Life is Swell: Living in Squall-or
Author: Cassie Ferrante, Colgate University
08° 26.106’ N x 134° 47.435’ W
Sailing under the four lowers (Mainsail, main staysail, forestaysail, and jib); Winds: Force 4 from ESE
In celebration of the new month, I'll start with a family tradition - rabbit, rabbit! On land, whoever says "rabbit, rabbit" first in our house gets good luck for the rest of the month (sorry, Mom!).
In other news, I woke up for watch meeting this morning and was greeted by the sight of minke whales off the port side of the boat. It was fun to watch their fins breach the water and to see the stark contrast of their gray bodies in the deep blue. It's unreal that sights like this are what I've been used to for the past few weeks.
We also hit a squall today - I think someone forgot to sacrifice some of their mid-rats to Neptune. The winds (and rain!) picked up and our surroundings quickly changed. At one point, we managed to hit 10.5 knots which is the fastest we've sailed without the engine. Although the calm weather we've experienced so far has made sleeping easier, I was excited to experience some action. Steering the helm while the boat is lurching sideways and the wind is whipping all around was awesome.
Moments like today at the helm make me wish I could bottle memories to re-experience after the trip. I keep getting the feeling that I want to stop time and live in these moments forever (except for sticking my hand in booby poop, that one I can do without). Certain moments like reading on deck with friends, listening to jam sessions, watching the sunset, laughing at bad puns, dawn watch ramen breaks, one night ultimate werewolf sessions, hot chocolate pick-me-ups, seeing shooting stars from the bow, late night talks on deck, and of course, participating in general tomfoolery.
Due to being a 291er, I'm acutely aware that I am extremely fortunate to be here. I guess that's why I keep getting these rushes of gratitude - since I know that I might have missed these experiences altogether.
This gratitude has also extended to appreciating the people I have the fortune of sharing this 135ft vessel with. The nature of our living conditions makes it easy to get to know everyone. As I've discovered with land people, everyone has a story to share, and it's been fun striking up conversations to hear the tales these sea people have to tell. The crew in particular consists of some of the most interesting people I've met. I wanted to take a moment to highlight some cool facts about the crew to showcase the impressive variety of talents and experiences we have aboard:
- Captain Seбn: Sailed around the world for three years, stopping at 248 port stops in 28 countries
- Abby Mai: Works with draft horses on a horse-powered farm
- Abby W.: Worked at a glassblowing studio
- Ashley: Teaches wooden spoon carving classes on land
- Christine: Graffitied part of the Berlin Wall
- Darcy: Sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Woods Hole, MA to Ireland on a SEA trip
- Duncan: Grew up on a farm with sheep, chickens, rabbits, a horse, three gardens, and an orchard. Also surfs
- Emily: Worked as a fish tender in Alaska
- Hannah L.: In her land life, works in anti-violence community organizing and restorative justice
- Lila: Can't shuffle a deck of cards
- Megan: Worked on a tall ship where they spoke Old Norse
- Nate: Can pat his head and rub his stomach at the same time. Also worked as an instructor for the Maine Primitive Skills School
- Jan: Rebuilt a boat engine
- Talia: Can ride a unicycle ?
Thanks for reading! Mom - Happy belated birthday! Can't wait to watch more Heartland. Dad - Thanks for inspiring my love of the sea. Thanks Tiger for the Dr. Seuss. Love to the rest of my family and friends.
Cassie Ferrante, Colgate University
Contact: Douglas Karlson, Director of Communications, 508-444-1918 | email@example.com
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