Ship, shipmate, self. Three words which, when taken out of context, probably dont mean all that much. But, for those of us who spent 67 days together aboard Argo, those three words are the backbone of our crew and our appreciation for our floating home.
As I sit looking out the window on a rainy New England day, I cant help thinking how unique it is to put your vessel before any of the crew members. Dont get me wrong, I love Gilbert, my 2010 Toyota Corolla, but I could never see me putting the needs of a car before my own, and certainly not before the needs of my family. But, somehow, it was different from Argo. I think many of us viewed her as sentient; joking about her being in a mood, chatting with her while on the helm, or, in my personal case, pleading with her to stop rocking for 10 seconds so I could put on my leggings without risk of falling on my face. Not only was she our accommodation for 67 days; she was our lifeline in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, our home, our crewmate. Argos silhouette is one I know I will never forget, one that would have me sprinting towards the dock if I saw now, and one that I felt an extreme loss in watching disappear as Doctor ferried us to land one last time. I had never experienced attachment to the place Ive lived in the way I have for Argo, and Im not sure I will ever experience it again.
As for my crew, my family, I have no hesitation in saying that I would put their needs before my own over and over again, and I know they would do the same for me. We proved this to each other countless times, even in the first few days of passage from Cape Town. Helping those feeling sick, locking arms on the bow to keep ourselves on the hurricane fender, catching each other when our sea legs were unstable, holding on to PFDs to make sure we clip-in safely, bracing watertight doors and constantly encouraging each other to stay awake, keep pushing, keep going. From that, trust forms a bond that will be difficult to break, and one I know will last a lifetime.
To my crewmates: Thank you for all of the laughter and memories. You never failed to lift me up when I was down or make me smile when all I wanted to do was frown. I love you all and can not wait to see you soon!
To the staff: Thank you for teaching us, literally, everything that we know. I felt like I could ask anyone of you any question that I had, and you all made sure that Argo felt like home for all of us. I love and miss you all, despite being unbelievably jealous that you are still on Argo!