Location: Underway to The Azores

I feel like we must have been sailing through a pod of whales today because there wasn’t just one time we spotted them. There were two! These times weren’t just singular whales taking a breath of fresh air before diving back down either. We saw families- complete with baby humpbacks and multiple full breaches as well. The pictures don’t do it justice to how majestic a whale can look jumping out of the water.

Whales, as you might have guessed, started our day. Bright and early, just after the sun rose, watch team one was on their 4 am to 8 am watch when the first pod of whales was spotted. Maria and Will were tying down the flying jib at around 6 am )after it started flapping too much) when Maria spotted a partial breach off the port side of the ship. This one partial breach turned into a show where the curious whales went to inspect the unfamiliar boat sailing their waters. Watch team one, in their kindness, rushed to woke up the rest of the boat to see the spectacle. I, however, didn’t see the whales this time as I was more concerned with getting 2 hours more of sleep before my watch with watch team 2 right afterward from 8 to 12.

After watch team 1 went to bed, watch team 2 took over the boat watch before the entire crew would wake up for the day. In the first part of this watch, we members of watch team 2 perfected our time king dance which you’ll hear about later in the blog. In the second half of the watch, the watch team had to split up, unfortunately. Our head chef of the day, Cate, went with one of her sous chefs, Drew, to wake up the other sous chef, Lily. Lunch had to be made. As two members of the watch team headed out, Santana also was forced to abstain from watching the boat to focus on his leadership presentation with Eddie, who had just woken up. They had to present to the rest of the crew later that day how change relates to leadership. Their other partner was Drew. This just left Maya, Phoebe, Claire, and I to watch the ship until it was time for the rest of the crew to awaken.

Wake-ups were at 12:15, 15 minutes before lunch was served, and the entire crew finally roused themselves to the world of the living.

The lunch we had made sure everyone woke up with a smile, though. Cate, Lily, and Drew made these incredible fried buffalo tofu burgers and corn and feta cheese salad. The bread for the burgers was also delicious and baked by our resident breadmaker of the day, Celia. During lunch, the crew also received a surprise in the form of the king of time and his royal court, who coincidentally was made of watch team 2. Calum handed down a royal decree that the clocks were all to be moved forward another hour, this time with backup dancers.

With their stomachs full of fried tofu and their morales rejuvenated by the king’s appearance, the crew was ready to work on getting up all of the sails for the next few hours after lunch. We raised the jib, flying jib, and fisherman sails while also sheeting the forward staysail and the main sail. I evenclimbedb up the bowsprit to help raise the jib and flying jib by undoing the sail ties. Everyone toiled in the sun for hours, though, which made sitting in the shade and listening to an incredible presentation on leadership all that more appealing.

Eddie, Santana, and Drew gave us an incredible lesson on what it meant to be a leader in changing circumstances and what changes good and bad leaders make. After the presentation, they divided us into teams to work on the discussion questions. I was in team cool (named by Santana) with Charles, Rob, Will, and Celia, while Maya, Carsen, Emma, Maria, Alex, and Sammy were in team dope (also named by Santana). The chefs were already prepping for dinner. After the presentation, some of us went to do more work on the sails when we got our second surprise of the day, more whales.

This time I counted five breaches full breaches total, although I was only there for two of them. The first person to see the whales was Calum, but Sammy was the first student and shouted down to the rest of us to come up ASAP. What incredible creatures, and so gentle too. You don’t even know where they are before they come up to take a breath of fresh air. I wish they could’ve stayed forever, but they eventually left, and we had a review session for NAV master that we were already late for.

During this review, Gabe brought us through everything we’d need to know for our NAV master test to ace it in the Azores. It’s pretty complicated, but I have faith in every member of our crew.

Our day ended with another great meal made by our chefs. This time they made beef and vegetable soup (or just vegetable) and mac and cheese. It tasted absolutely heavenly, and most people went for seconds, at least. I know for a fact that Rob and I went for thirds. After dinner, we finished like every Seamester day ends, with a squeeze and an incredible sunset as a backdrop. You all can probably figure out my appreciation (WHALES), and my question for the group was, “What do you think you are in the top 1% of humanity in” (or the top 80,000,000 people alive if that makes more sense)? We are currently two days out from the Azores, according to the charts, and everyone on board can’t wait to call home. Sawtch Seam Swo!

Also, Mom and Dad, can you please relay this message to Charlie on the fifteenth if we don’t get to the Azores in time? Thanks, and I miss you guys so much!
“Happy Birthday, Charlie!! I’m so sad I won’t be able to talk to you at all, but I hope you’re having fun at camp. Can’t wait to hear how it was when we both get home.”