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Welcome to the Tropics!

Feb 1, 2010

Location: Underway to St. Helena in the Atlantic Ocean
Author: Elise Huebner
Over the past few days, and after crossing the Prime Meridian, we have all been introduced to the tropics, and their unpredictable weather. When being woken up for watch, and inquiring groggily about what to wear, it’s almost impossible to get a straight answer. We got a few short bouts of rain early this morning, and more are likely tonight, which just make things more exciting. This morning around 11:00 the wind picked up, pushing Argo along at 9 knots. With the sails fully up, all hands were called on deck to reef the main sail, and sheet out the forward staysail and the main staysail, which was an exciting kick off of our first daily meeting for lunch (which included freshly baked bread, and was delicious, in case you were wondering). This morning also included the biggest school of flying fish we’ve seen yet, probably about 50 of them coasting along the top of the water. We should be seeing some real birds soon, as we are fast approaching St. Helena, and are only about 300 miles away. This afternoon the Marine Biology students learned about different aquatic plants, and bacteria, followed by a PADI scuba class for those of us doing open water diving. At 15:00 we had our deck showers, and the complaints diminish daily as the water gets warmer and warmer. Plenty of loud music and studying went on in the salon until dinner time. Compliments to the chefs were plenty tonight, and there were no leftovers from the delicious Louisiana style gumbo Chris and Cayley whipped up. The sun is setting soon, and we’re all on the look out for the green flash less than 80 days left to catch it! A quick hello to all my friends and family back home – miss and love you guys! And a very happy early birthday to my twin, I’ll be thinking of you!