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Starting the Atlantic Crossing!

Nov 3, 2012

Location: Underway to the Canaries
Author: Staige Davis
The Canaries! Today was the day we would technically start crossing the Atlantic Ocean, and sail to our last stop before the long two week passage to the Caribbean. Having spent the last week in Morocco, everyone was a bit anxious to leave the docks. We started the morning off with an oceanography exam. Following the exam, we did some passage prep before lunch and awaited the return of our fearless leader. After lunch we had student leadership. Everyone walked into the saloon to find 50 or so black and white pictures spread out all over the floor. We were each asked to pick three cards; one that represented one of our own strengths, another that represented one of our weaknesses and one more image that we thought portrayed the values of a strong leader. It was a really cool exercise, and is definitely something that will stick with me long after Seamester is over. Immediately following SLD, we had a marine biology review for our exam the following day. Around 4 o’clock, Sam finally returned to dock, with the Moroccan customs officials and a police officer in tow. We quickly undid our dock lines, and cast off as soon as he got on the boat. It felt like we were fleeing the country, but having experienced many customs lines in airports, it wasn’t surprising that Sam wanted to get out to the open sea, after 6 hours at the offices. We were finally sailing again. It was the longest time we had been docked at one port and as much as I enjoyed Morocco, it felt good to feel the swell under my feet again. The rest of the day proved uneventful for me, until my watch team was on duty an hour before my duties as skipper ended. Sitting on bow watch, I looked down to see three streams of light gliding under the water. It looked eerie, almost magical and at first I couldn’t comprehend what I was seeing. Then I heard the spout of a blowhole, and realized that I was witnessing one of the oceans most amazing phenomenons. Bioluminescent dolphins were riding the bow wake of Argo. They were soon joined by four more, as Paul and I stared down into the water, entranced. It is easily one of the coolest things I have ever witnessed and this brief description doesn’t do the experience justice. It was the perfect way to end my day as skipper!