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We arrived at Antigua early this morning after we all had our last watches with our watch teams for the trip. Today marks two days left in the trip. It hasn’t really set in yet, the feeling of leaving this ship and this journey. I woke up early today. A rare occasion after a night watch like ours was at 12-4 am. We cleaned up the boat a good bit after lunch and put her to bed for our last time. There is still a lot for us to accomplish these last two days and even more for some people who need to do retakes of older assignments. We had our short-range VHF exam today, to which everyone passed with flying colors. We then had our emergency first responder exam, which everyone seemed to feel confident about. Tonight everyone is finishing the seamanship oral exam and knot tying test. We are writing cards to each other and our future selves, so we need to finish those tomorrow. Today went by fast despite all we did, unfortunately. I know I am going to miss the feeling of adventure that I found on this trip and the friendship as well.

Tomorrow we are spending the day ashore and taking a hike in the afternoon. And then we have our final clean up the boat day, and departure. This has been an amazing trip, not just for me but for everyone aboard. I know everyone has learned a lot about themselves and each other and about the sciences of the ocean. I don’t have much more to write, except that I know everyone has a melancholic feeling of excitement to be going back home and will miss their friends on Vela.

Here are some pictures I could scrounge up of one of our last days aboard.

photo1: fresh apple time

photo2: random boat sailing near vela 🙂

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