Location: Somewhere in the South China Sea
Good (insert whatever time of day it is where you are)!
Skipper Margo checking in for a surprise guest appearance- bet you thought you’d seen the last of me!
Late last night, we left the wind shadow of Borneo- meaning we’re in the rolliest, windiest part of our passage. Despite some minor seasickness this morning, spirits are high, and nobody’s thrown up since lunch!
I was on watch from 812 PM when we noticed a change in the weather (heralded in, like always when you’re on watch team 2, by a huge squall). We didn’t even get to finish our podcast (Radio Rental, in case you wanted to know) before we found ourselves thrown into rippling waves and high winds. We spent the rest of our watch attaching running backstays and preventers, handy billying to tighten up the lines, and then, in this order: sheeting in the sails, easing the sails back out, sheeting the sails back in, easing the sails out, I think you get the point. By the time it hit midnight, we were all too happy to wish watch team three good luck and come out of the rain. We finished off the cookies Sydnei made for us and went right to bed.
At 7:30, we got the wakeup for our next watch- 8-12, but the AM version. We passed through a super busy shipping channel, filled with boats that were huge and mean-looking (the largest one was 400 METERS long. That’s over 1300 feet!). We skirted around them, finished our podcast, and then buckled in for more sail handling. Nothing wakes you up in the morning like trying to tie lines with one hand while the other hand attempts to keep you from falling off a rolling ship. Really, it’s better than the Folger’s instant coffee that I bought in Palau. I also got to do my oral exam for Seamanship this morning with Gabe. We did different accents the whole time, which made it really fun.
Anyways, after that invigorating morning, I went downstairs to do some skipper wakeups (the wakeup song this afternoon was Lockness by Conan Gentil). Lunch was slightly delayed due to an unfortunate incident with a tray of food flying across the galley (I told you it was rough), so everyone not on watch got an extra 20 minutes of sleep. The chefs rallied admirably, and we had a delicious noodle stir-fry for lunch.
Afterward, we presented our oceanography group research projects- our last assignment for our oceanography class! It’s sad that our classes are ending, but nice to have that out of the way. We just have some work to do in leadership and marine bio left, unless you still have to take the orals for Seamanship. The rest of the afternoon was dedicated to getting some work done (or sleeping, based on your priorities). At 5, I did wakeups again for dinner (the wakeup song, this time being All Too Well (10 Minute Version) by Taylor Swift). We ate, laughed, and got a surprise announcement- once we hit the Gulf of Thailand, the rest of the passage is going to be student-run! We’ll have elections for Skipper, Engineer, Navigator, First Mate, and watch team leaders in leadership class this week, and then those students will be in charge of navigating us to Bangkok and getting us safely docked. If you don’t hear from us again, blame them (kidding! we’ll get there fine and on time. Probably.)
After dinner, I was on watch from 6-8. The wind was just a bit calmer, so it was a tad more relaxing. After watch, a group of us met in the salon for our 9-day-old passage tradition- Watching Star Wars! Every three days, when our watch schedules line up just so, we introduce Matt to a new Star Wars movie. Tonight was Episode 6- a classic. I might regret it at 4 AM when I get up for watch, but I certainly don’t now.
Anyways, I’m headed to bed. Hopefully, I won’t roll out in my sleep.
This is my last skipper day, so you won’t be getting any more of my wakeup playlist. I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a quick second to thank the staff, my fellow students, and their support systems for making this the best experience of my life (and one I’ll never forget). If you’re still reading these logs on day 85, thank you too- hopefully, you feel like you’ve experienced some of what life on Argo is like. We’ll see you all in person in less than a week!
For the last time:
Love from Argo,
Photo 1: Lunch in less-than-stellar weather involves foulies and sitting on the deck (nobody wants to fall off the cap rail)
Photo 2: A selfie of the down below cleanup crew
Photo 3: Watching R2D2 navigate to Dagobah as Argo navigates to Thailand