Location: Underway to the Azores

Where’s the challenge in standing on stable ground? This morning we were thrown a curve ball that rendered the main staysail unusable and increased the movement of the deck beneath our feet. And the bunks in which we rest. And the chart house upon which we serve our meals. Yes, it’s all part of the adventure. See the picture of Gabe on his way up the mast to take care of the curve ball.

A few green-gilled shipmates emerged from below to a warm, dry morning and welcome respite from our past few rainy days. Spirits are lifting, too, as Gabe prepares for the much-anticipated intro to Navigation Master, where our budding sailors will learn the difference between a chart and a “….map…” as well as how to make sense of the strange code we write down on the hour at every boat check (currently 22 09.195’N 63 39.702’W for those family and friends with “the knack” and a north Atlantic chart or a GPS device at hand). Amanda is following with another intro class, Student Leadership, where we will unpack the intricacies of individual and community leadership with its nuances in style and flare. I also heard whispers of a batch of fresh cookies which might make an appearance around dinner time, followed by a movie night for Watch Team 3.

Between classes, we unfurled a legend: the fisherman sail. Up she went between the masts, that great billowing canvas to steady our roll and spur Argo onwards. The main sail creaked under its yoke as the sun sank and turned the day’s grey sky into a pallet of pastels. My spirits have definitely lifted. Even Santana was humming a song while enjoying a warm dinner. He’s mentioned here for his tenacity. He’s had his head through the leeward rails on most watches yet always rallies to handle a sail or help another. This is, in fact, a remarkable theme amongst our shipmates, something in which we’ve all become bonded. But Santana has today mastered the winch: the fastest way to reach the wonderful end results of one’s hard labor in sail handling. There he was when the fish went up, there when it came down. There when the main boom was topped, and again there when it was eased. He is to the winch as Ricky is to Uncle Heck, as Snowy is to Tin Tin, as Goose is to Maverick. He is the Winch Wizard.