Location: Underway to Devil's Island

Hello, hello, hello from Argo! I am currently writing this as the flying jib is being taken down, and it is quite an intense ambiance to write in. But that being said, we’ve been sailing with five sails all day! My watch team (watch team 3 with Amanda C, Ben, Tim, Nolan, Max, Ellie, and Katie) had the pleasure of turning off the engine early this morning during our 8-12. We’ve been fully sailing with around 15 knots of wind since, which has been so amazing and a great change of pace after so long with so little wind. It’s way quieter above deck, and it’s so refreshing to see the sails full of wind and be able to feel real weather helm when steering again. The highlight of my day was being able to sit on the martingale; the net was dipping down so that it was right above the water, and every once in a while, a wave would hit that would completely soak me. Will and I sat on it again for a bit during our break between classes and sat through our NavMaster lecture damp and salty after a couple of rogue waves, but I’d say it was 100% worth it regardless. I did not miss how hard the watertight doors were to open when we’re this tilted, though, or how treacherous showers feel when you’re constantly banging into the walls. Dinner time was a fun balancing game to get all of our food (and sauces) into our bowls without losing ourselves or our meal overboard, and both MG and I managed to get a solid amount of soy sauce on our shirts instead of in our bowls. Sitting balanced during squeeze was a whole other challenge, although I’m happy to report that I didn’t fall over until the very end, and Will managed to catch me with his foot. Overall though, the sails being up with this much wind seems like it’s putting everyone in better spirits. This is the type of sailing we all missed.

Today is the 45th day of our trip, meaning we are exactly halfway through. Although my first instinct was to be sad that we only had 45 days left, I’ve been told by quite a few people that I’m being dramatic and that we still have so much time and so many fun things left to do. It is reassuring to think about all that we’ve accomplished in so little time so far and how much more of that is to come. As for this passage, we’re on day six and expected to reach Devil’s Island in two days. Everyone seems to be getting into the rhythm of their new watch groups, so I’ve collected some insider opinions on each watch group:

Brina on watch team 1: “Diverse. There is a good balance which makes it an interesting and fun watch.”
MG on watch team 2: “Super fun” “Is that it?” “Umm. yeah.”
Max on watch team 3: “Tiny but mighty.”

From an outsider’s opinion, watch team 1 seems to spend a lot of time asking questions, watch team 2 does not seem to have slowed down their cereal intake during shifts (largely due to MG remaining in the group), and watch team 3 likes to tell stories and sing Something in the Orange at every appropriate time (which is all the time). Nolan fell asleep on the floor of the cockpit during our watch last nightshamebut was in high spirits this morning after getting more than 3 hours of sleep the night before. Katie and Ellie have been on a braiding grind during watch, Tim has spent a lot of time either working out with me or meditating at the bow, and Max is enjoying his podcasts as much as ever.

Other than that, it was another typical day on the boat! We had marine biology followed by seamanship with lots of navigation practice, went back an hour, and gained an hour of studying / free time. The PSCT course is currently presenting a lot of individual topics that I don’t really understand that were apparently just for fun. Right before dinner, a massive pod of dolphins came up right by the boat and were all jumping and following along by the bow for around 5 minutes. They were so close to the boat. It was insane. Definitely made Brina’s day. Zoe and Nat spent the majority of the night on the salon benches because their fans broke last night, but kudos to them for staying in high spirits all day, regardless. I’m trying to get people to start calling Gabe D “mop” after he rejected my other nickname of “Lil G.” Max has been bringing out the guitar a lot lately and spent tonight playing and singing with Brina at the bow – I’m partially convinced they summoned the dolphins. Nick was in a big singing mood this morning, Beau has been adjusting to the contact lifestyle after the loss of their glasses, and Elene comforted me after I dropped my toothbrush into the head drains this morning (tragic loss). Liz and I have spent a solid amount of time either rubbing our heads to feel the spikeys or finding new ways to protect our scalps from the sun.

I went the bandana route today, which felt a little too pirate-y, and Liz was working with the hat and buff combo. Beau was going with no sun protection on the bare head at all, which scares me a little, but whatever floats their boat. And Peter is displaying as much enthusiasm towards sun protection as ever, so I’m not worried about the health of his scalp at all. Tim is in a grey zone right now with the occasional hat on his head, so he’s more of a toss-up. And Golden Gabe joined the eyebrow slit crew today by getting a slit from Brina! I’ve attached a photo of all haircuts of any kind below for any concerned parents. Don’t worry, Mom and Dad; I’m not regretting the buzzed head quite yet; I’m enjoying the feeling of wind and showers and how quickly my hair dries, and what it feels like to lie on a pillow. The constant head rubs from others are a new sensation but understandable. And that was the day today! Not much else to report on. Hopefully, everything is going well back on land. Hello Chloe, and I love you, parents – I’ll call you soon, and we will see ya on the other side!

Take care 🙂