Location: Underway to Palau

What a day it has been on Argo today. My day, along with the rest of watch team 3, began at midnight when we took the deck for the 00:00-04:00 watch. We didn’t have many stars in the sky as it was very overcast, so we got the experience of a truly dark night. The watch went smoothly with lots of interesting and thoughtful conversations in the cockpit, some shared snacks, and an ever-increasing bond within the group. All watch teams are having a great time getting to know each other on a deeper level during the many hours of the day and night that we spend together. When we went to sleep at 04:00, watch team 1 continued bringing us safely through the dark into the sunrise and a new morning. That morning brought with it a lot of sail handling. At 07:00, watch team 1 completed a jibe to help us continue on a speedy course to Palau with the wind at our backs. We are currently sailing with 2 staysails and a double-reefed main. Although that’s not all the sail area Argo’s got, it’s still quite a lot to handle with a watch team of 7-8 people. Involved is striking the 2 running backstays, center lining the staysails and striking their preventers, easing the preventer and sheeting in on the main, jibing the main, and then easing everything back out to the other side and setting up the running backstays on the other sidelots of fun but also a lot of work and attention to detail. Well then, during watch team 2’s 08:00-12:00 watch, a squall blew in, and the wind went through almost a 360 shift. So for a little while, we were actually heading back to Fiji, and they got to jibe again. After the soggy but satisfied watch team, 2 finished their watch, watch team 3 (my team!) came back on deck at noon, and the two teams together jibed yet AGAIN! We are getting so much practice, and all the students have taken a much more active role in leading pieces and parts of the process. We are very proud of how far they’ve come, and we are looking forward to the rest of the passage together.

After lunch, the students had an oceanography class with Steph where they learned about marine pollution, and they had leadership with Tim where they conducted a debate on the whaling industry in the small Caribbean island community of Bequia. While the students were in class, Gabe, Lolo, and I spent some time together in the cockpit listening to Indonesian music (he didn’t have time to download music from Palau before we left) and catching up. It’s fun to visit with people from other watch teams because we don’t get to spend much quality time with them while underway except at meals and classes. At our nightly squeeze, the question was, “What is one of your proudest moments, or something you have achieved or accomplished that you are very proud of?” We got some great answers from people working on their relationships with their siblings, getting into or completing college, being awarded a patent, saving someone’s life, and many more. I love the squeeze every day, but I especially like it on long passages because it’s a chance for everyone to see each other’s faces and hear each other’s voices. Now we are sailing off into the sunset about 300 miles off the coast of the Solomon Islands. Goodnight everyone!

Current position:

Tyler with his inflated PFD after he got rained on a little bit too much this morning
Steph and I excited that the students did really well on their last oceanography quiz.
Group photo at dinner