Hello from sea!
This morning at 0100 A Watch was relieved from evening watch and we gathered in the saloon to finish our mid rats (midnight rations). We were tired and ready for bed but reminisced about the crazy night we just had! Wind speeds were over 20 Knots and swells were splashing us on deck! As we ate our orange-cranberry scones I simply could not believe how much this experience has already shaped me. Every day is a learning opportunity. I wake up in my cozy bunk with pictures of family and friends and contemplate wanting to return home, but never wanting this adventure to end. I feel thankful for another opportunity to tackle the challenges that might come my way and embrace the good and bad. This community and ship have become a part of who I am. Our self-reliant crew depends on each individual to uphold their work for the well-being of the entire ship. There is an overwhelming sense of belonging, care, and compassion that I have not experienced in other settings. It is crazy to think that we have only been sailing for a short amount of time but we have all taken to the duties and necessary tasks to running this ship. One key way we show kindness to our shipmates is thoroughly doing a good job at our commitments. We quickly all scurried to our bunks and went to bed. I was lulled to sleep by the rocking of the ship and sound of the ocean crashing. Later, I was woken for A Watch's afternoon meeting. We folded paper into nine sections and rotated around to draw one another. We would have a minute or so to draw each other but the catch was that we couldn't look at our paper or pick up our pencil. We ended our meeting with the on-coming smells of burger bowls for lunch. Once our afternoon watch started, I was in lab! Today we had a very eventful lab experience filled with a plentiful amount of tasks! I took bird observations throughout the day, every hour I watched for sea birds. This is an obligatory task for the lab during daylight hours. We also look for plant material, plastic and other large objects. We sorted and processed the findings from the previously deployed neuston net. We marveled at our findings but later counted 100 copepods for the hundred count. So. Many. Copepods. Lab flew by today! Lots of clerical work and setting sails as well! Earlier this week A Watch won the pin rail chase (yes, lots of smack talk occurred beforehand). We have become much quicker in our time to set sails and gained confidence in going to the correct pin. I am so excited for our approaching Napier port stop. As much as I love my sea legs, I am definitely ready for my land legs to stretch out! I am excited to continue learning more about the ship, my shipmates, and the dynamic environment we are living in! With lots of love, JF, Jessifer, and J-Frame AKA Jessica Legaard Colorado College P.S. Mom and Dad, I miss you tons and your encouragement gives me strength every day. Say "hi" to Emmett for me! Kirstin, I miss you like crazy and cannot wait for more dilly dallys and tomfoolery with you. Gracie love, I am so proud of you for the giant adventure you are on and cannot wait for more adventures and star gazing with you. Love you all and I hope all is well!