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1.6.23 25.49 N, 56.87 E

We’ve gotten our first taste of rain. From where I’m seated it looks like treacherous weather to be in. Visibility isn’t more than 30 meters and contrary to the elemental mayhem surrounding us the sea’s gone glassy. Lightning flashes every so often but no sound. I’m seated in the library and there’s half a dozen muted conversations blending together and they all seem fairly unimportant and very meaningful. We’re headed south after a brief trek north from Dubai and after we get through the gulf of Oman the seas should turn meaner and the blended conversations will get even more meaningful and the lightning even quieter.

The back deck was crowded when we cast off. The sun had set hours before but the air was hazy and the lights from the city diffused in the distance and we were all glowing. I wish I’d seen the crew untie and which lines they did first and how they jumped back on the gangway before it was too far but I arrived late and was in too gentle a mood to ask anyone to make room for me.

I’d love to tell you about everyone I’ve met, but there’s too many to name and in time I’ll realize for some I gave too much credit and others not nearly enough. It’s been barely 3 days since embarking and not even 24 hours since students arrived but time tumbles at different speeds here so it’s possible I grew up with these people.

The ship is massive by my standards. I’ve never been on any kind of manmade anything this large but compared to other vessels we’ve passed we’re tiny. Sometimes, if you’re topside while a cargo freighter or oil tanker is passing it looks like we might collide but so far that hasn’t happened. They pass quite often.

The wind has changed and there’s baby white caps falling in stride with us now but none of them can keep up. If we had sails I bet we’d barely be touching the water. The latest orientation session must have just ended because students are filing through the halls on either side and it’s all so new it’s hard not to glance at every person that passes.

I’ve met more people in the last week than I did all of last year. I’ve shared most meals with people my parents’ age than my own. I’ve seen every sunrise and moonset and moonrise and sunset in the past 100 hours and could tell you with certainty at what time the clouds turned pink on Tuesday and how on Wednesday they turned pink 15 minutes earlier because while we slept we did 8 knots at 119° and haven’t stopped yet.

Enjoy the frames, there will be more to come.

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