Location: 14 11.45'S 84 27.01'E
This morning dawned bright and early for the team formerly known as Watch Team Two (now going exclusively by “Seal Team Two”). Wakeups began at 3:30 am for a 4-8 am watch, one which started in the dark with a sky full of stars and a kettle full of hot water for coffee and tea.
Seal Team Two gets its name because we fill the four hours of every night watch with a series of activities; one of our members is always jogging in place (not a typo, our goal is to “run across the Indian Ocean”), we bring the star chart on deck to try to find a new constellation each night, Ana teaches us Spanish, and Jack and Carolyn read aloud from Boat Maintenance so we can learn how marine engines work. Jonluc and Claire Miller hold the record for the longest time running (1:45, respectively) while Connor has set a high bar for Most Pushups on Night Watch (500, yikes!). Allie, Grace, and Mara take turns at the helm and on the “treadmill” in between long hours spent on bow watch (sometimes listening to podcasts with guest star Henry). Petey has been battling seasickness since the beginning of the trip but has shown up strong even when feeling ill this crossing, taking turns on bow watch and the helm (even when doing so results in close encounters with flying fish).
Every watch brings a new milestone, yet Argo milestones are different from ones you’d find on land. Which watch team was at the helm when we hit our first thousand miles? Who can make the straightest track while at the helm? Who holds the current speed record? Who brought in the biggest Mahi on the handline? Who’s done the most leg lifts? How many minutes in a row can you stay on the “treadmill” before sweating so much you have to take off your bibs?
Today we reached a new kind of milestone. After dropping the jib and center lining our staysails yesterday afternoon, we awoke at 3:30 to a wind speed increase that boded well for sailing. We decided to put a reef in the main and set the jib at first light, and though it took the better part of an hour and a half, Seal Team Two managed all of it without needing to put the engine on — an impressive feat (special mentions to Ben and Eric for their help). Our efforts weren’t in vain, either — a squall blew through as soon as our reef was set (never let it be said we don’t have good timing), and once our sails were trimmed we were humming along at 8-10 knots. We finished out our watch with bowls of much-deserved cereal: a perfect end to an awesome 4-8 am.
It’s crazy to think that all of that happened earlier today — more than 12 hours ago now. Time moves in strange ways on passage, and has a way of bunching and stretching so some days feel like two and some days feel like they go by in a blur. Today was one of the former, and Seal Team Two’s 4-8 am watch was only the beginning. By the early afternoon, Head Chef Nick H. had cooked us up a tasty pasta carbonara lunch, after which everyone headed down for Marine Biology with Lindsay and Seamanship with Eric and Carolyn. We’ve moved on to the chartwork part of Seamanship class, and it’s been fun to watch our students plot our course on the chart table as we cruise across the Indian Ocean.
While our students were in class, I celebrated a small Seal Team Two milestone while covering the 2-6 pm watch: we hit 3,000 miles on our trip log at 3:20 pm. We’ve come a long way together since our student crew first boarded in Darwin, and although we have many miles yet to come, hitting 3,000 at the helm was a nice reminder of all the amazing experiences we’ve shared so far: from Darwin to Tiwi, Kupang to Komodo, Gili to Bali, Christmas to Cocos, and our first big ocean crossing. Here’s hoping we have fair winds and following seas tonight as Watch Team One starts us off on the 8-midnight, Seal Team Two takes the midnight-4, and Watch Team Three watches the sunrise from 4-8.
We hope all of our friends and family are doing well back home — we love and miss you all!
From Lindsay: Happy Birthday, Dad! I hope you and the boys are celebrating properly. I love and miss you lots!