Ships, Alpacas, and Toilet Paper, Oh My!

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Alpacas, anyone? They start at $500 dollars, come in a variety of colors, and this place will deliver them right to your doorstep. If this seems like something you need in your life, I will gladly purchase one for you.

The weeks are flying by, and it’s hard to believe we’re just two weeks from the end of our time at Woods Hole. So with that pressure, this weekend we decided to see one of the main attractions in this area – Martha’s Vineyard.

Martha’s Vineyard is a quaint touristy island just a ferry ride away from Woods Hole, complete with beaches, historic lighthouses, fancy restaurants, and an alpaca farm.

This weekend was beautiful and sunny, and Erin’s boyfriend, Davis, came up from Boston to visit. Equipped with standard-issue SEA bikes, lopsided helmets, and colorful 80’s windbreakers, the three of us decided to venture out to Martha’s Vineyard. I did not expect this weekend outing to become an insanity workout. Turns out that riding ten miles on a bike stuck in third gear is a great cardio workout with an amazing emphasis on quads and calves. At first, Erin and Davis were a little concerned that I was panting and sweating to keep up with them, but really, it was a bummer that they missed out on the incredible health benefits that came with this bike. I feel stronger already.

As the weeks wind down, we increase the count of random adventurings. This week our class took a trip to Mystic Seaport, a port in Connecticut with historic ships from around the world. We got to see some amazing clocks that were built to keep track of time at sea, and watching the intricacy of their gears and motors made me feel very inadequate compared to these ingenious 18th century inventors.

One of the cooler parts of the tour was going aboard an old whaling ship. We got to descend into the cramped quarters, see the steel lances and harpoons used for whaling, and just get a feel for the enclosed space of a ship. Additionally, we boarded old fishing schooners that still smelled of cod, and even saw a small fishing ship that was used in WWII to smuggle Jews from Nazi-occupied Denmark to Switzerland. It’s a pretty incredible story for such a little boat.

And, of course, aside from academic adventures, there are many equally educational shenanigans on shore. From getting wrapped in toilet paper to rescuing seagulls, these weeks have been filled with some quality occasions.

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Don’t worry. I’m making friends.

One of my favorite ongoing occurrences is one of the gap year kid’s strange affection towards Erin. At first we all thought it was just a joke. And although it probably still is, Tristan seems a little obsessed at times. His advances are totally innocent, but he continues to serenade her frequently on the guitar, flirt with her in class, and in other ways worship her. Today, he was trying to wake up a stubbornly sleeping classmate, and concluded that he needed a “true love’s kiss.” To which he immediately looked around and went, “Erin…? Erin?”

When Davis came to visit Erin, Tristan was a little intimidated, but he’s quite a persistent one. And however weird it is, Erin plays along with it. She is considerably weirded out by his advances, but still, I think she enjoys leading him on. That’s the sister I know.

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