Location: Underway Azores to Gibraltar

Being the only crew member switching watch teams meant it was time for me to say a heart-wrenching goodbye to my beloved watch team two of Claire, Santana, Maya, Cate, Drew, and Leo. After a difficult goodbye, I was warmly welcomed into the group of watch team one, and within the four hours of the 8-12 watch, last night began to feel at home. Ending watch with two squish-acorns shadow boxing to Will’s song about being a horse sent watch team one to sleep with magical dreams.

Emerging on deck for the 8 am watch this morning, watch team one was greeted by Charles announcing that we had steered within 1.5 miles of a barge that was acting as a target for a Portuguese warship. They had received a radio call asking Argo to divert course and remain at least 3 miles clear of their vessel and target. After being chased away from an active shooting zone, Argo made it to safety, and watch team one took the helm. A sleepy four hours followed filled with coffee, music, parkour dolphins, and deck washing to remove any parts of the earth from the Azores we had brought with us.

Amanda’s lunch of hummus wraps filled everyone up for a long afternoon of classes. Oceanography was first, and as the students took time to rest between classes, the staff put them to test. An unexpected fire drill began as Calum pulled the alarm. A not-so-great muster was followed by breaking up into teams for our station bill duties. Watch team one located the fire (Tim was the fire) and prepared the fire hose as I fought the fire with the nine extinguishers that watch team two had brought to me. The rest of watch team two gathered medical supplies, started the water pump, and made a ‘radio distress call,’ and watch team three took charge of the deck, striking the forward stays’l and maintaining our course. The drill then leads to the preparation to abandon the ship.

After the chaos of the fire drill, the daily schedule resumed with Gabe’s seamanship class, followed by some downtime to chill, study, or nap. Dinner was taco bowls that were very well received and munched down quickly in order to finish clean up in time to be able to bring Argo to a stop and hop in the cold Atlantic water for a much-needed swim. Everyone was jumping, diving, flipping, and sudsing up on deck to make the most of this moment. There were even little fish and jellies that were SUPER cute.

We brought the big day to a close with our appreciation and disclosing what the titles of our autobiographies would be and left watch team two to kick off the night with the 8-12 watch.

We’re back: we just had another fire drill muster that went slightly better (kind of).