Location: Colon, Panama

The semester rolls on, and we’ve all grown closer and more comfortable together. We have DMCs (deep, meaningful conversations) during bow watch, share stories and snacks with one another in the cockpit, cook together, sail together, clean together — even write music together. Each watch team and each crew as a whole has its own personality, and it’s both fun and rewarding to watch these personalities grow and develop. Whether it’s an inside joke spawned from a riddle that took someone eight hours to solve or a particular song that gets everyone up and dancing, this is the part of the trip where our weird Argonaut culture beings to emerge.

Watch Team One runs a “radio talk show” in the cockpit during their watch, and selects a new theme each time they come up on deck. Watch Team Two, among other odd pursuits, spends late-night watches meowing hit classics such as Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On in two-part harmony. Watch Team Three claims that they’re glad they’re “the normal ones who have normal conversations,” but their watch team leaders have been known to play the entire soundtrack to Joseph the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and make the others listen to it (and to them singing along) for over an hour at a time.

Or to quote one of last night’s watches:

“Wait, what day is it again?”

“Day 31.”

“… Imagine what we’re going to be like on day 80.”

Until then we’ll have to content ourselves with days like today — with epic cotton candy sunrises, with games of ‘I Spy’ on bow watch in which the answer is always ‘another container ship,’ with pork roast dinners, with new harbors to explore, with an exciting upcoming transit through the Panama Canal.

We arrived in Colon just after lunchtime. After putting their noses to the grindstone inventorying all of our canned goods and getting Argo looking shiny, our students went ashore to enjoy smoothies, hot showers, and some time relaxing poolside near the marina office. In the meantime, Carolyn, Ian, and I snuck off into the jungle where we scouted the ruins of an old US military base for tomorrow’s Legends of the Hidden Temple themed SLS challenge course (shhhhhh don’t ask them about it yet — it’s a surprise!). Stay tuned to find out whether or not the Red Jaguars, Blue Barracudas, or Green Monkeys come out on top in the search for Jason’s long lost Golden Fleece.

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