lunch cleanup concluded, we headed below deck for a quiz double-header, in Oceanography and Seamanship. The Seamanship quiz concluded with a bonus question asking the quiz-takers to make their papers into origami boats, leading to a bizarre assortment of folded papers, most of which were boat-like in appearance–some more realistic, others more interpretive in nature–as well as a number of other interesting shapes. After classes concluded, the crew dispersed to take deck showers and then either to read, do work, go up for watch, or get some extra sleep. After a delicious dinner which, depending on which cook you ask, was either a chicken pad thai or a chicken stir fry, we enjoyed another spectacular ocean sunset as we did our nightly after-dinner Squeeze, for which we all answered the question of whether we would want to go to Mars as space colonists with the knowledge that we could not return to Earth. With that finished, we broke into our cleanup teams and prepared for the night’s watch rotation, about a hundred nautical miles closer to Brazil than we were when the sun came up this morning.