Location: Underway to Bermuda

Watch team 3 (Shona, Andrea, Mack, Greg, Meghan, Ethan, Will, and Adelaide) started the 12 am – 4 am watch with some calm, peaceful water to sail through. About 30 minutes in; however, we were finally greeted with “the Front” we’ve all been waiting for: 30 – 40 knot winds, strong rain, and a few waves washing overboard down our foulies. The boat became a bit hard to control with four sails up, so Tom popped up on deck to help our team drop the main staysail. It was quite the adventure trying to get this sail down as the boat was rocking around and waves were crashing over the deck. But we all worked together through the tough conditions to de-power Vela by dropping this one sail. Vela became much more manageable after that, and by this point, we checked our watches to see that it was almost 3:30 am, which is when one of our team members will go down to wake up the next watch. We were soaking wet and getting a bit chilly with the wind, but by the time watch team 1 (Smash, Tony, Max, Katelyn, Hannah, Colm, and Val) joined us on deck, the brunt of the squall seemed to have passed.

By the time we woke back up, things seemed to have calmed down outside. There are still some relatively high winds and big swells, but the sky cleared up, and it turned into a beautiful day. After a cozy lunch of veggie and quinoa chili from our chef team of Val, Greg, and Max, the shipmates all headed down to the salon for a couple of classes. Up first was Marine Biology, in which we learned all about coral reef ecosystems. This included the biology of what corals actually are (animals!), their economic importance to a different island and coastal communities around the world, what role they play as a larger, productive ecosystem within un-productive, tropical regions, and how they are being affected by different aspects of climate change.

In Leadership class, the students then started watching a movie called “White Squall” about the experience of a school ship that went through a large squall and how they come together as a team to deal with this hardship. After classes, watch team 1 had to head straight back up to deck to help Smash with the rest of their watch. The water chemistry group (Bennitt, Katie, Hannah, and Katelyn) for Oceanography also came up on deck to collect a new water sample and investigate the water chemistry.

We fueled up for another round of night watches with lentil and tomato soup as the seas continued to calm and the front continues to fall behind us. Everyone is looking forward to some calmer seas tonight (hopefully!), and watch team 3 is preparing for the upcoming 8 pm to midnight watch. We will see what excitement we get on our watch tonight!

Hi to Mom, Dad, Maud, Andres, Fred, and Little T!

Photo 1: The available team members from watch team 1 finishing up the afternoon watch (Smash, Tony, and Hannah)
Photo 2: Meghan taking the helm for watch team 3 during cleanup after lunch
Photo 3: Hannah and Bennitt getting ready to do a little science and see what the chemistry of the water around us is