Location: Sumbawa, Indonesia

Today was a casual start at 2:30 AM for watch as we sailed to Sombawa, but the four hours flew fast by talking, stargazing, and doing boat checks. Before we knew it, everyone was up for a sunrise swim with the ocean’s biggest smile — whale sharks!!! WHAAA The first group left at 6 AM to go join a squidding boat that was throwing chum into the water to attract the massive fish, while the rest of us (aka the girlz, chivalry is dead people) waited excitedly for our turn. The first group came back bouncing off the sides of the dinghy and glowing with happiness, which didn’t make the waiting any easier, so we scrambled in the boat with our snorkeling gear on. The swim was INCREDIBLE; it’s hard to describe with words. There were around five huge whale sharks gliding all around us, randomly appearing from the depths of the oceans, swimming so close that they grazed or even bumped into us. Then a bunch of obnoxious Italian tourists arrived, so we skedaddled but still speechlessly. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Because everyone had last watches last night, we spent the morning napping, starting assignments, or on watch again in the cockpit. After a pizza lunch, we learned about our next destination of Komodo (beware of the dragons) through a masterfully crafted presentation brought to us by Lina, Siena, and Audrey, raised the foremost staysail (as Tom would say) with Smash, and had our first Marine Biology class with Steph! Then we had some free time/nap time/watch, followed by pasta and meatballs for dinner. We ended the day with a beautiful sunset just over a nearby volcano. Crazy!