Location: Underway to Azores

Day 17 began a lot like all of the others- watches, oatmeal (aka BOATmeal), and, unfortunately, the dying wind. We were lucky enough to have a wonderful sail with upwards of twenty knots of wind throughout last night, including a few rainy moments, a moon so bright it felt like daylight, and some of the most challenging and satisfying helming we’ve yet been able to experience. However, soon after the sun rose, the wind demanded that we once again bring down the mainsail and reluctantly turn the engine back on.

Spirits raised once again, though, when we realized we have less than 300 nautical miles left to go until we see land! Conversations onboard Argo have recently had one unifying theme: food. Everyone is craving something, from fresh fruit to ice cream to goldfish, and despite the delicious meals we eat underway, it’s hard to think about anything but that first meal on land that suddenly feels so close and yet so far. Perhaps most importantly, our Nutella supply is frighteningly low.

A lot has changed in the past day or two: not only did we raise and lower the fisherman sail for the first time, we also slept with the wind coming over the port rail instead of starboard (meaning everyone who was once being rolled comfortably into the wall by the rocking of the boat is now experiencing the joys of fighting not to be rolled, or in some cases, launched, out of bed by the rocking and rolling of the waves in the middle of the night) and the air is suddenly a whole lot colder. The cold air is a welcome change from some of the sweltering days we’ve had in the past two weeks but certainly makes our on-deck seawater showers a little tougher to smile through. The sky and the horizon remain just as dramatic, vast, and beautiful.

In nature news, while dolphins are quickly becoming a common part of our anything-but-mundane existence, and today we had an exciting visit from some pilot whales as well. They emerged during lunch clean-up off the starboard rail, and a few people hanging out near the stern were lucky enough to see them before they disappeared underwater once again. In an almost equally exciting turn of events, Watch Team Three saw a bird!!

The day is ending with yet another breathtaking sunset, accompanied by music and dance parties and laughter. Tomorrow that sun will rise on what will, with luck, be our final day underway before the Azores. We can’t wait!

– Claire

(Pictured above: Matt and Raul on bow watch, Watch Team One practicing constant vigilance during a 6-8 pm dinnertime watch, and our nightly post-dinner squeeze)