Location: Barbados

An Atlantic Crossing… This will be the theme of one of the grand stories we all tell our grandkids, huddled around a warm fire with their full attention, hooked into the emotion with which we spin the yarn. “Whalesharks and a visit from King Neptune himself were but some of the good wallies. But let me tell you about the starry nights in the lower latitudes…”

Argo awoke this morning anchored beside a gleaming superyacht. Despite knowing that the residents next door were living the high life of luxury, not a soul aboard Sailing Yacht Argo could be found jealous. “She’s terribly under-canvassed,” was one of the mutters as we made the comparison. Biassed, perhaps, but full appreciation must be given to the vessel and crew that have carried us eagerly and safely nearly 6000 nautical miles in the last weeks. Thus, it was fitting that Argo should have her face washed today, so after yogurt and muesli (an absolute treat!), we rolled up our sleeves to give her a bit of attention. Post-passage wrap-up includes soap and freshwater hosing with much scrubbing. Sails were furled, and the ever-creeping rust stains were satisfyingly removed with toothbrushes of all things (not our own, we still use those for our teeth). Barbados loomed over us, enticing and beckoning with the foreign sounds of shore-life such as hooting vehicles and revving car engines. The thought of ice-cream surely spurred us all on through the long hours of the job. However, now cleared in and with Argo as shiny as ever, we’ll soon have the opportunity to walk on terra-firma. Some may find this pleasing, but others, such as Benazir, “would like to never have to walk on land again!” Just as Ricky Baker found a new and novel home in the bush, so some have taken a particular liking to the wind and the waves.

The evening rolled in with a stunning sunset, the sun as large as ever sliding under the distant western waves, and the wafting aromas of melting cheese and roasting tomato pre-empting Missy’s pizza dinner. This meal has also been the hype of the day, and along with her happy assistants, Benazir and Carolyn, she did not disappoint. The north-easterly trades still cool us in the evenings, and without a rolling deck, dinner was a most peaceful time. As if it weren’t enough, though, Steph arrived back from provisioning run with a bounty of fruit-juice boxes and cookies for dessert. I’m sure nobody has ever seen a handful of young adults bubbling with excitement as if energized kids over the mention of cool juice-boxes.

To wrap up the day, the final Open Water Dive class session was held to prepare for our first breaths underwater, which are planned to take place in pool-like conditions on a nearby beach tomorrow, once we’re alongside in a smart marina. I’ve always thought there to be three types of people in this world; those who have experienced SCUBA diving, those who have not, and those who can’t wait to join the former lot. And so now it all begins!

Tonight’s squeeze question, ‘What will you tell your best friend when you get a connection?” I’ll tell mine that time is a human construct that uses our observable surroundings as a reference to its passage. A month and a half have blurred into a single moment — a simultaneous amalgamation of new memories with zero time-line due to the emptiness and uniformity of the big, wide ocean. The title, Ka-Mate, Ka-Mate, Ka-Ora, Ka-Ora, is a Maori phrase taken from the Allblacks Rugby Haka, meaning “‘ Tis death, but also ( and more importantly) it is LIFE” which counts.