Location: Underway to Azores

Today started like every other day does on Argo, at different times for all, some with startling 3:20 wake-ups, and for a lucky few of us, a spectacular 4:30 sunrise over pink and blue clouds. With the sea lying in an endless blanket before us, Argo guided us for another day of sunshine sways with the motor pushing us ever closer to the Azores. A healthy discussion on cannibalism and a toe painting extravaganza supported by Matt, Raul, and Dylan were all that could distract us from the painting of the sky redefining our reality. Our chef squad of Heather, Henry, and Shelby assisted by Alex, and the greatest biscuits of all time helped us to gather together for a stuffing corn chowder lunch. After lunch cleanups, we traveled time and jumped ahead an hour so we can appear with somewhat normal circadian rhythms once we hit the Azores. As if that’s even possible now! Dan briefed us on a final review of all the info we needed to review in preparation for our competent crew examination tomorrow. Despite our unwavering attention, the whole crew erupted from the cockpit several times to spot pods of dolphins whipping out the water and zig-zagging passed the bow. With all lingering confusion on safety equipment or customs paperwork diverted, the class broke up, and we all leaped at the chance to take yet another of the firehose showers on deck. As Robbie and I resumed post on bow watch, more dolphins popped out of the blue and danced past Argo, once again amassing as large of an audience as one can muster in the middle of the Atlantic when the next closest people are god knows where! Unbeknownst to those of us sucking in the beauty of waves on deck, the galley became home to a dance party of legendary proportions, including a series of homemade instrumental interludes performed in dishrag/sail tie costumes. Between their shenanigans, the kitchen crew whipped up an amazing chicken satay and tofu accompaniment that left not a stomach empty. Before our watches could split ways and get a head start on sleep, another clique of Atlantic spotted dolphins according to Amanda’s expertise broke up our squeeze, maybe as a humbling reminder of the majesty of this ocean flying us by or maybe just to show off and to make us jealous. Job accomplished either way. As I write this now, I hear squawks from on deck, and it would seem that Henry, Oliver, Chaz, and Ian’s fishing contraptions have hooked a tuna on the line.

Though this day is coming to a close, it’s hard to see any day ending that way. Each day seems to roll into the next on the backs of astonishing views, gripping conversation, and great company all around. Where land faded long ago, we all have found so much more in the vast emptiness of what surrounds us. In the water, there lies wildlife at the tips of our fingers. On Argo, there lies camaraderie and friendship and laughter and work and mysterious scents that fade and strengthen without any known reason. Most of what is happening on this amazing journey should feel so foreign, but I believe it’s the sensation of everything being so real that makes light blur into dark and fear fade to joy. This adventure on which we’ve all embarked, bound by location but free in the journey, has undoubtedly been one of the greatest gifts of my life and surely the same for many others.

We can’t wait for tomorrow or even the next watch to see what wonderful surprises Argo has in store for us!

PS Hey Dad- This is my proof of life message. I didn’t fall off the boat (not yet anyway)!