Location: 8 47.17'S 139 11.67'W
Land ho from Argo! It’s been a relaxing yet eventful last day of passage here in the South Pacific. We were greeted this morning by fair winds and following seas but unfortunately, the former was in the wrong direction for sailing so motoring it was! No classes today but rather a two-hour Navigation exam, taken with our watch groups, that all 19 students (and 2 staff) hopefully passed. When we weren’t furiously plotting and measuring currents, the crew of Argo chose to spend their time in a variety of ways from sleeping and watching movies up forward (and enjoying the A/C), to reading on deck, sharing photos of past adventures, working in the saloon, participating in and listening to Jack and Henry’s guitar jam session, or playing chess in the cockpit. Chess has become something of a national sport aboard Argo; the competition (and trash talk) is fierce.
Our day went from good to great just before dinner. With excitement running high, Rob was lucky and sharp-eyed enough to be the first person to spot land and let the rest of the boat know with an appropriately loud, “LAND HO!” After this exciting sighting, we were treated to a welcomed solution to our current water problems. A rainstorm was kind enough to pass over us just long enough for the crew to soap up and rinse off sweat from the last day and left everyone feeling clean, cool, and refreshed just in time for an excellent chicken curry dinner and dessert naan. Our creativity ran amok when answering the Squeeze question “how would you defend Argo against pirates?” Solutions ranged from more traditional weapons like the fishing gaff and kitchen knives to chemical warfare using the dishy buckets and especially creative solutions like the engine room’s fire suppression system, a recently demonstrated exercise equipment slightshot and a homemade giant shotgun. We all clearly love Argo very much!
At the end of a long passage, like at the end of most things, camaraderie is refreshed, old quarrels forgotten, and small experiences more enjoyed. That was definitely the case today on Argo. Excited though we may be to reach land and the adventures we are soon to have, we are all appreciating every last moment we have when it’s just the 25 of us and the sea. Things we have taken for granted, like a clear night’s sky, uninterrupted by planes and light pollution, the steady roll of the boat, the regular schedule of watches and classes, a nice bowl of cereal while enjoying a sunrise uninterrupted by land, are now things to which we are paying close attention. Long passages have their struggles for sure. Being away from the rest of the world tends to magnify even the smallest problems on board. But now, as the sun sets behind Ua-Huka, our first land in 19 days, our issues are put into perspective and we can, yet again, appreciate the little things and begin to realize just how lucky we are to have crossed this half of the Pacific. Although the days of passage may sometimes blend together, our time at sea stands as a distinct memory, in both this trip and our lives.
P.S. Shoutout to my dad and brothers and any other of my friends and family that may be reading this! Love and miss you all lots and can’t wait to talk to you once we get to land (no promises though…)