Location: Underway to Cienfuegos, Cuba
As we wove our way through the bustling maze of newly arrived cruise ships at Grand Cayman, the wind was quick to fill our sails and send us along our way to Cuba. No less than an hour into our passage, my bunk-mates and I were napping when a wave nearly knocked us out of our bunks. Curious to see what was going on above deck, we threw on our PFDs and headed up to amidships, where Argo’s bow was pushing into three-meter swells and battling 25-knot winds. Every now and then, we were hit by an unusually large wave that would send water spraying as far back as the cockpit. We were hit by a particularly big one when we were mustering at the beginning of lunch watch; Ben, who had just come up on deck with his sandwich, was left with a wrap floating in seawater in the middle of his plate! Despite the roughness of the weather, we weren’t making much speed throughout the day, and the sea state meant that after lunch, the cockpit was littered with “casualties” — seasick students trying to fight off the rolling of their stomachs while power-snacking Ritz crackers and chugging Nalgenes full of water to stay hydrated. Luckily our sailing instructor Eric was able to take the helm for the duration of our noon to 3 pm watch when the swell was at its worst. Off-watch teams spent their time napping to try to avoid seasickness, while the teams on-watch were geared up in full foul weather gear to stay warm and dry. Overnight as the sea state calmed and allowed us to make more headway, we broke the trip’s speed record of 14.3 knots! Sustained speeds over 10 knots allowed us to make up all the time we lost, and we cruised into the calm waters of Cienfuegos just after dawn.