Location: 18 35.74'S 157 24.92'E
My day began with Watch Team 3 at 12AM for our 12-4AM watch. Watch Team 2 told us it might start raining, so we put on our bibs and jackets, hoping that four hours of rain in the middle of the night was not what we were about to experience. When we got up on deck, we realized that the something falling from above was not rain, but a gift from the boobies that had taken refuge on the triadic and spreaders over the course of the night. With upwards of eleven birds above us (including one bird, Gerald, who had shown up during dinner and tried to hang out on the main sail boom) the boys of WT3 quickly set to work on how to get them to leave. Every few minutes Trey, Griffin or Mike would walk briskly back to the cockpit to ask Carolyn what else they could use on board to scare the birds away. The boys settled on a slingshot (made from an exercise band) with a small Turks head that would fire past-prime fruits and cut-up potatoes. As I sat on bow watch with Lindsay, we could hear the release, laughter and excitement, and then the PLUNK! of the potato landing in the water on the other side. An hour and half later, they were out of potatoes and came to report that they had managed to scare about three or four birds away.
With a surprising amount of energy, our watch team forged ahead into the second half of watch. In case the people at home don’t know, calories actually don’t count from the hours of 12-4, it’s a proven fact, so we went about eating passion fruit, a couple of sleeves of Oreos, a bag of chips, and snacking on the boat peanuts that we have to finish before Australia. Around snack time is when Trey figured out he could fit 110 peanuts in his mouth and still talk, which was pretty impressive. We then played games and told jokes for the next hour or so. We were almost amazed when 3:30 rolled around and watch was practically over. As we shuffled down below to go back to bed, we all looked at the setting gibbous moon that was casting silvery-gold light down onto Argo’s unfortunately bird poop-covered deck.
As is practice while underway, many people slept in until around 11AM, and by noon, the deck was cleaned and the rigging cleared of all birds and the signs they left behind for us. We then had two classes, Marine Biology and Leadership. During Marine Bio, we discussed the types of Marine Protected Areas we could see in Australia and how they affect their environment. In Leadership, we created challenges for the other watch teams, which ranged from obstacle courses, to tying up people with lots of rope and seeing how fast, they could get out. While we were in the middle of class, we saw Ian hustling at the stern, which usually means there’s a fish on the line. We pulled in a tuna that appeared to have had something a little larger try to take a chunk out of it’s side and tail. We continued with class as we discussed the possible advantages and disadvantages that disagreements could bring to groups. After classes and showers, we had a fair amount of free time to work on talent show bits, study up on celestial navigation, or nap.
We are halfway through our passage to Australia and the rhythm of passage life in in full force. It’s hard to believe that these next few days will be the last passage time we really spend together. We are all so used to living in our little Argo world where the biggest issues are what each meal is, who is taking whom to the boat dance, and when our next nap will be. While we are all ready to take Australia by storm, I think a part of everyone would be equally content just rolling along, having fun, and spending time together for just a little bit longer.
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Tahiti to Australia
via French Polynesia, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu
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