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Location: 4ᴼ15' N, 83ᴼ28' W

Greetings all! The day started for watch team two when we came on deck to discover that the wind had increased enough to raise all the sails. As this operation had not been completed by watch team one, we immediately got to work raising the flying jib, which is the sail flying at the very foremost, staying off the bowsprit and really helping catch the wind. After the FJ was up and looking good, we started getting the fisherman sail ready to go up, which is the sail that fills in the space between the staysails and looks upside-down. Felipe, the boat monkey, was glimpsed in action, attaching the halyard. By adding just those two sails to the two already up (the staysail), we increased our speed by a knot. By adding the mainsail shortly after, we were able to turn off the engine completely and enjoy the silence. The silence, in actuality, is filled with the sound of small waves hitting the bow and the wind against the sails. This being the first time watch team two had done this completely without staff help, we felt a huge sense of accomplishment in our morning.

After a delicious lintel soup by head chef Anton, we had an incredibly fascinating marine bio class about nudibranchs, AKA sea slugs, flatworms, roundworms, octopi, squid, and mussels. It was a good class, with everyone participating despite almost melting in the extreme heat. Seriously, it is SO HOT below the deck where there is no breeze. After marine bio, we had seamanship, in which we learned another component of charting course. People are starting to join me in sitting on the floor during seamanship class to chart. It is definitely the coolest place. Some short study time in between class and dinner in which to prepare for our quiz tomorrow was much appreciated.

We also passed 2,000 miles today! Kind of a milestone on this trip. Everyone gathered for dinner, looking content as well as hot and sweaty. Courtney and I were dying laughing at dinner. After the squeeze, I again made use of Gabe’s four-point scale. One being bad, two being ok, three being good, and four being astronomically excellent. There are no decimals, and a 2.5 is not allowed. Everyone was to hold up the number of fingers that described their day today, and I was happy to see an overwhelming number of three and fours. As I am typing right now, there seems to be a dishy pit/deckie dance party going on to the lyrics of Call Me Maybe. After I finish, there will be a meeting of the newly-established Coco Fit club led by Mac and Claire on the stern, so I am excited about that. Some people thought we didn’t get enough exercise by sweating lines, I suppose. Someone just remembered that it is St. Patrick’s Day and put on some bagpipe music. Good call. We are going forward with dreams of the Galapagos, and with that, I will sign out. Much love to friends and family at home! Penelope

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