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Dad for a Day

Oct 10, 2010


Location: Porto Potales, Mallorca, Spain
Author: James Head
Although I have no children, being skipper for the day is a lot like being a father, especially for me, the senior and most bearded student aboard Argo. The skipper has to wake everyone up, make sure that they dress themselves for breakfast, make sure that they eat their food and clean up their mess when they’re done, make sure they’re prepared for their days activities so that everything can happen on time, and Jesse and Doug if you two dont quit horsing around back there I swear to God I will turn this boat right around and go back to Civitavecchia and no one will get to cross the Atlantic! And so, ones ability to succeed as skipper of the day aboard Argo relies almost entirely on whether or not one can wake the crew without incurring their sleep-addled wrath. Gather any of the past skippers around a bottle of grog and they’ll share wake-up tales with you that will make your blood turn cold one skipper nearly lost his dignity to the fearsome, bloodthirsty Hagedus monster whose two pronged attack involves hurling random insults while rolling over to go back to sleep. So I let them sleep an extra five minutes this morning in hopes that it would pacify their somnambulant bloodlust and thus make my job of being father for the day a bit easier. Additionally, it was imperative that wake-ups go smoothly because awaiting the crew outside the comfy confines of their mattresses were the remnants of a Mediterranean mistral: cold rain, wind, waves and soggy everything. As a result, not many people were excited for their first open water dive, and it wasn’t until we got below the waves that we realized under-the-sea life is almost exactly like it is portrayed in the film The Little Mermaid at least when compared to the deluge taking place on the surface. But after a delicious lunch of grilled cheese and tomato soup (quite a pro pos of stormy weather) the weather cleared and the second group of divers were welcomed by sunny skies and warm weather. The rest of the day was devoted to free time, floating aboard Argo: watching movies, getting our bronze on, and pretending to do schoolwork in the hopes that it might just up and finish itself of its own accord. Dinner on our second night of student designed menus was an absolute success with all credit due to one chez Jesse, whose parmesan chicken (not to be confused with chicken parmesan) was an outstanding hit, as I personally made sure there was not a morsel left at the end of the meal. Incidentally, the number of pleasantly satiated students made Casey’s job of teaching marine biology a breeze, putting a studious and well-behaved end to my day to watch the kids.