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Location: Underway to Villefranche

Today has been a wonderful day for many reasons. To start off with, just after 3 am this morning we crossed the Prime Meridian! This line is the demarcation of 0 degrees longitude on the globe. For some of us, it was the first time crossing this line ever; and for most everyone, it was the first time crossing this line while on a sailboat in the Mediterranean! To celebrate this momentous occasion, we threw a prime meridian party. The theme was “White Out” (aka 0 degrees- brrrr), we had delicious cake and cookies baked by the party planning crew, and we all woke up in the middle of the night to witness the event. After our sugar intake, cheering, and music, all of us except the watch team on duty went back to bed for some rest.

My watch team woke up not long after sunrise for our 8am-12pm watch. It was the beginning of another day of gorgeous weather. So far our entire time in the Med has been hot and sunny with stunning sunrises and sunsets. However, today we experienced rougher seas due to some stronger winds that have kicked up. Since the Med is much shallower compared to the Atlantic waters, small amounts of wind cause there to be quick, choppy waves. The bouncing couldn’t lower our spirits though! We were treated to a tasty lunch of cheese quesadillas, freshly made pico de gallo and guacamole, and Spanish rice. After lunch and our standard cleanup jobs, we met for Seamanship class with Dan to continue preparing for our Navmaster exam next week. We’ve gotten lots of practice plotting positions, estimating location using various methods, and accounting for current while underway. The tools of the trade are well-worn charts, dividers, and Portland course plotters. Many of us had never used any of these things before this 40-day voyage, but now they have become handy and familiar to us.

After class, the students had showers on deck followed by naps, reading, and journaling if not on watch. Before long it was time for our much-anticipated rib night dinner! The chef crew of Henry, Oliver, Paige, and Allison worked long hours in the galley preparing the feast. After dinner, we put up our main staysail and forestaysail. Not only are we able to take advantage of the slight increase in wind, but putting up a few sails also helps stabilize Argo to make the passage more comfortable in the increasing waves. Now it’s 8 pm and we are continuing with our 4-hour overnight watch shifts and anticipating another beautiful sunset.

As of the 8 pm boat check, our position is 3823.71’N 0153.76’E

Pictures:
1. Decorations in the salon for our “0 degrees” prime meridian party.
2. The Mediterranean sky just after sunrise this morning.
3. A graphic of Argo’s location about 2 pm this afternoon.