Location: Port Essington, Australia

Right at 7:10 am, the merry sounds of Debbie Reynolds and Gene Kelly made their way through the cabins, awakening everyone to another gorgeous day off the coast of northern Australia. After a gourmet breakfast of eggs Florentine (skillfully prepared by Jack, Sam, and Hannah), we all engaged in an odds vs. evens water chug boat race one liter each. Despite several attempts at cheating by the evens, the odds (my team!) emerged victoriously. Forcefully hydrated, we all piled into the dinghies and headed to Victoria Settlement. Victoria Settlement was established in 1838 by the British in response to Dutch and French expansion in the southern East Indies. Seven years later, however, the settlement failed and was finally abandoned in 1849. Few British soldiers could stand the heat and bugs; after experiencing them for ourselves, we can totally empathize.

All that remains of the settlement now is the crumbling walls and foundations of several key buildings, such as the hospital and quartermaster’s store. Though it was sweltering hot, it was really cool to see how people lived during the days of colonial Australia, especially for a history major like me. After that, we headed back to Argo for sandwiches. DJ made a PB & J wrap, and then pretty much everyone went back to make one too. Following cleanup, we had our first OCB class since the exam. Carolyn taught us all about red tides, which are quite interesting. Next, everyone in PSCT had class and went over maritime law. The rest of us took a couple of hours to relax. Later in the afternoon, right as we were getting ready for deck showers, we noticed one of the boy’s heads (our sailor term for the bathroom) was clogged. Max and Alec bravely volunteered to fix it, and both learned a great deal more about plumbing than they probably ever intended. We then gathered for a squeeze, and everyone shared his or her greatest fear. For dinner, we had pea and prawn risotto, which was excellent. We’re all pretty much just chillin in the saloon now. I think we’ll watch a movie as soon as I finish this post, so I better get going. Shout out to my mom and dad! Miss you both.