Location: Rarotonga, Cook Islands
There was something different in the air this morning. Argo and all aboard were gliding across the magnificent south Pacific rolling over deep blue waves for the third consecutive day, but there was something different. I woke up to shipmates skipping through the salon and chirping jokes left and right. My bunkmates raving about how great our watch was earlier that morning, from midnight to 4 am.
Today was the day we would finally see land after our first passage. It was not all so easy. The whole crew has been wrestling with sea sickness and a general lack of sleep, but there was a sense thatat lastour sweat and tears had been worth it: in the distance, Rarotonga.
Our vessel sailed to the northern tip of the island where we could dock at the port. The closer we got, the more energy there was on board. People were singing, laughing, and staring with awe towards the island on our horizon. Land never looked so beautiful. I got to helm Argo for a couple of hours today, which is a stressful job, yet simultaneously rewarding. This theme seems to ring true aboard this ship. Not a lot is easy, but thats largely why this journey is so rewarding. And its also why our relationships are so authentic.
Yet we dont only bond amidst the chaos when times are calmer even more bonding happens. This community is strengthening, and each day we get to know more and more about one anothermaking Argo a bit more like home and the crew a bit more like family. As we curbed the northern point of Rarotonga, one of the Cook Islands, we made our way through the small port and docked. This required all hands on deck. We lowered the sails and flaked them neatly. We inflated fenders and cushioned the sides. And finally, we had some Argo Appreciation, which entailed everyone cleaning their personal areas and scrubbing the deck of Argo until she looked brand new. With a hose, a few buckets, brushes and sponges, our boat was free of sea spray and as glorious as ever.
We ended such a successful day with a warm gathering at the cockpit, as we do every night. But tonight was special. It was clear that we had all worked together, as one, to successfully complete our first passage from Bora Bora to Rarotonga. We had done something difficult and were all the better for it. Even our meal heightened this celebratory moodmango chicken with cauliflower, rice, and well-seasoned green beans.
It remains the tough tasks that are worthwhile. The hard moments, which demand courage and positivity, that unite a group of strangers. The uncomfortable times that make for the best stories and personal growth. At 2 am this morning, during watch team 3s last night watch of the passage, my good friend Frank asked our group, Whats the coolest thing youve ever done? I thought about it for a while, along with the others, and finally responded, Id like to think this tops the list. Sailing across the Pacific, while working on my divemaster certification and making all these lifelong friends. And I just cant wait for all the good times ahead. Argo out.
Pictured: sunrise this morning; Watch Team 1 enjoying the sunrise watch; me at the helm with Tim and Shelby having a dance party; the harbor upon our approach; anchor team getting anchors set; the crew getting started on boat appreciation; a view of Argo’s sails before we came into the harbor in Rarotonga; Frank happy to be on land again.