Location: Atlantic - 37.18N 48.00W
5,310 meters deep, 1477 nautical miles traveled, 900 nautical miles from the closest shoreline, 12 days at sea, and three meals per day with the accompanied deck wash. Numbers can easily show someone the experience gained or tripped traveled, although no one can truly understand what it is like. Through our journey, we have experienced wonderful marine life, learned key aspects to making us better sailors, and learned to live aboard with 29 other crew members.
Today, unlike other days, we witnessed the majestic melon-headed whales in their natural environment. This is a type of dolphin that has a very distinguishing rounded face. Apart from watching them breach off the port stern, we have had an influx of jellyfish passing along.
As we reach higher northern altitudes, the weather becomes more difficult to predict. During our sailing class today, we were able to go above deck and actually work in the rigging. Due to the increased unpredictability of wind patterns, we have to be prepared for unexpected storms. As for our practical, we worked at reefing the mainsail in order to prepare for the weather. This consists of actually shrinking the full size of the sail in order to reduce the amount of power it is able to put out. In other words, we reef the sails in case the wind increases beyond a dangerous amount, which puts the ship as well as crew at risk. This was a good exercise, which helped to broaden some of the crew’s perspectives on sailing.
Most of us do not think about this, but in normal society, we have an endless amount of opportunities to do whatever we want, from sitting at home to going out with friends and finding a local place to hang out. For 12 days now, we have had 30 people living within the room provided by a 112ft schooner. No land in sight and no other place to go besides up on deck or down in the cabin. Surprisingly, we can learn to live in such tight quarters. Although, before this trip began, s/y Argo seemed like a massive ship that I was privileged to crew upon. Now, after living for over a week on it in the middle of the ocean, it feels smaller than ever. This is a great way for the ship as a whole to work with one another and ultimately build stronger personalities amongst each other.
904 nautical miles left till the Azores, an estimated six days of travel, and a full dedicated day to clean the boat before arriving at the dock. These numbers are always there to help us keep track of where we are going and where we’ve gone; furthermore, it still will not show the true tale that we must live to finish the crossing.