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Location: Sumbawa

Hello all! It is Margaret here for my final skipper day. I am sad I won’t be able to write to you guys again :(. Anyways, today was such a great day. We had our student-led passage to Sumbawa, and we arrived this morning. My watch team, watch team 2, was on last night from 12-4, and it was so cool. We went through this narrow channel, and everywhere you could see, there were squid fishing boats. It was so crazy because usually, on passage, we never see any boats, but last night the boats were shining so bright our eyes took a while to adjust. After my watch ended, I got woken back up at 6:30 to take down the sails with watch team 3 because I was elected first mate for this student-led passage. Being the first mate has been a lot of fun but a big challenge. There is so much that goes into smoothly running this boat, a lot of responsibility, and little sleep. Watch team 3 and I take down the two sails we had up, which was so fun because they are all so skilled. Then, my favorite part of the day, I got to be hoisted up the mast to watch for coral around us while we were getting the ship to our anchorage. I got to sit up on the mast and see the beautiful view from above. It was unreal. There were also thousands of jellyfish all around the boat that I could see, which was so cool. I am terrified of heights, but I knew I could not miss out on something like this, so I sucked it up and got hoisted up.
Once I got down, watch team one was now on with me, and we did de-passage prep. First, we let down the anchor to get some fuel in a small town before going to our main anchorage. Heloise and Kirstyn were the monkeys and climbed up the masts of the main staysail and main sail to get the sail covers on. They killed it. While we were waiting for Kee, Ben, and Larkin to come back with fuel, we got all the sail covers on, then halliards off, and all the other small de-passage things we have to do. When they came back, they came back with an amazing surprise… ICECREAM!!!!! It was such a fun treat to have after Perry’s yummy bean burger lunch. After lunch, we got to set up a boom swing because we had the afternoon off. We eased the boom really far out and tied a rope to it, and had a blast watching everyone fall into the water. Some people did backflips, such as Ethan, which was crazy to watch. Then, once we tired ourselves out on the swing, some people napped, others chilled up on deck, and it was just a nice time to hang out after a busy couple of days with passage and school work. Then, Perry made us a fun dinner of a bunch of different dips. There was salsa, guac, hummus, and a cucumber salad. Smash made bread to scoop the dips up within the shape of spoons, and it was really funny.
The student-led passage was so much fun, and I was very happy to be elected 1st mate. I had a lot of fun helping everyone learn new parts of putting up the sail, dropping the anchor, and making mistakes so that I could all learn more. I learned so much from this experience from the4 amazing Smash, the first mate, and I was so happy with how everyone worked together and was so efficient. Everyone stepped up on this passage while the staff stepped back, and it really shows how much we have all learned in these 71 days aboard Vela. Larkin was the navigator, and she made us an awesome route. I am very thankful she made the one she did so we could see all the hundreds of squid boats. All the engineers, Barbra, Ethan, and Justin, did a great job with the engine, generator, lights, and everything else they dolastly, Dray, our skipper. Dray did amazing. She really stepped up and took on this huge position with ease. She was woken up multiple times in the middle of the night to make surer our course was good, took the helm when anchoring, and overall run the boat so smoothly. I would not have been able to do my job as first mate without such a good skipper leading me. Dray, you killed it! I will be your first mate anytime.
Skipper Margaret Out