【団役員コメント：Bob Ashcroft】 The morning was taken up with preparations for the graduation ceremony. However, we took a break when we passed Okino Island, also known as God Island. Many students came out to the front of the ship and up onto the bridge to see it. This small island appeared out of the mist, with sheer cliffs rising from the sea to a height of almost 250 meters. With a large white lighthouse sitting on top, it was an impressive sight. We took a second break from preparations when we passed under the Kanmo bridge, which connects Yamagata in Honshu with Fukuoka in Kyushu. It was interesting to look at the bridge as we passed underneath. It was a very special day for 24 students on board. Eight students from our Training Voyage group (研修生), and 16 Cadet students (練習生), experienced a magical graduation ceremony on the upper deck at the back of the ship in warm spring sunshine. They received certificates from Chancellor Yamada who had signed each one himself. Then followed a speech from Chancellor Yamada, who praised the graduating students for their hard work and effort, particularly under the challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also heard speeches from Training Voyage student leaders and the student leader of the Cadet students’ group. At the close of the ceremony, the Cadet students threw their hats into the air in celebration. It was a beautiful ceremony – an experience that surely none of the participants can forget. Afterwards, everyone was in high spirits, and many stayed up on the open deck chatting and taking pictures. After dinner, the graduation party was held in the beautifully decorated cafeteria. It was a wonderfully enjoyable time, planned meticulously by the students. There was a wide variety of events, including a quiz about the teachers on the ship and places we’d visited. There was a bingo competition with great prizes. The best prize was the chance to spend a day as the ship’s captain! How cool is that?! After bingo, there was singing from the captain and Training Voyage group leader, followed by funny and moving speeches from the graduating Training Voyage and Cadet students. Finally, the graduating students were each presented with an album of photos from the voyage. It was a very special day on the Bosei Maru.