Location: 03,56.17'S; 28,45.00'W

Though the better part of yesterday afternoon and evening were met with more rain than we’ve seen thus far, spirits could not have been higher… the rain was met with smiling and laughing upturned faces drinking the freshwater falling from above as well as singing and dancing on deck throughout the night. This morning, even with the clouds still lingering across the skies, the sunrise made its way through to give us a beautiful array of cotton candy blues and pinks. As with all of our days underway, (b)oatmeal breakfast is something the crew looks forward to (especially those on the 0400-0800 watch) and can customize to their liking. Some will even roll out of their bunks just to have a quick bite on deck and say good morning to those standing watch.

The better part of today stayed overcast but, believe it or not, that is most welcome when you have to be outside all day. Music could be heard playing in the cockpit, as conversations and games ensued amongst the tunes. I won’t say that our time completely revolves around food, but to say mealtimes are an occasion highly looked forward to would be an understatement. So, when it was announced that our vegetable soup lunch would be accompanied by fresh-made rolls by our chefs Rob, Jayda, and Benazir, you can imagine the excitement that ensued. This afternoon consisted of two of our four classes onboard, leadership, and marine biology. The first entailed a questionnaire in which everyone ranked questions from 1-10 and were then categorized into four color groups: red, yellow, green, and blue. Each of these groups corresponded to leadership styles and qualities: reds are very logical and organized, yellows spring into action, greens are people persons, and blues are our dreamers. The benefit in everyone knowing each others’ leadership qualities allows for more cohesion in our interactions as a crew. Plus, it’s fun getting to guess where you think everyone might fall (many of our group were split between several colors.) In marine biology, the documentary Chasing Coral was viewed and discussed, elucidating the impacts of the changing climate on reefs worldwide and the implications that go hand in hand with it.

Once out of classes for the afternoon, the crew split to move into showers, watch teams, and cooking, while those who were finished with their jobs and not on watch could relax or get work done during daylight hours. Dinner was met with more excitement than lunch (believe it or not) because we had roast chicken, mashed potatoes, cauliflower, and rice (and veg burgers for the non-meat eaters.) Our bellies full, we moved into our squeeze question: what does your mind move to when you think of the word “home”? Though specific answers ranged, the overall theme was that the place matters less than being surrounded by those you love and who love and support you back. We finished squeeze with a group hug and moved quickly into an efficient drop of the mainsail for the evening. The last thing on our agenda for the day was clean up, and, once completed, we all moved into our watch schedule, ready to meet the night with renewed energy. Fingers crossed the sky clears up, and we get a few twinkling stars; until next time!