Final Mission Frenzy

December 21, 2023

Author: Emma Rose Mason, Colorado College


Emma and Lila on the yard!

Ship's Log

19 December 2023Current Position: Great Barrier IslandShip's Heading & Speed: At Anchor!Weather: Perfect

Hi all! Emma here. I don't even know where to start with this blog because Ifeel like this week has been so magical. I was able to go aloft multipletimes and felt so lucky to see a sun dog, or prism of light in the clouds, alarge pod of common dolphins, and even a hammerhead shark, all from aloft!But let's focus on December 19th! Today was the last day of our FinalMission and A Watch started us off strong with dawn watch under theleadership of JLO Olivia and JWO Annie Grace. Incredible! Then B Watch tookover the helm (literally) in the morning, under the leadership of JWO Sam,and JLO Cricket. They even set the fisherman sail! Momentous! C Watch, ofwhich I am a part, spent the beginning of the day sleeping in after a longovernight watch. We had a nice debrief and played telestrations. Thenworkout club met for our daily planks and burpees and singing a self-writtensong: "Its workout club today! Its time to go cray, we're no longer in abay; we're in the ocean, the ocean. Everybody get in motion, its time to getsome commotion, its workout club today!" Following workout club, C Watch atea yummy pesto-filled lunch and started the EPIC last watch rotation of FinalMission.Under the leadership of JWO Zeke and JLO Emma, C Watch conquered all, doinga neuston tow just south of Little Barrier Island, and finding a bunch offun creatures like ctenophores, crab megalops, salps, young fishes, andmore. We motored, we sailed, we even saw penguins! We had so much fun in thesun this afternoon and ended our watch by striking, furling, and wrappingall the sails with covers by the time we reached our anchorage in GreatBarrier Island. I think we are all still a little weirded out by seeing landbut excited about how beautiful this place is! After watch, everyone enjoyeda yummy dinner of potato latkes, chicken/tofu, peas, and homemade bread. Wemustered as a group to hear some Final Mission science takeaways from theJLO's, vote on a class representative, and enjoy the sunset together. Thegalley queens even surprised us with sticky cinnamon bread, which was sogood.I think everyone has reached a point in the trip of reflection with only acouple days left, we look to each other in a new light than we did in WoodsHole. It is bittersweet to think about leaving the boat, a place where wehave slept, eaten, worked, and enjoyed the stunning deep blue of the oceanaround us. We have enjoyed calm sunny days, and crazy windy seas. High highslike Splash Mountain, going aloft, and finding crazy zooplankton in lab. Andlows too, which make us appreciate the highs even more. I am sad to thinkabout the small amount of time left but am so excited to see where everyoneis going to next. I feel lucky to be able to walk alongside some of S312 atColorado College in the spring. S312 has so much to look forward to in thenext couple of months. Some of us are about to start college, some havinggraduated or graduating on this trip, and some of us are staying in NewZealand for months after this program! But I know for a fact that everyonewill think of this experience and smile. I feel so encouraged by the peoplearound me and excited to celebrate all we have done in these next couple ofdays!With love and gratitude (words seen frequently around the boat),Emma Rose MasonC WatchMom, Dad, Josh, and Noah - Can't wait to talk to you! I am eternallygrateful for you guys and am so excited to give you all lots of hugs! XOXOEM

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One Comment

  1. Kenton Hensley December 21, 2023 at 22:52 - Reply

    Lila’s Uncle Kenton is checking in and thanks for the update, Emma, and I love the pic of you two on the yardarm. Wow, Lila, so awesome to see you in the rigging. I can’t wait to hear the details.

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