A Day with Dolphins

May 5, 2023

Madison Bell, C Watch, Macalester College

Some of the dolphins swimming close to the ship.

Ship's Log

Noon Position
19˚24.8’N x 156˚17.9’W

Ship Heading

Ship Speed
7.5 knots

Taffrail Log
3231 nautical miles

Weather / Wind / Sail Plan
Wind W F4, Seas SExS 2’, motor-sailing under the forestays’l and mainstays’l on a port close reach

Description of location
5nm off the coast of the island of Hawai’i

Souls on Board

All blogs from S-308

As usual for when I am on afternoon watch, my day started later in the morning. I woke up around 1030 and got up in time for our 1100 watch meeting. After our meeting I had lunch before grabbing my harness and heading up to the quarter deck. Watch started out particularly nice today as I started out on lookout and got a good look at the Big Island! It’s so exciting to be so close to land after three weeks of nothing but the open ocean.We had drills today, and for our Prepare to Abandon Ship drill we ended up donning our immersion suits. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve put one on, and if they were difficult to get into then, they’re even more difficult to get into now when it’s hot and humid out.After drills we went back to watch rotations, but not long after dolphins were spotted! A large pod of Spinner dolphins were leaping into the air, and had soon spotted the ship. They headed towards us, and spent a long while swimming around the boat and beneath the bowsprit. I went out into the headrig, as did several others, in order to get a better look at our unexpected visitors. It was fascinating watching them swim in front of the boat, and from where I was situated I could hear them vocalizing to each other. It was definitely the highlight of my day, as well as one of the highlights of the entire trip.To me the dolphins signaled our welcome to Hawai’i, as well as the looming end of our journey. We’ll be anchoring in no time, and after that we’ll be docking at the harbor. I’m excited to finally be back on land after so many weeks, but at the same time, I really enjoy the time I’ve been on board.  I’m not sure yet exactly how I’ll feel when my time here comes to an end.

Hi to everyone back home! I’ll see you soon!!Signing off,Madison Bell, C Watch, Macalester College

A view of the Big Island with a Spinner dolphin jumping into the air.

Cate (C Watch), Ana (C Watch), Franny (A Watch), Vanessa (3rd Scientist), and Beanz (Mate in Training) laying in the headrig to look at the dolphins.

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