Location: Underway to the Marquesas

“It’s raining a little, and we’ve got a friend,” said the strange man standing over my bunk. I blinked a couple of times in confusion and pondered why the strange man was telling me this. Then I realized it was 0730 and Tim was trying to wake me up for watch. Watch Team 3 (the best one) had stood the 2000-0000 watch the night before, and after 7 hrs of blissful sleep, it was time to get up out of bed and take the deck. Bianca was Watch Team Leader today, and we met in the cockpit at a quarter to 8 for the briefing. Exciting news today, we have a friend!

“Is it a bird?” asked Amy. No, it’s a sailing boat! In this vast Pacific Ocean, we have found another sailing vessel, another small speck out here, intrepidly trekking along the big blue, and we can see their sails on the horizon. We watch them through the morning, as we munch our oatmeal on deck, talking about tides and watching the grey clouds roll in. Our speed fluctuates with the whims of the clouds, sometimes 6kts, sometimes 9, but always cracking along towards our destination. The bearing of the other vessel changes. We see them set a headsail. Who is winning? Us or them? Hard to say.

Tim thinks it’s a vessel we saw in the Galapagos, a fast looking, lime green catamaran. The grey clouds threatened rain, but we only had a few sprinkles. We think we tricked them by preparing early with our wet weather gear.
The afternoon was spent in Oceanography with Amanda, where today there was a quiz, and afterward, there was Seamanship class. In seamanship, we have been doing the Navmaster course, which involves learning about many different aspects of traditional navigation. Today we pulled out nautical charts of the Chesapeake Bay area, used for training exercises, and applied a lot of the theory we have been going over so far, to working out problems on the charts. It was really cool to see the theory coming together in a practical application, and it was great to watch the ‘lightbulb’ moments as it all clicked into place for people.

Dinner was a hit tonight, with lots of roasted vegetables, sausage and freshly baked biscuits served up by London, Drake, and Amanda. After dinner clean-up was done, and we still had lots of light, due to not having changed the onboard working time since we left the Galapagos. It’s really nice in the evening, but it means the sunrise has been getting later and later each day. Watch Team 3 took the deck again to finish off the dinner time dog watch, which culminated in a post-watch-hip hop-rap debriefing by Watch team leader B-dawg (which was really funny, but I guess you had to be there). Our ‘friend’ has been paralleling us all day, and now into the night. Even though we have neighbors so close, we stay in our own little universe here on Argo.

Pictured: Drake and Amanda baking biscuits, the Yacht master students learning about tides from Bryant, Sophie doing chart work.

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