Location: Panama City, Panama

Good Saturday evening to all those who read this interweb blog.

Let me set the scene: You finally get to sleep after being on anchor watch at 4 in the morning, cool fan now running over you in your bunk and all is quiet throughout the cabins… finally getting some good sleep. Out of nowhere, the lunatic anarchist skipper of the day (who got a great nights sleep after having the night off anchor watch) comes down the hall with WAYYYY too much energy, yelling at everyone to get up and waking people with the age-old classic rousing techniques such as the back cattle prod, the ankle tug, and for those extra unfortunate souls, the elusive “getupgetupgetupgetupgetupgetupgetupgetup!” (@alex). That skipper of the day was me…

After breakfast, we were fortunate enough to have Carolyn, a former Argo staff member who was aboard for the night, lecture us on the effects that tourism has on the local sea star population in the resort town of Bocas del Toro, Panama. Often, we underestimate the impact that seemingly innocent actions have on the ecosystem as a whole. In short, think twice before picking up wildlife and posing with it so you can post on Instagram. The animals will appreciate it!

Behind the scenes, Amanda, Steph, and Amy were undertaking the monumental task of provisioning for 24 people for over a month. You know when your extended family is coming over for the holidays, and your parents go grocery shopping for those 4 days of meals and the minivan is full of shopping bags? Well, that was child’s play compared to what Amanda, Steph, and Amy accomplished. The receipt went from the stern to midships… 50+ ft! As I type, four months worth of food is overflowing in the salon, bound for the deepest, darkest corners of Argo’s vast storage compartments. On the surface, she looks calm and ready, yet down below the mother of all organizational undertakings is being…. undertaken.

Meanwhile, those who were left aboard Argo weighed anchor and headed for the fuel dock to refill Argo’s thirsty diesel tanks. As a crew, our docking maneuvers have become far more competent. Everyone is a lot more confident and skillful with dock lines and fenders. We are on our way to becoming able seafarers. After our rapid-fire rounds of docking in the Panama Canal transit, today’s docking was just another day at the office. With a full tank o’ gas, we moved to a dock at the end of the marina. This was a special dock, as we may have found Argo a love interest. Docked next to us was the most striking, sleek, beautiful 87 year-old any of us had ever seen. I am talking of course about the white hulled, wooden, double masted, William Fife design, gaff schooner called Altair. Google image search it… it’s nice. Not all is fun and games here aboard Argo. We had some tough news tonight when we found out that our Oceanography exam was postponed ’til tomorrow and instead, we have a night out. To say that we were disappointed would be a gross understatement. The crew is taking it pretty tough, but with the support of one other, we’ll make it through this trying time.

We are all excited for our 1000 nm crossing to the Galapagos Islands, as well as the debauchery that comes with crossing the equator for the first time. As the traditional sailor’s proverb goes, “What happens at the equator, stays at the equator…” except for the shaved head.

At this poin,t I am just typing to get out of unpacking the 2 van loads worth of food in the salon….
Daily tallies:
Stubbed toes – 12
Tim making an actually funny joke – 0
Pro Dockings – 2
Mutinies organized against me – 5
Mutinies squashed by my wrath – 5
Delicious meals – 3
Gallons of diesel taken onboard – 1179

Best,
Jack

Pictured; Ian fueling up, a whooooole lot o’ provisions, Amy making a serious face, Tim making an even more serious face, crew pull ups, a super long receipt, Alexa full of energy ft. Peter, Alex and Sam looking confused as to what to do with such a large amount of food, and a very nice looking yacht.