Today started off with the best kind of protein around: BACON!!!! After 2 pieces divvied up to each sailor (or sailorette), we put on our best whale-watching gear, which included, but was definitely not limited to binoculars, bucket hats, and a save-the-whales attitude that overcame the massive 72 foot Sea Dragon and the rest of the world.

We all piled into the dingy for the second time in a whopping 9 days. Ready to take on the land and whales, each of us readied our ca$h money to purchase a once-in-a life-time whale watching experience, a ticket even more precious than Charlie’s Golden Ticket to the Chocolate Factory. The whale-watching vessel felt foreign to us, not only due to the fact we were amongst tacky tourists, but more so due to the fact that we had grown accustomed to our Sea Dragon, our boat, our life, our home!

After watching a majestic mother and calf humpback whale, one crew member kindly explained that “the baby got back,” implying the whale’s humpback that is. Feeling inspired by the crew members poetic justice, a crew member of our beloved Sea Dragon came up with a poem of his own. It went a little something like this: “I could be up North krilling, but I’m down South chilling in Samana Bay, with the moms and the babes, hay hay hay.” His song was clearly referencing the humpback whale’s lifestyle, wherein they give birth and raise their next of kin in the warm southern waters of the Caribbean and travel thousands up miles to feed on krill in the cool waters of the North Atlantic. What a way to cap off our whale watching experience!!

After some time to explore the beautiful island of the Dominican Republic and a delicious dinner of curried vegetables, each crew member realized their time on the mother ship was coming to an end. With tears in our eyes and heavy hearts we all sat down to take the ultimate tests and to prove our sea worth.

Tomorrow at 7 am, we embark on our last adventure, a long and treacherous bus ride to Santo Domingo. Here is where we will all part ways, remembering a life changing week under the Caribbean sun and the the endless squalls, leaving the Dominican Republic with a passion for sailing, dragons, and cetaceans.

We would like to thank Megan, Shanley, Keene Haywood, and E-money for never giving up on us, teaching us the ways of the big blue, and opening our eyes to the magical world of exploration of land, sea, and caves.

– Julia Comeau and Emma Pope, Exploration Science Program, March 14, 2015

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