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Location: Underway to Thailand

Last night on watch, I had a zen moment while we were listening to Just Breathe by Pearl Jam. (Sidenote – although not jam, Cleopatra apparently would put pearls in wine to make it bubbly. Kinda cool) Looking into the wind, smelling the fresh, rainless air, I reflected on how much I enjoy sailing. Our course has brought us to smoother waters, with the sea spray just reaching over the bow. With the seasick starting to recover, our watch team felt much more alive than the past few days.
This morning brought an early five oclock wakeup to the fire alarm. Thankfully, a smoke detector was malfunctioning, and we werent about to burn to the ground (or, in this case, to the water). After establishing that everything was ok, all but watch team three returned to bed.
At seven-thirty, my own watch team was awoken for another eight to twelve watch. The staff regaled us with stories of the oven freaking out a few months ago about checking a Bluetooth meat probe – it may sound boring, but Lolo and Tim can make everything entertaining. I also brought hot cocoa mix to share, which brightened spirits substantially. As the sky started to clear, we finally caught a glimpse of blue! Extremely exciting after so many days of constant rain. After a gorgeous view on bow watch, I went down below to wake up the remainder of the crew. Justin loaned me his speaker to play Here Comes the Sun, Roxanne, and Dancing Queen. I think that everyone enjoyed the music, but it was hard to tell, as sleepy people tend to glare at those who awaken them. Emma was also baking banana bread, which lured people out of bed and into the salon.
Emma, Lucia, and Preston prepared a lunch of spring roll bowls, or rowls. A small bird joined us in line, the first living being on Argo this passage besides humans, flies, and barnacles. Everyone enjoyed the cool food as the sun shone through the clouds. Fresh Carrots, red cabbage, and edamame were accompanied by canned peaches. Canned fruit has been a big hit this semester, and lately, weve had it almost every day.
During cleanup, I subbed in for Amanda C. as a freshie while she distributed fresh sheets. Since its been so rainy and salty this passage, everyone was thrilled to have clean bedding that doesnt smell like damp foulies. Whenever we replace our sheets, its a great opportunity to tidy our bunks, which everyone has been struggling with due to the rolling waves.
Once everything was cleaner, we had marine biology. We learned more about the biology of fish. We found out how gills work, why sharks have to keep swimming, different ways that fish swim, and more. Some fish are pretty freaky – we saw an image of one that has taste receptors over its eyes! Many fish also are able to sense pressure, which is how they stay so coordinated while schooling. Cool stuff!
After class, we had study time! Tomorrow, we have a PSCT meteorology exam, a marine bio fish ID quiz, and an oceanography exam (whew!). Some people have embraced seamester-itis and decided not to study for anything. I personally spent half my free time studying and the other half watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Beyond tomorrow, we still have another marine bio exam, a leadership paper, our oceanography group research project, and a seamanship oral exam. Hopefully, we will wrap all of that up by the end of day 86, which will leave the remaining days to pack, hang out, and participate in the Lack of Talent show. The clock is ticking!!! Around four, we started deck showers, our first since the first day of passage. I honestly think that the high-pressure water might have left some bruises, but my skin definitely got exfoliated. Everyone got nice and clean before using our fresh sheets tonight!
Standing in line for meals always brings interesting conversation. Margo showed off her freshly naked toe, and Lolo informed a couple of us we failed yesterdays navmaster exam (oops, but we get another attempt, thankfully). The grub we had was chicken or black bean sandwiches, accompanied by roasted potatoes and chickpeas. Carly and Lolo made the rolls for our sandwiches, which were fluffy and delicious. We also got to spread real butter on them, a rarity on Argo. Everyone was fully able to enjoy dinner and participate in conversations, a great improvement from the past few days.
For squeeze, I asked people what they would add to the packing list for this trip. A note to the office in Sarasota – we have quite a bit of feedback for you guys. Many answers included increasing the number of shorts, sun shirts, and sunglasses and removing the boots. Other answers recommended the opposite.

During cleanup, I tracked down everyone to take their temperatures. Thankfully, everyone was right around 36 or 37 degrees Celsius. I had been a bit worried that a couple of people would be about 100 degrees from drinking too much tea, but rest assured, no one has steam coming out of their ears. Once my task was complete, I went up for bow watch and got to enjoy the boats and islands around us. During our watch team debriefing, we got hyped up for our banana bread watch snack from 0400 to 0800 tomorrow morning – WOO! Lots to look forward to.

Over and out

Current position:
0133.06’S
10922.32’E

Pictured:
Partial group photo
Staff hanging out in the cockpit
Matt, Kayli, Gabe, and Chris as dryers in the dishy pit