Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Our day started early with a 5:30 AM wakeup to move the boat to its final location in the VandA yacht club. We reversed into a spot next to an old metal boat, turning our short stroll to the bathrooms into a longer walk. During the move, everyone headed to their spots and held fenders, threw lines, and watch the dock close in for the last time. After our relocation, some people went back to sleep while others hung out around Vela or grabbed coffee or some pre-breakfast snacks around the waterfront. For breakfast, we had granola and yogurt to reminisce on all of our passage breakfasts along the trip. After breakfast, we cleaned up and got ready for our next adventure of the day: sandboarding.
We headed to the taxis to take us to the sand-boarding park, where we changed vehicles to the ones that would take us up onto the hills. Everyone got their boards and made the uphill journey through the sand. Everyone tried their hand at the bunny slopes, and we worked our way to the big hill in our area. We sand-boarded both the proper way and in a variety of unofficial ways, sled, rolled, and ran down the hills. Our last run of the day we did as a whole group, ending in a pileup at the bottom of the hill. Everyone had an incredible time despite being covered head to toe in sand from some wipeouts. Once we got off the slopes, we shook out the sand (or dumped in the case of some people) from our shoes and headed back to Cape Town, where we went our separate ways for lunch and afternoon activities. Some shopped in the mall (Vela Mall Tour Fall 2023), took showers, went sightseeing around the boats in the marina, and got more ice cream.
At 6:30, we reconvened on the boat for squeeze, the question of the night: what is something you have always wanted to do on Vela but have never been allowed to do? Answers included tubing behind the boat underway, adopting a boat dog, going aloft, or flipping all the switches in the chart house. We then headed to dinner at Si Cantina with a short delay of getting lost in the bridges and turns of the waterfront, where we arrived at a very long table set for us. We hung out, ate, and eagerly awaited the final surprise of the night: Jake’s birthday celebration. He was pulled into the middle of a dance circle and then given a flaming birthday dessert addressed to Jake Poo. After dinner, we explored the area some more, got ice cream, and headed back to the boat to head to bed.
It was a great first day in Cape Town, and we are all excited for the last few days of the program!

Quotes from the Peanut Gallery (in no particular order)
Daniel: Do not contact MedAire without permission from the Medical Person in Charge.
Jake: I support whatever Daniel says.
Siena: I support whatever Jake says.
Tom: No.
Zoe: I salsa’d my heart out with Lucia after eating a really good chicken schnitzel… I salsa’d my left toe out.
Ben: Shout out to Jake. He’s the best homie in the world.
Cristian: It’s all love.
Lina: Hi to everyone, I love you! Hi to Oma in Switzerland. Today, I salsa’d my heart out. Nana Barbara would be proud.
Ruby: Hi to Mom and Dad!
Allie (staff): Tell my mother I love her!!! Tell Emma I put a donut at Krispy Kreme on hold for her when she makes it to Cape Town.
Steph: Hi Shaun, this is Audrey. You are the fourth Shaun that I know of, after Shaun the Sheep, Shaun from gymnastics, and Sean from my high school, so congratulations on that achievement. Tom also misses you!
Wes: Dang! I’m the same height as Olaf.
Jackson: My veins course with tiger blood, and my only speed is pinned in sixth gear.
Nico: You can spice it up somehow.
Lucia: *fart noise*. Daniel is better than everyone.
Ava: don’t think, just do.
Griffin: Ya know, focus on both your strengths and weaknesses. Your strengths guide you and build yourself up by your weaknesses.
Allie: I love you all.
Kasey: It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission
Ayden: koi have soft mouths
David: Love is the way
Smash: don’t grab my pom pom.
Margaret: give someone next to you a hug

Our Wills:
Tom: my coffee cup to Jake
Smash: my pom-pom to Tom
Allie: my Dula Mimi to Griffin
Steph: Allie’s deck boots to me
David: protein powder to Jackson.
Jake: my switch to Tom
Cristian: sunglasses to Smash, broken backpack to Jake
Wes: my boots to
Griffin: my sense of humor and life and happiness to everyone on the boat
Jackson: my childhood Crocs to Ruby
Margaret: my walrus stuffed animal to Smash
Ava: speed goggles to Jackson, hat to Daniel
Lina: my hair to Daniel
Ruby: pink water bottle to Tom
Audrey: my speaker to the whole crew
Kasey: my flares to Tom
Zoe: my credit card to Ruby
Siena: my sweatshirt to Lucia
Lucia: my water bottle to Jake
Allie: soft, non-tangled hair to Margaret
Ayden: water bottle to Margaret
Ben: Margaret’s Carhartt pants to myself
Daniel: My sparkly brush to Griffin.
Nico: lavender purple hat to Tom to complete the purple fit