Location: Atlantic Ocean Crossing

I am always a little taken aback each time I wake up here, it is a temporary home, but the incredible things that I witness every day make it feel like a dream. Today began with oatmeal and tea, and a glimpse of the moon rise before a quick rest. Spencer, Rocco, Leoni, and Freddie were our chefs today and were hard at work for many hours cooking, which we are always so grateful for. My watch team and I had a 6-8 dinner “dog watch,” and Leoni spotted a humpback whale breaching in the water, we all looked to see it and even waited a while (as seen in photo two), but unfortunately, Leoni was the sole witness to the event. Jellyfish float by the vessel by the minute and are translucent, bubble bodied and like nothing I’ve ever seen before. We are moving on to learning about VHF communication in seamanship and continue to learn about how to be competent and empathetic leaders in our leadership class. We have moved onto learning about knots too and practice during watch and free time with small pieces of line. We are going to be tested on our ability to do those soon, so wish us luck!

It is easy to become unfazed by the natural beauty surrounding us because it is so frequent, and I remind myself as often as possible how lucky I am to see things many people will never. Some important lessons that have been further ingrained in me by my short time on Vela: Nothing can happen effectively without collaboration, no reward will come without work, no unity will come without effort, and little joys are everywhere, so make note of them. I think many of the people who come home from this trip will be forever different, myself included. It is almost overwhelming to think of how at some point, I will not be waking up in a small bunk in a room with five other people in the middle of the ocean, but I guess that is something I can stand to not think about for a while longer.

I have never been more grateful for this experience, and writing about it is difficult because everything here feels too hard to describe, so thanks for reading.

I love and miss you, mom and dad, and Jessi and Anna love you, Donna! ( I do, too <3)

Photos in order from left to right:
#1 Josh, Ben (behind Josh), Wyatt, Elan, and Keally are practicing their knot skills!
#2 Everyone is hoping to catch a glimpse of the whale Leoni saw.
#3 Dylan in his iconic hat on the left, Jessi, Ben, and Ines getting ready for dinner clean up