Houston, we have a problem.

My watch alarm worked this morning. Yahoo. I spoke briefly with Tania because she has to get up at the same time as me. She said that she had trouble falling asleep last night, so she got up to make a sandwich. I laughed to myself because when I can’t fall asleep, my absolute LAST reaction would be “I think I’ll get up and make a sandwich.” I think, “Maybe I’ll read.” Or “Maybe I’ll count sheep.” Or even, “Maybe I’ll take a NyQuil.” Tania continued to say that while she was up, she noticed that Cpt. Bob, Ian, and Bailey were all in the pilothouse talking about the engine. Ruh roh. I remember waking up around 5am and realizing, Hey, the engine isn’t on. It’s really quiet. Isn’t that nice. And then I fell back asleep.

When I came up to the salon, I found Johnny passed out face down on one of the seats with a bed sheet over him. I flicked him in the face (told you that karma is a bitch). He stirred, while whining and mumbling about the A/C being broken in his room. Oh really? He complained that it had actually gotten colder in his room. I found that to be the opposite thing that should happen when an air conditioning breaks, but he said it had gotten down to about 64 in his room. Prime sleeping conditions if you ask me, but I guess since blankets aren’t the most plentiful item on board, it’d be too cold. Apparently, it made a really loud noise that the rest of us (or maybe just me) slept through. I was relieved for a moment and said, “Oh geez. Just the A/C, Tania had mentioned the engine.” He said, “Oh well, that’s the problem, too. It’s overheating.” FANTASTIC*.

I started getting ready to go on watch, but Johnny was dragging. I wasn’t about to let him come up late because of a lack of sleep. So, I took my time making breakfast then we got into a brief spat about — well, do we really even need to go up there? Yes. No. Yes. No. If we don’t have a working engine, there is absolutely zero point in looking for whales because we can’t get to them. Not the best reality, but it is what it is. He went to settle in to something on his computer, but I suggested an early morning workout instead. So, that’s what we did.

Let me tell you. Boat workouts should be patented and sold. I’d make millions if it was feasible to recreate this experience and sell it to all those Americans living sedentary lifestyles who want instant results. Being on a boat is a work out in general because there is always some part of your body tensing up to keep balance. Think about it this way. You see those things in the gym – they look like one of those work-out balls, but they’ve been chopped in half and there’s a flat side to them. Called Bosu balls. You stand on them and you have to keep balance and then accomplish your exercises. It pretty much doubles the effect of your work out. Maybe more than that. Actually, definitely more than that. A boat is pretty much a giant Bosu ball. I’m living on a 93-foot one. Therefore, my workout this morning was amazing and it was only about 20 minutes long.

We started off doing push-ups for a minute, as many as you can do. HA. I hate push ups. My upper body strength is equal to that of…something without a lot of upper arm strength. However, trying to stay solid while lowering and raising your body? All I can do is laugh when I think about how genius it is. We basically switched back and forth between upper body/arm exercises and sit-ups/core exercises. I love core work, so I was especially happy with how good this was. My personal favorite was after we were done, I wanted to try and do some pull ups. We went up onto the pilot house watch deck and laid horizontally on the platform, pulling ourselves up to the bar. After that, I sat on top of the bar, wrapped my legs in between the vertical piping, and leaned back to do more sit-up type movements. I really wish someone had had a camera for that. Looks frightening, but if you trust yourself, you won’t slip.

The day didn’t go by as slowly as I would have expected having no science/boat related work to do. I am definitely not complaining about engine difficulties because we’re now legitimately sailing. Granted, it’s taking away from the main focus of the trip for a couple of days, but it’s very relaxing. The crew put up both sails and I gotta say, it’s gorgeous. Huge white sails reaching up to the sky, full of wind, pulling us along. There’s not many places I’d really rather be (Dr. Bob actually did pose this question to us later in the day. My favorite answer was, “Bill Gates’s office with an open checkbook would be a nice place.”) However, the boat was heeling 20 or 30 degrees starboard, which essentially means that we’re walking on the walls. It is insanely difficult and tiring to fight back against the boat’s angle like that. We switched to port side after awhile and luckily stayed that way for the rest of the night, meaning that I wasn’t falling out of my bunk, but was nicely nestled up against the wall. A majority of the crew could be found napping come 2:30-3 o’clock, though and I gave in and napped myself until about 5.

Sailing

Full Sails!

I could have definitely kept sleeping, but I knew it’d really mess me up when it came time to go to bed. It already has as it’s 12:42 am and I’m still awake. I’ve always been a night owl, which is why I try to avoid naps in the day so that I can sleep at night. Anyway, I got up and it wasn’t long before Dr. Bob came inside and said, “Anybody notice the dolphins outside?” Dolphins? DOLPHINS?! NOO I DIDN’T! I grabbed my camera and beelined it to the starboard side. Others were quick to follow. There were several dolphins playing alongside the waves coming off the boat, zooming in and out of the waves. I started taking some video and I’m pretty sure all you can hear is us going, “Awww! Dolphins! Dolphins!” It was pretty exciting, especially after having no whales for two days. Matt and Johnny instantly started to try and figure out if we would be able to take dolphin blow samples. I didn’t think the dolphins were coming close enough to the boat for a long enough period of time to really make it happen. Apparently, it’s also not the best idea to do that without the engine running. I think we have figured out a new method of taking samples. When I get an updated picture, I’ll be sure to post that. It still consists of hanging someone over the side of the boat in a harness, though. Aka it still should be just as fun.

I watched the sunset from the bowsprit with Johnny. I was hoping to get dunked into the water as the boat was bouncing a bit with the waves and wind. No such luck, but the sunset was incredible. Bright pink and orange. The wind was just warm enough to not make it goose-bump-gusts. Once the sun had set, I sat on the aft deck with several members of the crew; Kait, Tania, Dr. Bob, Steve, and Bailey. Seriously, I don’t even need to say that all I did was laugh because I think it’s a given from previous posts. Lots of stories going around. I was actually especially giggly today. It was one of those days that you start laughing about one thing and just absolutely cannot stop. I love those days.

People pay hundreds of dollars for sunset sails.

I was starved by the time dinner came around and absolutely wolfed down the mac and cheese that Sandy baked up. Delicious. It’s nice having a cook on the boat to make warm dinners for us. It’s definitely something I look forward to at the end of the day. Most of the crew settled in after to watch Robin Hood – not the Disney version, unfortunately. The beginning of the movie was interrupted by a small and impromptu dance party that included only Johnny and myself. I’ll admit to the fact that I’ve been listening to Britney Spears all day (because Glee was doing their tribute to Britney episode tonight, which I missed). So, I was dancing a bit in my seat. Johnny thought he’d up my Spears with King Louie from the Jungle Book’s “I wanna be like you.” We jumped into the middle of the salon, surrounded by just about everyone, and danced around in circles until Johnny’s iPod died mid-song. Probably much to the relief of everyone who didn’t seem to0 entertained.

Other than that, the moon rise tonight was utterly spectacular. I had been wondering where it was because I stuck my head outside earlier in the night to check out the constellation Casopia at Bailey’s insistence. Not long after you could see it rising over the eastern horizon. It was a huge, huge, bright orangey yellow moon. Gorgeous.

In other news, my whole “arrange something” art assignment for this week is coming along in terms of brainstorming. Kait suggested that once we dock (we’re currently headed toward our nearest port, Grand Isle — crazy, no? I was just there about a year ago…) I should arrange the crew and have that be my photo. It made me laugh because I actually thought that I should do that. I have also considered arranging all the trash that we’ve picked up out of the ocean over the past couple of days and making it into some political statement about the condition of our oceans, if only to make writing the 2 page paper easier. I’m leaning more towards the trash-arrangement idea. Maybe I should do more than one and then photoshop everything together in an interesting overlay pattern. Forgive me, now I’m just thinking stream of consciousness style.

Going back to the docking situation, we’re sailing toward Grand Isle. Or Port Fuchon. I think they’re close to each other. I have no idea what day we’re expected to be there, but I would assume it won’t be tomorrow. If it happens to be the next day, which is what, Thursday (?), I assume it wouldn’t be until later in the day. I’ve missed Grand Isle because it has some strange charm to it, but there is absolutely nothing to do there. Let me bold those words for emphasis. Nothing to do there. I would assume Port Fuchon to be the same. There are no real restaurants and from what I remember, only one bar. A bar that when you walk in, the locals give you strange looks because you’re obviously not a resident. There’s no stores. It’s at the very end of US Highway 1 and there is just nothing but beaches that collect animal skeletons. I would know because I still have some bones tucked away somewhere. I guess we’ll see how it all turns out.

*note the sarcasm

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