Today marks my second day home. We each are getting one last blog post, but Im not sure if there are any fluttery words left in my head right about now. Ive traded my bunk where 5 people were basically in arms reach to a room to myself, being surrounded by ocean to being surrounded by snow, 50 pumps for a flush (in Sylvias case 50 flushes to pretend were still underway), the dishy pit for a dishwasher, cockpit chats to zoom squeeze, and couscous to well, anything but couscous. And I wont lie, I hate it. With each of these changes, it feels like our time on Argo is drifting away from me, out of my grasp. But I know thats not true. Whether we know or feel it now, weve all been changed by this trip, and well carry pieces of it with us wherever we go. Going forward, whatever were dealing with, big or small, we can each think to ourselves, I crossed a whole ocean, surely I can tackle this, and I think that is really freeing.
Now, we share our ways of coping with this change. Whether it’s remaking Jimmy Needss iconic snorkel picture, talking to each other at all hours of the day and pretending its in person and not via Snapchat or Zoom, applying to work for Action Quest or Sea|mester, building makeshift Gumby Suits or Bunk Bags to sleep with on our beds, playing ocean sounds to drown out the ringing in our ears due to foreign quiet or coming up with our next grand adventure. Personally, I sleep wearing the crystals Jayda gave me, and with the broken hank from the jib right next to my bed. I tried to convince my family to make banging anchor chain noises or try to push me out of my bed as I slept, but they werent too keen.
Theres a shared unspoken truth among us though, that perhaps we are scared to admit. No matter what we do, well never be able to recreate or relive our time aboard Argo. The only thing thats comforting to me now is to think of how seemingly random the cards were stacked right before they unfolded the way they did. How many near misses you had that could have stopped you from coming on this trip and how many happy accidents ensured that you were on it. We need to remind ourselves of how unexpectedly we found this thing that ended up changing our lives. That brought you to a place full of people that you couldnt dream up if you tried, and to situations that you never would have pictured yourself experiencing. Accompanying both of these things are feelings you cant really describe and are unsure if you will ever experience again. Its truly rare and amazing to experience something that you start to miss before youre even done experiencing it. It makes us want to dig into it as deep as we can, in hopes that some of it gets stuck underneath our nails, and certainly, our time on Argo has. But, we cant live our lives mourning what weve done. As Jay said, we must not let this become our greatest adventure. This is only the beginning for us, and we must look excitedly to the horizon, to use what Argo has taught us to steer constantly towards the fearful and unknown, because the best moments, the next unexpected joys, all lie on the other side of fear.
You were my favorite place Ive ever called home. You introduced me to new passions and skills and taught me more about myself than I ever knew before. You were the setting for salon sits, cetacean sightings, rapid-fire (and not so rapid-fire) appreciations, rainy dance parties, red light dance parties, deckie vs. dishy food fights, mandatory sorry deckies, trying to hold the laughter in, tears in, farts in (we had a lot of beans), jokes about horse rehabilitation centers, weevils uniting, Jeff Bezos, kiwi vampires, midnight scamperers, contraband peanut butter, hunting for sport, southern accents, investigations, scuba signals, I dropped my water bottle, William hitting his water bottle with his head and so so much more. Every green flash sunset, every star in the sky, or flash of bioluminescence watched off the stern (or in the head if youre Calum), could never be enough. Im sure Im not alone when I say Id give anything to be back Id raise the main by myself (not just talking halyard, but like a one-man show type deal), listen to EDM “Summer of ’69” at 7 am (alternatively Jump in the Line on loop, or Will’s metal), or scrub the hull with a toothbrush, hell even my own toothbrush, or exclusively use the aft boys head. Although it was cut short, Im forever grateful for the time we had, the ocean we crossed, and the memories we made. I feel a bit of solace in the unfinished feeling in my stomach, and a sense of security that I know Ill be back on Argo one day.
To everyone aboard Argo:
Heres a quote (not a leadership one, sorry Jay) that I wanted to share with all of you:
The number of hours we have together is not actually that large. Please, linger uncomfortably instead of just leaving. Please forget your scarf in my life and come back for it.
Please, please do.