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Location: Balearic Sea, En Route to Mallorca

I am writing this with no land in sight and everyone up on deck watching one of the most beautiful sunsets we have had on the trip. Liz offered to photograph me in front of it, which was kind of her. This morning we were docked in Tarragona, Spain, after spending yesterday in Barcelona. I woke up just before 7 am to wake the rest of the crew. After gently shaking everyone awake, I played morning-themed music, including Here Comes The Sun and Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1. Some people stayed in bed as long as they could, but Complicated and Wagon Wheel got everyone up. Chef’s Instructor Garrett, Tyler, and Grace made eggs and toast, which was a welcome change from cereal.

To prepare for the passage, I was given a clipboard with a long list of jobs. Everyone was on it today and ready to get the work done. We completed the list super quickly, partly because we did not have to raise the anchors. And thanks to Bubba and Tyler for tackling the engine room. The instructors have been asking us to give more of the commands lately, so once we were out of the harbor, the students led the entire process of rigging and raising the two staysails. Since there wasn’t much wind in the forecast, we left the main down and have been motoring. Just the other day, on our second night on the crossing to Tarragona, it was windy enough to get all of the sails up and the engine off. The stars, the silence, the heeling, and the bow crashing down the waves made me feel like a real sailor that night. But today, we are motor sailing. After lunch, we bunched into the salon for classes. We voted to attempt to get all four classes done in one day so we could have the next off. You can see by the photo of nappers that it may have been ambitious. Many of the seasick crew, me included, owe our comfort to the Dramamine onboard, but it also knocks us out, so classes were a war of attrition.

We first had Oceanography, where we learned about the topography of the ocean floor, and how plate boundaries affect the depth, and whether you might coral find near coastlines or islands. Next was Marine Biology, where we learned about speciation and what causes one species to become two over time. Last was Leadership, where James and Celia led a discussion about types of leaders and asked the question, “What makes a good leader and a good follower?” I think the crew has really enjoyed leadership class so far. Everyone perks up, and the discussions always include many different voices.

After class, it was time for dinner. The chefs were foiled by the propane refusing to turn on, but we had chicken sandwiches and fruit, which turned out to be the light, easy meal that many of our stomachs needed. For squeeze, I asked, “What has been a favorite thing you have seen so far, and when and where on the trip did it occur?” Many people remembered Watch team 3’s 4 am to 8 am watch coming into Sardinia when they saw the moonset, the sunrise, and sailed under a double rainbow. I did not see that. But I did see a supernova right after a shooting star while sitting at the bow with Jack on our way from Elba. That was a perfect moment. Others loved seeing the dolphins jumping under the bow. Captain Freddie and Dylan both loved being upside down while scrubbing the hull surrounded by fish in Porto Venere. My favorite part of all of our squeezes, though, has been our daily appreciations. People are able to tell the group about anything at all, but often it is simply thanking another member of the crew for lifting their day. Some of the best feelings I have had have occurred when someone has appreciated me or someone that I have thanked has smiled. This group brings out the best parts of me, and I am grateful to be here with them. The sunset tonight was spectacular, and I have been writing for a long time. I have watch at 4 am, so I will sign off now. – Jamie

P.S. To my sisters and parents, I was very happy to call you yesterday. I love you.

1: Me (Jamie) with the sun and the sea
2: Going counterclockwise around the cockpit with Spain behind us- Grace, Clara, Kendra, Emma, Sam, Dani, Liz, Savanna (at the helm), Elle, Akiva, Declan, Arden, Henry, Charlie, Joe (in front)
3: At squeeze during golden hour – right to left – Dani, Clara, Grace, Tyler, Savanna, Garrett, Liz, Bubba, Jack, Emma, Helayna
4: from back to front, The Salon Nappers – Jack, Emma, Helayna, Sam, Emerson
5: A picture I thought was nice

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