When people say that time flies, ask them what happens when time sails! The amount of information and sights and smells and thoughts and so many other things that occurred over the last few weeks seem nearly infinite. Yesterday was our last day at sea, which started with a squall that had us nearly walking on the bulkheads of the ship and drenched above deck, but that soon changed!
The rest of the day was spent sailing at about 10 knots under the four lowers which was our record speed of the trip along with a record number of dolphins sighted on our port side! Sunny skies and force 6- 7 winds had us cruising! Talk about a heck of a birthday!
Today began with anchor watches throughout the evening and into the morning. I was woken at 0515 by Dylan to stand watch for an hour and fifteen minutes with Rachel as she utilized this time at anchor to make up for lost boat check time as she was unable to do so at sea due to seasickness. That’s commitment! Her rival Mathilde is currently working to get her numbers up on boat checks as she has just completed her third in a row.
Anyways… a lovely sun rise came with coffee and some beautiful seabirds like the gannets, which we got to watch dive bomb their prey and rate their dives. The day proceeded with breakfast, chores and homework. It is much easier to write papers while anchored versus writing then under force 5 winds on a port tack! As people wrapped up assignments for the day we got lunch and made our way towards land to get the land legs back in gear. I got to explore some pretty magnificent trails with my friends George and Dylan for a few hours before we needed to head back to the landing cite to catch the little boat to get home for the night. Just before dark we got a visit from a shark too! They must have smelled the dumplings. That was pretty neat.
It has been a nice break to be able to walk vertically throughout the ship while at anchor in Kaiaraara Bay and get a chance to get our land legs back. This whole adventure has gone so fast and though it isn’t over yet, it is hard not to reflect back with friends who practically feel like family now. I guess that’s what happens when you live, eat, sleep, laugh, cry and do all sorts of things with one another for three months straight from Woods Hole to glacier hikes to fierce seas.
A bond has been mended that cannot be torn by any squall nor whatever else the sea brings our way. You don’t find that just around any corner just like Forrest Gump said, and these are my best good friends. I was reminded by our teacher Jeff that a lot of what we have learned here we may not even realizes until later on. I find that to be true. This whole trip has taught me to be so present and live in each moment as it is. That’s a valuable lesson. We’ve learned about different cultures than our own as well as what to do with over 80 different lines on this ship. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything and I look forward to the next couple of days in Kaiaraara Bay to do what we all do best here; taking care of each other, our ship and ourselves!
- Derek Fischer, UCONN Avery Point
Shout out to all at home! Miss you guys a bunch. I can’t wait to share all these stories and photos with you guys! I hope they can make due for some good fireplace talks in a couple of weeks. However, I sporting a fine sunglass and tank top tan and I cannot accept that I’m going to lose all of this when I come home. Love you all!