Location: Underway to Fortaleza

Today we began the final portion of our passage across the Atlantic Ocean. Technically, we’ve made it since we enjoyed a relaxing and productive four days in the beautiful paradise known as Fernando de Noronha, which is just off the coast of Brazil. It’s been said before, but I must say it again, there’s simply no other feeling quite like seeing land after a long ten-day passage. With the time that we had, we made sure to see as much of the islands as our legs allowed us. We were fortunate to enjoy four straight days of clear skies and cooling winds as we caught up on our studies, hiked the hills, and simply relaxed. During those four days, however, we were victim to some rather unpleasant swells while being at anchor. When we returned to the ship after being on land for the day, it felt as though we were still on passage due to that constant keel caused by oncoming waves. That’s not a bad thing, though; sitting here now, being back on passage, it feels great. At this point in the trip, we’ve all become accustomed to the daily schedule of passage life. Now I may be alone when I say this, but when we get back on passage after four days of freedom, it feels good to have the set schedule again.
For the most part, today was a very easygoing day. It began with a breakfast of pancakes, which is never a bad choice. After eating every last flapjack, we made the final preparation to leave port. Afterward, everything was set into motion. Watch teams resumed, and we were once again on our way for the final stretch of our ocean crossing to mainland Brazil. We can only hope that the weather continues to deliver the clear skies that we’ve seen for much of the trip. A little wind would be nice, though. Upon leaving port, we dispersed from the deck, and those of us not on watch spent a few hours relaxing and studying before lunch. SLD and our open water exam seemed to have flown by, as everyone enjoyed another few hours of free time till dinner. The day concluded with some delicious chili and cornbread, not to mention a birthday cake celebration for Britt. All in all, it was a satisfying day as we watched the Fernando Archipelago gradually fade into the distant horizon.