Location: 8 04.42'S 126 55.07'W

Day 15 of this large Pacific leg began with a serene sunrise, reassuringly back at its normal time as we made our second time-change of the passage yesterday evening. The sun is possibly the only thing in life that looks more beautiful with each passing day (though saying things like that will likely get you into trouble!).

Last night’s ‘Seasons of Love’ Prom meant that we had some (PG-13) gossip for the morning watch (you may have to bribe offspring for further information!), as well as plenty of cookie crumbs on the deck in the daylight, a definite sign of a successful evening and a fun break from the normal evening watch routine.

The wind has been growing slowly but steadily now, and the mainsail was hauled up this morning, taking the count to three sails once more, the engine turned off, and pushing us by nature’s power toward the Marquesas. In the 24 hours to noon, we made approximately 185 nautical miles, making up for a lost time.

Lunch served up by chefs Henry, James, and Riley was delicious Casserole de Pacifico con Pesto roho with gourmet bacon rashers and a hint of wild mushroom. It was topped off with a very nearby whales sighting as an appetizer.

Post clean up, there was an Oceanography class, where we heard the first of the students’ research presentations from watch team three members: Anna spoke about Whaling in the Caribbean and its effects on population behavior and tourism. Jack discussed possible remedies to marine dead zones caused by eutrophication. Henry gave his presentation on hydrothermal vents and marine regrowth after volcanic eruptions. Ben discussed pollution and the Canadian government’s regulation of plastic micro-beads. Parker debated the considerations that go into the formation of marine reserves, and Hannah educated the crew about the dangers of Ciguatera fish poisoning in French Polynesia.

Following the presentations, were the PSCT class for the advanced sailors and the daily ritual of on-deck showers. Throw in another whale sighting, a few dolphins and another culinary masterpiece for dinner (steak carbonara with pan de ajo by master baker Tom on the side), and it was a full and fantastic 24 hours.

It was Parker’s birthday today, the first anniversary of his 21st, so that means more cake after dinner, though not that we ever need an excuse for baking! Happy Birthday Parker and lots of love to his and everybody else’s family and friends back home.

The sun has set now, clean up from dinner is underway, and the Argonauts are sailing onward under the moon and stars.