Location: 16 58.31'S 74 20.26'E

Day 8 of our passage from Coco’s Keeling to Mauritius was relatively similar to the preceding days. Watch teams continue to rotate just as the earth around the sun, endless. Days are split up into four-hour watches interjected only by meals. Everyone knows their roles and responsibilities, and we have fallen into a comfortable pattern of routine. This morning started with a delightful sunrise accompanied by The Beatles song du jour Here Comes the Sun. It was a splendid moment when you realized that you were all alone halfway across the Indian Ocean, propelled solely by the wind.

Throughout the day, the ship was often bursting with music, high-spirited voices singing along as one cooked or cleaned. Above you will see pictures of many such joyous activities. There are the ‘deckies’ with their scrub brushes and sponges, preparing to clean the decks. Next are the ‘salties’ and ‘freshie’ aptly named after the type of water in their bucket. Their job is to scrub all dishes, pots, and pans in soapy salt water followed by bleachy fresh water. There were also studious times when hunched over the charts; we would review how to plot our ship’s position.

The highlight of the day was when the chefs decided to open up their own pizza shop named ‘The Sailor’s Slice.’ Each chef donned a paper folded sailor hat as they baked six different types of pizzas. Each type was nautically named: Hawaiian Halyard, Bosun’s BBQ Chicken, Port Tack Pesto and Pepper, Windward White, Mainsail Margherita, and Gantlin Gluten-Free. The line for dinner was rambunctious as everyone clambered over one another for a slice from the newest place in town.

Today ended with everyone belting out the chorus to Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer. “Oohoh, We’re halfway there, Oohoh Living on a prayer, Take my hand we’ll make it I swear, Oohoh Living on a prayer!” It was a particularly fitting end as we have officially made it halfway through our entire Sea|mester trip. So far, we have traveled a total of 3621 miles since departing from Darwin, Australia. As we sail aboard Argo, we reflect upon how far we have come in these past 45 days. Starting as strangers, we have become close friends. We have learned more than our seamanship knots or our marine biology fishes. We have learned how to connect with one another and make each other laugh until we can’t breathe. We cherish the friendships we have made thus far, and we look forward to making more memories as our voyage continues.