Natal

Posted on 20 December 2016 @ 6:46pm

NATAL

 

BUCKLE YOUR SEATBELTS, BECAUSE IN 3 SHORT PAGES I AM GOING TO LEARN YOU A THING THAT I ONLY LEARNED MYSELF ABOUT 5 DAYS AGO, SO SIT DOWN AND ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE OF MY 4-AM RED BULL-INDUCED BLOG POST EXTRAVAGANZA.

0 score and 5 days ago, Class Afloat arrived in Natal, a large city on the coast of Brazil. Here we had lots of “cou cou” adventures, like dune buggying and gangway watch. Gangway watch was probably the pinnacle of Natal, but dune buggying was a close second. I won’t bore you with dune buggying, so I'm gonna skip straight to gangway watch. On gangway watch we sat by the gangway and watched the side of the quay to make sure nobody would come on our boat. We would just sit there for 2 hours at a time, and it was so exciting that one time I fell asleep… but let’s not get caught up in my napping habits and move on to the dune buggies.

We walked out of port ready to begin our sandy adventure when we saw a rainbow of buggies lined up calling our names. In my buggy was Mark (able bodied seaman) and Sam. Soon, like a pack of multi-coloured cheetahs, we were off! The drive to get to the dunes was about 20 minutes and we ripped through the downtown like pac-man ghosts, propped up on the back of the buggies, feeling the wind blow against my fresh shellback scalp.

In order for us to get to the dunes we had to drive our buggies onto these little rafts that would take us across a large but shallow tidal pool.

There really aren’t words to describe what it was like to drive across bunch of huge dunes, all different shapes and sizes. We stopped several times on our journey through the dunes; our first stop was at a small lagoon that had a zip-line that went across it. Our second stop was probably everyone’s favourite. There was a large tent at the top of a rather tall sand dune, with shallow pool at the bottom, connected by a giant slide. We’d lie down on a little body board and people who worked there would pour a bucket of water on the slide and then give us a little push, I was going so fast I felt like a torpedo. When you got to the bottom you'd be going so fast that when you hit the water you would just glide across it, and it was amazing.

Our final stop of the day was at a little tent on the beach on the ocean. There they served delicious fruity drinks and grilled cheese - not the sandwich, I mean the literally put cheese on the barbecue, also delicious. There were hammocks in the water that were very comfortable to relax in.

dune buggies

This is a photo of all of us driving through the sand dunes.There were times where the sand dunes were so steep I thought we were going to roll! There was a sand dune shaped like a halfpipe that we went up and down in.

sand sledding

This is me and Tommaso before we went down a sand dune on a sand sled-thing. It felt very different than sliding down on snow, and it was much warmer than snow as well.

Natal beach

Here we are on our way back to Natal, driving along a beach that felt like it could go on forever, with a view of the amazing downtown that sticks out like a sore thumb but still looks beautiful.

Natal at night

This beautiful beach was a 10-minute taxi ride from the boat,
 half-lit with the city lights and the moon.

As we begin our longest passage yet, everyone is scrambling to fill their snack bags and buy their secret Santa gifts. It will be strange to spend Christmas without my family, but I've been living with everyone here for so long that I guess they are family. A very widespread, culturally diverse sailing family.

This needs to be at least 700 words so I'm going to try to make it 699 words just to bother Jen F. (Editor’s Note: Nice try Andrew, I bumped it up to over 700 J).

I wish all of you Happy Holidays! 

- Written by English 11 student Andrew 

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