Location: 1 00.64'S 37 13.31'W

Just hours ago, your Argonauts were mere polliwogs, young and inexperienced, making their way through the Atlantic, but tonight as we close another day on a passage, each shipmate has the honor of joining a distinct and respected group of sailors known as Shellbacks. Prior to crossing the equator and joining this experienced group, one must complete a series of tasks and ceremonies to appease the great King Neptune and earn the Shellback title. Costumes of sea creatures, pirates, and mermaids were adorned while offerings to the great king were presented and judged. Locks of hair were thrown into the sea, and the ceremonial communion was taken. The court was then baptized as we crab-walked to kiss the kings baby and complete the polliwog ceremony. Each task was accomplished to the kings satisfaction, and the Shellback title was bestowed upon each shipmate.

As though the crew had not experienced enough excitement for one day, a deep ocean swim was still in store before continuing on to French Guyana. This experience is one that will not soon be forgotten as the feeling of swimming in the middle of the Atlantic above 15,000 feet of open water and sea life is something only a few can fully understand or appreciate. It is one of the most exciting and humbling experiences and an adventure all on its own. Our swim came to a close with ctenophores, and Mahi Mahi is swimming among the crew.

Argo and her freshly-minted Shellbacks will cross the equator in a few hours and continue on to French Guyana and the Caribbean with a little less hair and a lot more sailing experience.

Mom, Dad, and Collin- I still have a (nearly) full head of hair and many exciting stories to share in April. I miss you all lots!