Location: 32 29.99'S 29 32.84'E

A guide to the photos:
Image 1: Here, you see a wild Eric in his natural habitat, silently brooding while staring out to sea. What is he thinking? It may range from “kids these days and their terrible music taste” to “damn that pigeon sitting on the spreader,” but one can never be sure of the inner workings of the wild Eric.
Image 2: Look, mom, I have friends!
Image 3: Brownie vultures at work. Nothing goes to wast aboard Argo, and by nothing, I mean not a single crumb of anything resembling baked goods.

This morning began at 8 am for Watch Team 1, and after a good bowl of cereal for breakfast, we raised the mainsail and the jib. While unleashing the jib from the bowsprit, Eric got soaked by a huge wave and took it like a champ while the rest of us laughed and were thankful that we weren’t in his position.

The masses were horrified this morning to discover a breach of the rules in our Tragedy of the Commons style Oceanography game. After a select few decided to eat all the fish in the ocean (the contents of a plastic bag of m&ms), some who felt the Ocean-eaters were wrong (self-identified as China) decided to eat the fish in the territorial waters, which was against the rules and breach of our m&m sovereignty. However, the vengeful Chinese were so blinded by rage and m&m gluttony that they ate and emptied people’s bags who did not overfish and empty the whole ocean. This was a serious point of contention and was the subject of heated ethical debate all morning.

Around 11:00, we saw 6 Southern Bottlenose whales (part of the beaked whale group), a rare sighting that was super cool. They were extremely close to Argo, only about 25 feet away at the closest point. A few hours later, Jack spotted some Oceanic Mantas, which was amazing to see.

I felt kind of like Bilbo Baggins because we had lunch and second lunch today due to strange oven happenings. The baked potatoes that Mara, Jonluc, and George made were delicious anyway, though. The break between lunches allowed for entertaining butternut squash and pumpkin fight down below between Taylor, Elle, Jules, and I, and the atmosphere up on deck was just the same. I can now say that one of my professors has hissed like a cat at me multiple times after making me pay offerings of food to him to sit in the sun.

After our eventful lunches, we de-briefed our ocean game and watched The End of the Line in Oceanography class. Showers were frigid, and the crew has decided the hardest part of deck showers is the wind chill. Dinner was served along with brownies courtesy of Robo Nick, and they were enjoyed by all. The squeeze question was, “what is one thing about the person to your right that you will miss,” which garnered some lovely answers from good friends.

Another wonderful day aboard Argo has come to a close, and we are all excited to reach East London.

– Claire M.

Hi, Mom, Dad, and Patrick!
I hope you all are doing well, and my last blog has lived up to your standards. I’m doing well, and I have clean laundry, new snacks, and a good attitude about our last two weeks of the program. I’ll talk to you soon!

Love, Claire