Today was a day of celebration, as not one, but two shipmates had birthdays today, Jessie, and Jeff! We just rounded out the day, which was sunny and warm, with carrot cupcakes and a couple of rounds of Happy Birthday singing, including a Danish rendition by our resident Dane, Amelia. Being on land again has felt a little weird, as we're thrust back into having to look both ways crossing the street and interacting with strangers.
Back to reality in some ways, and a hard stop to the ship routine which has become our reality over the past couple of weeks. We also have just 10 days left, although it feels like our momentum is only building in terms of getting used to the boat and life at sea. Although the port stop has been a time of rest, and time to get some work done, I still feel thoroughly wiped out by the end of the day, and looking forward to crawling into my bunk. We set out for Great Barrier Island tomorrow, so it'll be back to the watch schedule and our routines under sail.
Our chief engineer, Nate, has brought aboard an abundance of flax and other local plants. The engine control room has never been more colorful and fragrant, and we'll be weaving flax baskets for the rest of the trip. As we enter this last leg on up the New Zealand coast, and approach the end of the semester, we'll have more responsibility than ever on our watches as we enter the JWO (Junior Watch Officer) phase. It's fitting that we end the semester on this note, having spent the last several months living and learning with each other, building some of the most unique relationships of our lives.
Hello to my family and friends, looking forward to seeing you all soon!