Location: 16,34,8S; 04,42,1W

The day started off with excitement for watch team 3 as a light was spotted on the dark horizon near the beginning of the 4-8 am watch. As the sky brightened and night turned today, the watch team was able to make out the shape of a sailboat! It was nice to see another boat out there, within sight, doing the same thing that we were doing. Everyone awoke for the day in a good mood because not only was today the last full day of passage, but it was also Benazir’s birthday!

Lunch was prepared by Calum and sous chefs Benazir and Emma. Some were skeptical about how the meal would turn out when they saw that wraps were on the menu with ingredients such as mayo, pasta sauce, artichoke, and pineapple, but no actual tortilla wraps! Luckily, the wraps were substituted for quiche, and it turns out that it’s okay to cook with corn starch instead of cornflour. With all the difficulties leading up to the meal, many were pleasantly surprised at how good it turned out to be!

In oceanography class we learned about air-sea interactions, a lesson that is directly applicable to our current situation, sailing on the ocean. Afterward, in seamanship, we turned back our clocks an hour in preparation for arriving in St. Helena tomorrow morning. Then we practiced raising and lowering the jib and forward staysail. There was a competition to see which watch team could raise and lower the jib the fastest (watch team 3 won).

As the sun came out and the day got hotter, everyone was happy to take deck showers and cool off a bit. The PSCT students had class while everyone else had free time. People did classwork, went on watch, slept, or read books. As dinner drew nearer, everyone gathered around, excited for pizza bread and cake. When it finally came out of the galley, no one was disappointed. It was well worth the wait! After singing happy birthday to Benazir, having cake, and handing out cards, the question of the day was ‘What is something that you want to learn?’.

Today was a great day, and everyone is going to bed filled with anticipation of seeing land tomorrow morning. For days now there has been talk of everything that we’ll do once we get to St. Helena. Although we have grown accustomed to life at sea, we are all excited to be able to restock on snacks, do laundry, reconnect with family and friends, and get some exercise (pumping the heads and pulling lines just isn’t enough!).

– Brittany