Location: Low Isles, Australia
One of the current shipmates, Abbey Stern, is reading a book titled “Two Years Before the Mast” by Richard Henry Dana Jr. If you’ve never heard of it, don’t worry. If you have, you’re probably a sailor. The story is a first-hand account of Mr. Dana Jr.’s experience sailing aboard the brig Pilgrim from Boston to California via Cape Horn. Published in 1840, the book did something unique for its time – it told the truth about sailing. While other authors (many of whom had never sailed a day in their life) were writing romantic tales of perfect sunsets, magical seas, bold adventures, and other such rubbish, Mr. Dana described sailing as it was – dangerous, uncomfortable, and painfully monotonous. “Two Years Before the Mast” demystified life on the high seas and became a classical piece of literature. Today, however, I would like to re-romanticize the experience. Argo has currently anchored off Low Isles, two mangrove-lined, sand islands that you could practically throw a rock across. Coral reefs fringe the two isles. The water is a welcoming temperature, the winds a comfortable 15 knots, and the seas are just strong enough so that when you lie in your bunk, you think you’re being rocked to sleep. We spend our days diving, laughing, and eating meals to the rising and setting of the sun. No commutes. No malls. No high fructose corn syrup. In short, a very romantic world.