Location: Colon, Panama

A journey of a thousand miles may begin with a single step, but when sailing on Argo, you can only take so many steps before you fall off the boat. Fortunately, the amount of steps it takes before you fall into the water significantly increases when docked.

After a change of plans, we departed the San Blas Islands post-dinner last night. It was a short 65 nautical miles to Coln, our first stop in mainland Panama before the Canal. Watch Team Two and Three brought us into port, with our Captain, Bryant, docking Argo with James Bond-like precision. We arrived before breakfast, sleep-deprived but delighted to see land (and the dock, which invoked the possibility of shore-heads). This is our first non-island destination since the beginning of the trip. However, before any of us were to venture off the boat, we had several activities we had to complete.

First was Marine Biology Lecture Five with Amy, with additional study time at the end of class in preparation for our exam in three days. We then had lunch and moved into the most intensive Boat Appreciation, or as we know it, BA, of our lives. For some, that meant scrubbing the fridge and freezer from the inside out. For others, it was emptying of the line locker or cleaning out the bilges. As our time on Argo increases, so does our knowledge and appreciation of her capacity and many secret holding spaces.

Several hours into BA, dirt was lodged deep under fingernails, sweat was running down legs, and people were beginning to get just a bit smelly. The call was made to have some shore time, mostly to use the dock showers and toilets (three cheers for flush toilets they truly are a marvelous piece of technology), as well as a stop at a small convenience store. Some chose to explore a little bit of the surrounding area (we saw white-faced Capuchin monkeys!).

As with the last time I was skipper, Fish ID Log Books were due today before dinner, which meant that many spent the afternoon drawing fish they had seen and writing down interesting information about those same animals.

We were supposed to have a Seamanship class tonight. However, another last-minute change of plans resulted in students and staff having a night out instead! While there was much rejoicing for the night out, Bryants announcement that there would be no dock watch so we could all sleep through the night brought some to pretend that they were wiping away tears of joy. What can I say? We delight in the simple things here on Argo.

Pictured: Amy and Sam helping to secure dock lines when we arrived in the marina in Colon; everyone gathered in the cockpit for lunch; Seby excited to do his deckie duties; Sophie in the gopher hatch; London, Eliza, and Kai doing some fish ID books before dinner; Drake and friends in the dishy pit; some of the jungle views around the marina.