An Albatross a Day Makes the Sea Sickness Go Away

February 26, 2024

Author: Neel Koritala, A Watch, University of Illinois ‘25


Ship's Log

February 25, 2024

Position: 40°24.905 ‘S x 177°05.352 ‘EHeading: 246°TSpeed: 2.7 knotsWeather: A nice sunny day with strong winds in the morning, easing in the afternoon. The sea had swells around 4-5 feet, and the temperature was around 21°C.

Hello from beautiful Aotearoa New Zealand!Time is flying by. We are approximately 6 days away from ourport stop in Wellington. It is hard to believe that we only landed here 12days ago. Every day has been incredible. Despite our hectic schedules thereis always ample time for delicious food and great conversations. Take todayfor example. I woke up around 1030 (A watch, which is my watch group, hadnight watch from 01900 to 0100). I rolled out of bed and crawled into themain salon. A few of my ship mates were there, chowing down on some leftovercrepes and nutella. I joined them and them, savoring every last bite of thatnutella. I stayed in the main salon for a meeting with my fellow watchmembers. We discussed how we were feeling and learned more about differentsailing maneuvers. Then, it came time for lunch. A scrumptious salad withcannellini beans, kale, mini shrimp, and balsamic vinegar. After devouringmy lunch, A watch took the deck. Every day we cycle through variousresponsibilities. We steer the ship with the helm, take lookout on theship’s bow, do hourly boat checks to ensure safety, plot our course, andadjust the sails. Today I began on lookout. I clipped into the bow of theship and held on as the ship crashed along the waves, getting splashedoccasionally (sometimes doused). Just in the one hour I was at the bow, Isaw 5 albatrosses! Next, I was off to the helm. Getting to steer is such alarge ship is exhilarating but also nerve-racking. Next was the boat check.From the engine room to the heads (bathrooms) you check every nook andcranny, making sure all is well. After a successful watch, we headed down tothe main salon for a tasty chicken and beef casserole.

It is hard to encapsulate what goes on day to day because thereare always aspects of the ship that are changing. You learn to expect theunexpected. Every day there are new challenges and tasks, but we worktogether to ensure we are moving in the right direction. I am surrounded bysuch an incredible group of people. Everyone is kind-hearted, open, andpatient. It makes it what should be difficult feel easy. Sharing thisexperience with this group of people is such a blessing. Further, I’ve beenlucky enough to be a speck in the grand Pacific Ocean. There is so much tosee. We have seen vibrant bioluminescent water, dolphins dancing along thebow of the ship, and even a sunfish. Being at the mercy of the nature ishumbling, and it helps you appreciate the smaller things in life you havetaken for granted.P.STo my family and friends. I love and miss you all very much. The firstchance I get, you will be getting a call. I hope all is going well!Best,Neel Koritala, A Watch, University of Illinois ‘25

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One Comment

  1. Rachel and Srirajasekhar Koritala February 27, 2024 at 13:21 - Reply

    It’s great to hear you are having a fantastic time Neel. Your blog post gave us a nice window into your exciting experiences and food :-). We love you tons and hope you continue to have many more adventures on this voyage. We can’t wait to talk with you when you stop ashore.
    – Mom, Nanna (Dad), Asha and Sahana

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