Location: 17 45.52'S 71 39.98'E

When Ben first told us we would settle into a routine once we finally got underway for long enough, I don’t think any of us actually believed him. Yet standing 8-12 watch this morning and seeing Grace take the helm first, Charlotte and Michaela eating their usual cereal at their regular time, Elle rolls out her yoga mat, and Jack comes up to take sextant sights, I realized being underway had indeed become normal life. Mornings are used for studying, catching up on sleep, or, today, for preparing Halloween costumes. Students are starting to mingle on deck signals noon and the imminent arrival of lunch. After lunch, each day takes on more unique characteristics.

Today, in preparation for the upcoming midterm, Lindsay organized Marine Bio Jeopardy. Students were, of course, split up by watch team, the usual jokes and team spirit of each watch intensifying as the points got higher. My watch team (Seal Team 2!) was nice enough to ask me to join, and I tried desperately to help them with the little knowledge gleaned during classes I had inadvertently sat in on while in the salon or galley for other reasons. Alexander quickly helped Watch Team 3 take the lead, though Team 2 battled their way to the top with Allie’s miraculously remembered answers. In the end, Henry and Nick H’s use of game theory to make a daring but successful bet during the final round gave Team 1 a riotous come back and win.

From there followed an afternoon of deck showers, furious studying, power napping, relaxed reading, and the delicious smells of slow-cooked pork wafting out of the galley. Alexander, Hugh, Charlotte, and Ana outdid themselves with their dinner of the most tender pulled pork, creamed spinach, mashed potatoes, and freshly baked rolls. Squeeze tonight was abruptly ended by the bzzzz of a bite on one of our fishing lines. Matt, George, and Nick P instantly raced to the stern to untie the rod and begin their fight to reel in the fish. The battle proved to be a tough one as the fish dove, and Matt and Nick worked in tandem to slowly inch it in. As everyone watches and cheered, George pulled the massive pot-bellied Skipjack on deck. Quickly Ben began gutting the fish, Claire Miller, Jon Luc, Petey surveyed its stomach contents for their research project, Jules and Caroline used our reduced speed to do a plankton tow, and Lindsay did an impromptu Marine Bio class on fish and squid anatomy. All the while, Mara kept us on a steady course. The night’s excitement ended with a blazing sunset.

– Carolyn
P.S Je t’embrasse bien fort ma maman, Helene and Daddy you too.