We left Kanton yesterday, an absolutely amazing place I'll never forget. A watch (my watch) was then completely wrecked with dawn watch (0100-0700). Fully exhausted from adventures in Kanton and working to get underway again; it was rough. For some odd reason, we were also tasked with chores during dawn watch, which usually happen in the morning. Janell and I were fumbling around below, cleaning at 3am, running into things and falling over. Despite fighting to stay awake and stumbling around the dark ship, dawn watch is probably my favorite watch. There's something about hearing nothing but the ship, the wind, and the waves that is hypnotizing and calming. The stars are beyond anything I've ever seen. Stretching from horizon to horizon, you can see the whole Milky Way. After leaving port, a few people got re-seasick :(, but nothing like the first few days. I got in a quick nap before.
A watch demonstrating a shark chomp
Field day today! Which sounds super fun, but what it really means is massive cleaning of every small, hard-to-reach crevice of the ship. A watch was tasked with being the hype team. We yelled out to our shipmates from the top of the doghouse and began the trials to find our fiercest mung (basically dirt) fighter. A mass game of rock paper scissors but appropriately themed (megalops, flying fish, shark) broke out. The final battle was soon upon us and with the megalops (crab larvae), Elliot was victorious and awarded the title of Ultimate Mung Defeater. A watch was on galley duty. We fire-lined pots and pans and random pieces of stove up to the deck to be scrubbed until they turned a whole new color. I was down below with Michelle, Silas and Adam, slipping on spilled oil and scraping crusty food gunk out of corners with an old bent butter knife. We blasted Come on Eileen and some Queen perhaps in an attempt to distract us from the buckets of sweat coming off our bodies and keep us from wondering how old this gunk is. Field day means a sweet surprise though, when Lauren comes by with a big tray of cold wonderful candy. I don't think I've ever been more excited about a twix.
After field day, I got to chill out for a bit before my watch at 1900-0100. I worked on some homework, at the last minute of course, drawing a Humphead Wrasse and writing about it. This was one of the fish I saw snorkeling! An incredible animal, super amazing blues and greens and really funky and cool looking. In lab on watch we did some science deployments, pulled up a really tiny squid and introduced Brandon to oreos with peanut butter. We also did some pretty wicked sail handling, climbing out onto the headrig in complete darkness, bouncing around in the rough waves, trying to tie the sail down. One of the funnest things to do. I then took a much needed shower, washed my hair for the first time in about a week, it was incredible. I was immediately sweaty again right afterwards, but being slightly less salty is always good. I pulled a whole stick out of my hair the other day, wasn't sure how long it was in there for, at least a day and a half.
I'm having the best time of my life on this boat. Everything is so exciting and all the people are absolutely wonderful. I still haven't gotten tired of seeing nothing but ocean. I've gotten wrapped in man of war tentacles, jumped off the bowsprit into the ocean, dragged myself across a channel with a rope, swam with sharks with my snorkel and chum buddy Michelle, chilled on the headrig with Delaney and Connor, square danced with Harrison (super fun and we're pretty good), got dragged out of the ocean into the boat by Jason my hero, it's all been so fun. I think one of my favorite things is going aloft. Silas and I climbed to the very top of the mast the other day while in Kanton. An experience and a view I could never do justice with any description.
To mom, dad and Cayman, I love you guys and cannot wait to tell you about all my adventures, I hope you bought that fridge while it was on sale, give the cats some love for me. I'm definitely going to be full pirate when I get back, pretty close already, but not quite to Captain Jack yet 🙂
- Cassidy Bull, A Watch, Johns Hopkins University