Location: Underway to Dominica

In the wee hours of the morning, Day 8 of passage began with a steady slog of rain, not the friendliest of greetings for the start of a midnight watch. The wind was a little fluky, and the rain battled on, but after a short blast of quick, cold wind, things got a bit more interesting for Watch Team 3 and those that wanted a bit of midnight adventure, as we encountered our first bit of REAL weather on passage. The wind howled, and there was a deluge of rain, but not to worry, the crew mobilized as they have been trained. With Sam on the helm, we dropped the main and the fisherman sails like a well-oiled machine- putting to work the skills learned over the last 65 days of gaining an intimate knowledge of Argo and how to work together. After the storm, with the deck tidied and only our three smallest sails still aloft, we were still going 6.5 knots as the rain continued on, but spirits soared as we sat in the cockpit recounting stories from various perspectives on the storm. The following morning all our hard work was rewarded as Poseidon granted us a beautiful day filled with sunshine that gave it a first-day-of-summer feel. The hatches were opened, and the fresh breeze flooded the saloon and bunk areas, foulies came out on the lines to dry, pruned bodies shed their layers, and felt the sweet burn of the sun on bare skin. We were tired but happy to bask in this gift. After lunch, classes began with PSCT and ended with a leadership class watching a favorite film among sailors- Captain Ron, classic. The afternoon shower time brought some friendly dolphins to play at the bow and the discovery of a stow-away on board that must have landed in the early morning squall. A small bird was nestled among the dish buckets and ladder stored in one of the dinghies. Dinner was delicious as usual, and we watched a glowing pink sun disappear below the horizon, illuminating what was left of the clouds and making the sunset even more beautiful. set date:2012-11-19