Location: Vela

Bula, my lovely blog followers!

It’s Nora. Privileged and honored to be back again to skipper and inform you land lubbers about our adventures on the open sea. Last night, watch team 3, and I got the envied midnight to 4 am shift and enjoyed a lovely cool night of chatting and stargazing. Let me tell you, these views of the Milky Way will never get old–we saw countless shooting stars (while keeping a vigilant eye on the horizon and a firm grip on the helm, of course). I woke up to the sound of Sierra laughing maniacally as she prepared to tickle me, which easily snapped me into consciousness to start another beautiful day aboard Vela (don’t worry, she didn’t get me that time) (I have just been informed that I was wrong. She, in fact, did get me. I just thought it was a scratch. Thanks, Sierra!). I joined some of my crew mates in the saloon for a coffee and a study sesh, preparing for today’s Marine Biology quiz on turtles, sea snakes, and sea birds. I drew some eyes on Sierra’s chin as payback for her tickle wakeup call and shared a laugh with her and Dray as we showed one another childhood photos. I shared my Oakleys with Dray and Perry for a quick 0.5 photoshoot (see attached). My beloved roommate Margaret and I grabbed some cereal and migrated upstairs to join team 2 on their morning watch. We listened to Bob Marley and sat under the shade in the cockpit, chatting and preparing for another beautiful day on board.

Our masterful chef team comprised Perry as head chef, with Marge and Kara hard at work as sous chefs. We eagerly devoured breakfast for lunch–one may even venture to call it brunch–with build-your-own breakfast burritos and potatoes on the side. As Tom and Smash did an oil change, we sat on deck without our PFDs (so rebellious!) (they told us we could), slathered on sunscreen, and felt the rocking and/or rolling of the boat as the engine was off and the sails were down. The humid heat of the late morning had us all looking eagerly to the horizon, where we could see a patch of rain headed towards the boat. We all decided to take our marine biology quiz at three so that we could splash around as the small squall rolled in. We took advantage of the luxurious constant stream of water, showering up on deck and spraying one another with the high-pressure hose. After the oil-changing mission was accomplished and the soap had been thoroughly rinsed from our eyeballs, we piled into a refreshingly air-conditioned salon to ACE our respective quizzes. We then prepared for a back-to-back science moment, as Oceanography began at 1600 hours (that’s 4 pm, by the way). Heather introduced us to our research projects, and we formed our groups–I am so excited to join Perry, Sydney, and Jack on this journey of scientific discovery :D!

After class, we enjoyed some downtime. I started to work on an outline for my essay on ecotourism for Marine Biology and then was lucky enough to join an AirDrop meme-athon with Justin and Romeo. We came up on deck to see a Brand New Drew with Less Hair and a small mammal-sized amount of hair in the cockpit. A small mammal got on board, ate all of Drew’s hair, and then wore it as a hair suit (like a skin suit but with hair). Our dinner was a delicious peanut noodle dish with chicken and Kee’s Famous Fried Tofu, which she made as a special guest star in the galley. For squeeze today, I asked my comrades at sea to share their mottos and/or catchphrases with the class. We all sat in awe as the sun set YET AGAIN over the horizon–still can’t believe it does that every day! And get this–I think it will probably rise again tomorrow morning, and it will also probably be similarly stunning. I now get to join my squad of a watch team for another amazing 8-12 shift–let’s hope Ben and Kee don’t throw me overboard again (pray for me, please). I speak for all of my friends on board when I say I send all of my love home and am so grateful to get to wake up tomorrow and do it all again (we have a free day and are all very excited). Peace and love to all, and I cannot wait to get to skipper and blog for y’all a fourth time when the wheel makes another rotation! Sleep tight (or have a good day because I assume most of you are not in this time zone and are likely more awake than we are at the moment). Xoxo Gossip Girl (Spoiler Alert: it’s still Nora!)