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Long Night for a Short Passage

Sep 22, 2008

Location: Low Isles
Author: Jack Pincus
Today we got out first small taste of what life will be like on Argo under passage. As the clock struck midnight local time, all hands were called to deck, the anchor was weighed and the sails raised. Argo slipped silently into the night and away from the Low isles. Seven crew and two staff of Watch One took over while the rest of us went below to sleep until our watch was called up. When my watch, Watch Two, was woken up at 02:40 to relieve Watch One the weather had clouded over and Argo was moving along at a good clip; around 8 knots. As Watch One made their way down the companionway and into their bunks a line of squalls caught up with Argo and began pelting us with rain. It was not entirely unpleasant, I wrote in my own personal journal, “The wee hours of the night had a certain calming pleasure to them that I could certainly get used to.” Then again, my bunk certainly has a calming pleasure that I could get used to. As our three hour watch bore on we rotated through the different positions. The helm, boat checks, bow watch and making tea since it wasn’t the most pleasant weather. The thing about our watch (the 03:00 to 06:00 watch) that was great was talking with watchmates. There is a definite intimacy to the watch when you must talk about anything and everything in hushed whispers just to stay awake and make the time pass faster. I can’t say that I am eagerly awaiting my next 03:00 to 06:00 watch, but I certainly don’t dread it. Once the sun rose the rest of the sail was relatively uneventful, with the only items of interest being the students learning to do all of the daily activities with the boat heeled over ten degrees. As we make our way up the coral coast of Australia we find ourselves in more and more remote waters. We have passed Cooktown, which is the last town until Darwin which is still more than a thousand sea miles away. We pulled into an idyllic bay, Watson Bay, with white sand beaches and clear waters. So here we sit, the crew of Argo, a cohesive team and group of friends eagerly awaiting the next moment to come along that will change our lives. Enough for now.