Location: Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

WHOOOOOOSH! The morning began with a head flooding. The heroic Freddie, Amanda (C.), and Max braved the grey water currents to stop the leak and drain the bilge. Somehow I and all the other Fo’c’sle inhabitants slept through the commotion of the Shop Vac (think an industrial-sized, marine vacuum able to suck out several thousand Hugos, our tragically executed amphibian stowaway).

My morning began a few hours later, less chaotically, at the despair-inducing speed of 4 knots with Argo struggling to motor upwind. The slow morning suddenly became intense with the commencement of a Slack-jaw dance-off between (Elder) Gabe and Brina. A slack-jaw dance-off, for those uneducated, is a battle for only the most formidable warriors consisting of dancing in the most absurd manner possible all without laughing. Gabe, the victor, maintains that “there was no competition!” Brina contests this confidence pointing out the first time they tied and that “Gabe is not as good as he thinks.”

Classes this afternoon were thrilling. Also air-conditioned. We began with Oceanography and worked through a lab focusing on the intricacies of Microsoft Excel. Not to speak for everyone, but to speak for everyone, a part of ourselves was lost to the squares, the thousands and thousands of squares. We followed up with Leadership, taking some evaluations to decide our leadership styles. In the most respected of personality evaluations, we have deemed either a lion, otter, golden retriever (which, of course, Gabe Golden was), or beaver.

To illustrate the differences between these personality types, I present a scenario! Everyone is isolated in a cabin in rural Minnesota for the winter. The Lions immediately get cabin fever and decide to remodel everything. The otters snowshoe into the forest every day to talk to the animals. The Golden Retrievers catch up on reading or start a woodworking project. The Beavers begin reading a manual on how to live in a rural cabin. Guess which one your loved one is!!

Right before Thanksgiving Dinner, courtesy of Audrey and the knights of the Round Table (her sous chefs), we arrived in Bequia, marking the end of the Student-led passage. Peter and the cabinet (Zoe, Elisabeth, and yours truly), as well as watch team leaders, led us valiantly to the promised land of Bequia.

Tonight’s meal was glorious. Words don’t do it justice, so I’ve attached a picture. Over our plates of Thanksgiving fanfare (or mine of marshmallows with a side of sweet potatoes), we witnessed the long-fabled green flash. Amanda Cole has long sworn that right before the sun disappears below the horizon, the final edge of the orb going into the water will result in a flash of green light. Many of us were in disbelief for 69 days, but no longer. Many of us had our entire life view changed. We are now believers.

For the squeeze, the question was, “What is some advice you’d give your younger self?”

A few of the more notable answers:

Tim: “If you run fast enough, you’ll lose what’s chasing you.”
Gabe (the Elder): “Is this a deterministic timeline? I need to know that before answering.”
Elisabeth: “Don’t go on this boat!” (Jokingly?)

We ended our evening with the Queeze Slap Slap. Instead of doing the much beloved Squeeze Clap, I elected to lead us in a Queeze Slap Slap, which an undisclosed member of this crew once uttered mistakenly when trying to direct us to end squeeze in a Squeeze Clap Snap Clap. I thought this small error was so funny that I waited 20-something days to fulfill my vision of bringing the Queeze Slap Slap into this world. A day ends most epically with a dramatic reenactment of puking towards the right, a slap to the person to one’s left, then a slap to the person on one’s right!

Wishing you the best in all your endeavors in life on behalf of your loved ones,

Today’s Skipper and every day’s hysterical laughter at inconvenient times,

1: Flaking the main staysail in preparation for our arrival in Bequia
2: Beloved crew members getting their Thanksgiving Dinner
3: Everyone at the orb that would become the green flash (because I took the picture too early and then dropped my phone)