Hello from the Gulf of Maine! This morning started with a 2:50 wake-up call for me (Elaina) because I was on anchor watch from 0300-0500. The stars were beautiful and I could see the Milky Way for a little bit before a thunderstorm rolled through. Today is our first day standing sea watches and, though tiring, they are certainly enjoyable! I (Della) had the first full watch this morning, seven to 1300. We got to set the mains'l for the first time, and in lab we did a Neuston Tow, which turned up a small cute fish called a sand lance as well as a lot of miscellaneous organisms to be processed.
I (Elaina) spent the morning off-watch riding the bowsprit and looking for whales. The excitement when we finally saw one was contagious. Everyone came out from below decks and lined up on the port beam to see it for themselves which was oneof the highlights of the trip so far. Another high point was yesterday's swim call. We jumped off the bowsprit into the turquoise waters of Cape Cod Bay to cool off.
Processing samples in the lab.
The other major wildlife sighting for the day (not counting the many sea birds) was a seal. It was so far out that there was some disagreement about whether the animal actually was a seal, and not a shark or orca, but binoculars confirmed the sighting.
Unfortunately, the use of sail power brought seasickness to many in our crew today. Luckily, the abundance of saltine crackers and friendly faces has brought relief to many (including both blog authors), and morale remains high!
In other news, Captain Chris edited our cruise track to stay out of the path of tropical storm Elsa. Don't worry, we will make it to Maine with plenty of time to anchor and hunker in for the night.
Overall, we're adjusting nicely to shipboard life. It hasn't been easy with the seasickness, new environment and the scope of our surroundings, but the great crew and family we formed on shore have been there for us every step of the way. As we're writing this, we're sitting in the main salon with Mikey, drinking tea and trying to figure out how gimbaled tables actually work.
- Elaina Berdyck, Mt. Lebanon High School
- Della Waldman, Maieutic Academy
PS: Sending love to:
Mom, Dad, Em, Sarah - I miss you guys like crazy but this adventure is the coolest thing ever. I'm constantly learning and writing and laughing (sometimes vomiting) and I have so many stories to tell you. Give Riley a hug for me, yes, I'm wearing
my retainers and yes, I'm incredibly safe and well taken care of. - Elaina
Mo, Sophie, Sarah, Julie, Cheryl - I keep having moments of "Oh! I want to tell you guys about this!" so be prepared for so many stories when I get home. Sending so much love from the North Atlantic <3 Elaina
My dear beloved family - Hello. I hope you all are well. Please keep up the battle against my mortal enemy without me. I look forward to seeing everyone again and regaling you all with tales of my wonderful adventure on the high seas. Until then,
sending the vast majority of my love to you guys!! <3 smile -Della
Hi Mom and Dad miss and love you - Mikey