Location: Underway from Kandavu

When I awoke this morning, I was secure in the feeling that it was just another morning like any other; breakfast was in the oven, the crew of Argo was slowly beginning to stir from their bunks, and the sun had risen comfortably in the East, as it often does. I ascended to the cockpit and was greeted by a shipmate.

“Good morning, Gabriel,” they said. “Did the bird wake you up?”

“I know not of any bird,” said I.

“Ah, but surely you noticed the flapping and squawking in the main salon. The clattering of books and pots and pans as a sizeable seabird flailed its way across and under the tables and countertops, scattering feathers forward, aft, and athwartship. Surely you were shaken from your slumber as Steph, Tim, and Lolo valiantly availed to apprehend the agitated foul. How with great grit and gumption the briny bird was contained within a bed sheet, wrangled wriggling up the companionway, and freed to fly from whence it came?”

“I am afraid I heard none of this, for I was sound asleep. When did this all occur?”

“No more than half an hour ago.”

I suppose that there are no ordinary mornings on Argo. All of them are extraordinary, but sometimes you are not awake.

Breakfast was fruit turnovers prepared by Aidan, Eleanor, and Steph. They are worth noting not only because they were delicious but also because they were adorned with many sea creatures formed from pie crust. The end of breakfast brought the beginning of the passage. We readied for sea, raised the anchor, and were off once again for the archipelagoes west of Viti Levu. It was only this crew’s second passage, and yet they performed with admirable seaworthiness. The students managed to smoothly raise four sails, jibe twice, take an exam, study for another exam, and drop two sails. All of this was done in less than stable sea state, and all of it was done before dinner.

I like to think that the dawn’s feathery visitor was a good omen after all.