I woke up this morning feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. The conditions yesterday, traveling to Hapuna Bay was rough and choppy but we made it to our destination at the Big Island. Reflecting on today brings me show much joy (especially because it was Rocky’s birthday) that I can’t help but smile writing this blog post. As I was looking out at Hapuna Bay this morning enjoying my coffee I reflected on how lucky I am to be here. Being surrounded by so many amazing people has made this experience something that I will never forget. I can learn so many things from so many people with so many personalities.
After I finished my coffee and breakfast, I started my watch at 0800. Today we cleaned up breakfast, did chores, watched the anchor, and prepared for a day of snorkeling before the students have their final reef survey tomorrow (we were busy, busy this morning). After we were all done with our to do list, I prepared to go snorkeling. I was so excited to get into the water again. The more I go snorkeling around the islands of Hawai’i the more I begin to understand the ways of the reef. In the past, I’ve gone snorkeling in tropical places and thought very little about how many organisms and species were below me. Now, I’ve started to recognize the little movements and sounds throughout the corals. The documentary called Chasing Coral, describes a reef as an underwater city. Fish are protecting their algae gardens, corals and other organisms are communicating by rhythmic clicking, and everyone is working together to maintain the place they call home.
Anyway, after snorkeling, I hopped back on watch to finish my responsibilities. After an anchor check and a boat check I was relieved of my duties and got some free time. My free time included a swim call by our amazing captain, Capitan Rebecca. I jumped off the boat, floated on my back, and let the current keep me afloat. I was greeted by a little jellyfish on my swim.
After the swim call was over Operation Rocky’s Birthday Festivities began. Stella and I made a card and went around the boat to make sure EVERYONE on the crew signed it. During my rounds, the dinner bell rang, and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset dinner sitting on the quarter deck just simply talking and laughing all together. Not only was there laughter and conversation, but there was also some plotting which entailed gathering everybody on the quarter deck to sing happy birthday to one amazing person.
However… it wasn’t just any regular ‘Happy Birthday.’ Our wonderful musicians on board, Carolina, Dewey, Kenzie, and Becca performed an original song about the man of the hour. We are going to be singing, “Rockyyyyyyy it’s your birthdayyyy,” for days and days and days.
The day ended with some ukulele and singing. It was a day that I will never forget.
Hi mom, dad, Lily, and Caroline. I miss you guys so much and don’t forget to give Keen a big hug and kiss from me. Happy birthday Caroline for the 18th of June. And Dad if I don’t get the opportunity to call you Happy Father’s Day XOXO. I love you guys so much and I’m having such an amazing time!
Emma Francoeur, B Watch, Boston University