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Location: Porto Puddu, Sardinia

Hello Everyone!!

I think all of us can agree that we are at a point of no return and have been adjusting to our new home rather quickly. Amazing how that can happen after only one week. Just a few hours ago, I overheard Emma refer to the hose we use to rinse off with after ocean showers as the “showerhead.” I never thought I would be using the word “gopher” as a verb so frequently (this is one of our clean up jobs, the “gopher” is the person who stands on the freezer sticking their head out of a hatch to transport dishes and food from above deck to the galley).

We had a bit of a slower morning, with about half of the group finishing their confined open water diving skills and the rest of us reading, playing chess, and hanging out below deck. These were relatively quick dives because all the groups who had not finished only had a few skills left. As far as I know, everyone passed! Woohoo! Now, all the open water divers will move on to diving in deeper water and seeing some more diverse sea life. Pretty much everyone is working towards their open water certification right now, but there are a few of us who already received this certification, me included, so we have had the opportunity to go out for a couple of fun dives, which were both super cool!!

In the afternoon, we had the chance to finally go onshore and explore the land we have been looking at for the past three days. There was a small beach not far from where the boat was anchored, so we got to spend a few hours there playing and exploring. We also rented two ‘Hobie sailboats, and Shona graciously took on the task of teaching a couple of us how to sail a smaller boat. Clara and I were the first two to get a chance to learn, and not too long after boarding the small boat, we found ourselves right back in the water. We learned that hobies are very easy to capsize but not so easy to get back up. Freddie had to come over in the dingy and help us flip the boat back upright. Our first attempt at this was not too successful, and we ended up just flipping it all the way over and capsizing it on the other side, but we eventually figured it out. Overall a 9/10 experience, one point deducted for the extremely long tiller that I managed to smack Clara with every time we turned. Other than taking turns learning to sail, we explored the small beach, had a wrestling match courtesy of Henry and Jack, went swimming, tanned, and did some chicken fighting in the water.

After our beach adventures, we were shuttled back to the boat, where we took ocean showers and got dressed for a “fancy dinner.” To celebrate one week on Vela, we all dressed up a bit (or at least tried) for a delicious dinner of breaded chicken and veggies. Dinner was definitely my favorite part of the day. Seeing everyone in their dresses and nice shirts were so cute, and it is truly unreal eating dinner on the boat, with the insane surrounding and often bizarre conversations that go on. Everyone is currently cleaning up the boat and preparing to set sail again tomorrow! I believe we will be heading to the island Elba next. This passage will be about the same length as the last, and we are all very excited to wake up in another beautiful place in 2 days’ time!

Mom and Dad and Nate, I love and miss you so much, give Auggie and cheerful some extra love for me!!!

Photo 1: Everyone dressed up for dinner! Top row L2R Emma, Sam, Clara, Helayna, Arden, Grace, Zoe, Dani, Liz, and Sav. 2nd row, Tyler, Henry, Jamie, Bubba, Declan, Emmerson, James, Celia. Bottom Row, Jack, Joe, Akiva, Charles, Garrett!
Photo 2: Jamie and Joe having an endearing moment at sunset
Photo 3: me (Sam) and Declan at the beach
Photo 4: Some of the boys dressed nicely and were ready for din. Declan, Henry, Jamie, Joe, Charlie, Tyler, and Bubba!
Photo 5: A bunch of us at the beach!! Arden, Declan, Sav, Liz, Clara, Tyler, Helayna, Sam, Grace, and Dani!