Location: Underway to East London

As always, there comes a time in the trip when it is your final blog post; it appears this is mine. Welcome to day 77, everyone! It started early for everyone’s favorite watch (watch team 1), as Ava volunteered us to be the watch to take us out of Durban. We woke up at 4 am and got to raise the two anchors (for the final time?!?), exit out of the port, and raise the two staysails. We also got to put a reef in the main staysail, which, if you are unsure what that means, is just a way for us to make the sail smaller. As we left Durban with the hopes of never returning, we expected some rough weather to blow in the evening. To be best prepared for those swells coming in, I decided to get a jump on my chef day, which is tomorrow. I spent the evening boiling my bagel dough and watching them get golden brown in the oven. They smelled yum.

These final days on Vela, as we finish up with classwork and make plans for our time in Cape Town, are coming to a close fast. Some have been using it to catch up on sleep, while others are making the most of having loads of people around each night and are movie-watching whatever they can get their hands on. It feels like an eternity when we were all tan, complaining when the ocean was 79 degrees, and wearing tank tops. Nowadays, off the coast of South Africa, we find it warm when we are able to wear shorts and a jacket, sleep under fleece blankets, and walk around the boat with socks on. This trip has been filled with exciting things like swimming with whale sharks, hiking with dragons, dancing with robber crabs, and running on the white sand beaches of Cocos Keeling, but it always seems to end with the same feeling on board. No matter what we see, what we do, where we go, it always turns out people are what matter and the ice cream. I feel like a broken record, always yammering on about how Seamester brings us together, but go ahead and ask whoever you are reading this blog for if they agree. If the thought of this trip with a different group of people sounds appealing. If being anywhere else but bundled up, feet frozen, face numb on the deck of Vela is something they can fathom. We have less than two weeks left on this adventure, and we are going to ride the Agulhas current as fast as we can, not because we are excited about the end goal but because we are going to make the most of those days on board. Searching high and low for our final glimpses of whales, mola, penguins, fur seals, and whatever else our watchful eyes will bring. Until next time, Bloginator, on some other trip with some other group.