Location: The Atlantic Ocean
So my day started at the bright and early hour of 0400. The weather? Delightfully overcast with lots of wind, peppered with wonderful sprays of saltwater splashing over the sides. In other words, a foul weather gear morning. That doesn’t mean that it was a bad morning, oh no. When taking into account all the things that COULD be happening, such as torrential rainfall combined with lightning and icy waves sheeting over the side dousing the cockpit, this morning was absolutely phenomenal. Even with only 3 out of 6 sails raised and our mainsail reefed, we still managed to hold Argo at an average speed of 9 knots. That made our ETA in Gibraltar drop to about two days, which is both good and bad. On the bright side, we’d be at Gibraltar. On the not-so-bright side, we wouldn’t have a docking space, so we’d have to either sail in circles or heave-to and float until space opened up. Both of these aren’t great ideas, especially in one of the busiest maritime areas in the world. Also, today’s snack time on watch was excellent with M&M biscuits, chocolate bars, and salt and vinegar chips.
At 0500, Alberto and I went on a great misadventure down below in the galley as we tried to decipher the “fairly simple” recipe for the dough to make biscuits (Alberto was today’s bread maker). We learned a couple of things about biscuits:
1) Biscuit dough is supposed to be pretty sticky
2) Kneading dough is a very messy venture that can get flour everywhere
3) When a recipe says “pour dough onto a lightly floured surface,” that DOES NOT MEAN “pour dough onto the counter of moving ship and hope for the best.”
In order to justify our after-watch activity, I have to rewind to early last night when the wind picked up greatly, and we increased our speed to almost 12 knots going fast? Good. Very good. BUT. Fast = rough and rocky. Which is very non-conducive to sleep. Therefore the most sleep any person on my watch team got was about 4 hours. The most popular after-watch activity was sleeping. By then, the seas had calmed considerably, allowing us to enter the wonderful realm of dreams. Until 1130 rolled around, which is the time at which everyone is woken up for lunch. Usually, this consists of being gently shaken awake, which is a great way to wake up. But this time, watch team one had a flash of inspiration and decided to break tradition. The result? A veritable parade of dancing, singing people led by Rudy, who was waving a small speaker blaring music yelling, “WAKE UP, TIME TO WAKE UP!”
I’m 100% certain that they got at least one pair of shoes thrown at them by a disgruntled shipmate.
Lunch was delicious, Gumbo, rice, and a watermelon (all separate, of course).
The afternoon was the first MTE, in which we practiced our navigation skills by solving dead reckoning problems, followed by OCE (taught today by Emma), learning about waves, tides, beaches, and estuaries. After classes were over, it was shower time, which took place down below because, once again, it was too windy on deck.
Dinner was also amazing, being chicken and biscuits (yes, the same biscuits with which Alberto and I were struggling with this morning – they actually turned out all right). David, Mitch, and Emma (staff) make a great team in the kitchen.
I believe that after dinner, there’s going to be a movie night, with the feature being Pirates of the Caribbean 3.
All in all, it was a great day, and I can’t wait to see what awaits us Argonauts in the days ahead!