Location: Just off the coast of Lanzarote
We aboard S/Y Argo departed Morocco yesterday and have broken into the passage routine of taking command of the vessel in watch teams (1, 2, and 3) as we make our way across the North Atlantic Ocean towards Gran Canaria. Overall, the morale of the crew is high; after an amazing trip around Morocco “glamping” and surfing, everyone is anxious for what awaits. With more scuba diving ahead and with the long-awaited passage across the pond towards the Caribbean, everyone is very excited. First-Mate of the vessel, “Wiggy” or Ian, entertained watch team one this morning during our 0400-0800 watch with some interesting facts about Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. Christopher Columbus stopped in Las Palmas for repairs before he set sail across the Atlantic to the New World. In addition, Lord Nelson, when laying siege to the city, lost an arm in the midst of battle. Anyway, the history lesson is over. Before the sun could peek over the gloomy horizon Wiggy and I began to practice some celestial navigation by predicting the time of sunrise. After some refreshing and mathematical equations, we figured it out and watched the glowing sunrise and clear the hazy horizon at the time predicted. A few minutes later, we spotted two whales off in the distance, and later watch team 2 saw a basking shark. We are really getting lucky with the amount of life we have witnessed so far. After lunch, the crew gathered below deck for classes, during our SLS leadership class we talked about ways in which we could all improve in the overall practice of teamwork that occurs 24/7 aboard and that needs to be perfected before the long passage begins. Afterward, we had a PEN or our basic seamanship class, where we learned about how to plot fixes, running fixes, and lines of positions just using a plotter and a few equations. The practical exercises turned out to be really fun, and everyone is really getting the hang of the concepts, which is beneficial because our Navigation Master exam is coming up soon. The crew was then released for bucket showers, and the students participating in the PSCT course discussed maritime law with Captain Ben. Dinner has just ended; it was a delicious chili, cooked by Nate, Lars, and Steve, or also known by their self-titled, “The Dream Team.” The day is now coming to an end. We are now passing the island of Lanzarote and are 125 nautical miles away from our destination, moving at a speed of 6 knots. So, in roughly 20 hours, we will be preparing for diving, hiking, and provisioning for the journey, which many seafarers have completed before us.