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Location: Panama City, Panama

Today was the day that we tested how much food Argo can possibly hold. Backing up a bit, this morning started off with everyone waking up to the noise of the hydraulics and anchor, as we picked up anchor and moved just to the next bay over to come alongside a fuel barge to stock up with fuel for the rest of the trip. (We are pretty happy with how little fuel we had to take – this trip has had some amazing sailing so far and have barely had to use the engine). Everyone then split into two groups – the first had some quiet “study hall” time down in the saloon to work on assignments, while the second joined Simon up on deck to complete the practical portion of their EFR (Emergency First Responder) course that everyone is taking. This consisted of learning the steps to take if you see someone who is unresponsive, as well as how to conduct CPR. After class finished up the students headed to shore for some time to explore Panama City or take care of personal affairs (call mom and dad, email the friends, buy a new speaker or stock up on snacks) before we head across the Pacific.

In the meantime, Tina and Lindsay had headed to Supermercado Ray, where they proceeded to purchase all of our dry goods for the Pacific crossing. 15 shopping carts, 45 kg of rice, 70 cans of black beans, 32 cans of chickpeas, 70 kg of pasta, and 150 boxes of cereal (among other things). By the time this made it back to the boat via several dinghy rides, the crew of Argo had already eaten dinner and were ready to help assembly line all of the bags down to the saloon. From there teams split the bags and cans into their appropriate rooms. In case you haven’t heard yet, there are compartments everywhere on this boat, and most of them are filled with food. The foc’s’cle is home to all of the sauces and condiments, the starboard 3 man is canned fruit, port three man is cleaning supplies, starboard six is home to many, many cans of beans as well as most of the canned veg, and the port six is full (and I mean full) of canned tomatoes and tomato sauce, plus some assorted veg. The saloon benches are then home to all of the baking supplies, rice, pasta, peanut butter and oil, and the 150 boxes of UHT milk fill the floor bilges. There are also four duffel bags full of cereal on a spare bunk. The cereal was probably the biggest hit of the night, as up until now it has all been of the healthy variety, but Tina surprised them with a few of their favorite sugary ones this time as well (photo: Carri, Spence, and the Choco Krispies).

It took a group effort, but I was so impressed and pleased with everyone’s great work ethic and enthusiasm when it came to putting things away. I think part of it had to do with our great Disney soundtrack that was blasting out of the saloon speakers (very great timing for Mary Poppinss “A Spoonful of Sugar” to come on), but it also really helped the staff’s mood when every time we turned around there was another set of hands willing to help and the constant call of ” What can we do next?” It was a lot, but many hands make light work and amazingly we got all of the cans and a good part of the rest of the food put away within the hour. Parents, please do not fear, we will not go hungry on this trip. Even if our arrival into the Marquesas gets delayed by the week, we will definitely have food. The meals might eventually get a little weird (peanut butter, canned mushrooms, and curry?), but we will definitely have food. If you can believe it, tomorrow there is a round two for the fresh produce, but that will be small potatoes (sorry for the pun) in comparison today. Tomorrow we have our last day in the city and prepping before we head out to sea for a while and begin our Pacific crossing. I for one, cannot wait. Hi to my parents, grandma, and anyone else reading this – we will probably not be in much communication for the next month or so, but happy to know you all are following our adventures here!