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Location: Sardegna, Italy

Today was an amazing day starting with our first class lab on shore. We were split into two groups, and while some of us were doing a beach clean up, others were geared up in their wetsuits, snorkels, and masks to identify some of the critters living nearby and how they were interacting with each other and their environment. Everyone got lucky today and got to see at least one octopus, and one group even saw a cuttlefish! The afternoon was not any less calm. After lunch and everyone rocking out to some sick beats, we immediately began learning more about sailing. It was our first time sailing off the anchor, whereas the other times we motored off. We also got to learn and practice how to jibe and tack. It was a lot of fun to learn each part that makes sailing so smooth and seeing all the work that goes into it. This sailing practice took all afternoon, and we were all hungry for dinner, but everyone would agree the steak tips were well worth the wait. Now, music is playing in the salon, and everyone is singing along. Even in the chart house, the crew is sitting behind me having the time of their lives singing these songs. We’ve been here two weeks, but with all the bonding we’ve been doing, I already feel like this is a family.
To my family: I love you, and I miss you. Italy is incredible.
With love,
Sydney

Pictured: Sunset after our busy day; floating microplastics found on the beach today; view of our “classroom” today for our lab; some of the students exiting the water after exploring a seagrass bed.