Location: The Atlantic Ocean
To some, passage life often becomes monotonous. Our schedule is pretty consistent. Breakfast from first light to 1000, lunch at 1200, classes from 1300 – 1500, showers, dinner, then sleeping/ studying… and all the while, watch teams are rotating through. The days tend to blur together with night and day defined by when it is time to sleep and when it is time to be awake. Yet with every day and every moment on Argo, everyone (including the staff) seems to find new challenges and new ways to stretch/ expand their horizons. This morning, for instance, Watch Team Three awoke to a squall. In the black-gray of the night, we were challenged to handle the sails and bring down the flying jib. This required some to be on the bowsprit, pulling the sail down, flaking it, and tying it down neatly -a challenge and a first for the shipmates who, without hesitation, lent their hands. For lunch, we had ratatouille with couscous. This was also a first for those who had never cut or cooked eggplant before. While both tasks may sound vastly different, each one came with success and a feeling of self-accomplishment.
In a way, living on a boat simplifies things. At the moment, we are not concerned with days of the week or weeks of the month. We are without most forms of communication, as well. This leaves what lies in front of us, Argo and the sea, to be the most visible, relevant, and tangible “thing” in our lives. So what keeps us going? What keeps us from becoming stir crazy? In my mind, at least, it is exactly that question of: What can I learn today? What can I teach myself or think about that I have never had the time to think about before? How can I expand my horizons now? It is all about being present, taking in the beautiful blue ocean that surrounds us, learning about everything from the parts of Argo to sailing and the ocean ecosystem, and challenging ourselves to be only the best people we can be.
Following the words of Harper yesterday, I, too, want to give a shout-out to my family and friends reading this blog. Thanks for reading, and hello from the Atlantic Ocean!