Dear Abby: I’ve learned how beautiful nature can be, with a clean blue ocean, a clean blue sky, birds flying around the boat, and occasionally a flying fish (‘poisson volant’ in French!) whizzing past. I’ve also learned how strong storms can be and how mirror-like the ocean can be if there is no wind at all. And because we are so alone out here (I’ve only seen one fishing boat near Tierra del Fuego since seeing a Brazilian warship off Brazil on November 20), that we sailors must be very self-reliant.

Question submitted by Abby, age 9, via News-O-Matic