Location: Underway to Australia

Today, another lovely August Tuesday in the Coral Sea began long before the sun, as watch team three was awoken at midnight to guide Argo through the tepid waters. There was cause for celebration, for as soon as the grogginess of the early wake-up wore off, we, one by one, began to realize that it was Alex G’s birthday! Many a happy birthday wish was exchanged in the wee hours of the morning, but as skipper, I noticed a dilemma. I feared that with all of the happy-go-lucky birthday wishing and special treatment Alex would be receiving, his ego might skyrocket to dangerous proportions. Therefore I hatched a plan. At the lunch briefing that day, I informed everyone that in celebration of Alex’s birthday, they should make fun of him at every possible juncture. That is how much the crew of Argo loves and appreciates one another. Just kidding. Who could not love their birthday out here on the open sea? After lunch, Maeve taught us all about the fascinating physics of wave formation and propagation, which had most of us scratching our heads and stroking our beards in confusion. Okay, so I might be the only one with a beard, but still. In Student Leadership Development, Leah led us in a rousing game of trivia, which had 4-man teams pitted neck-in-neck, answering questions on everything from geography to music to our fellow crewmates. At dinner, it was announced that there was a two-way tie, which would be settled in a sudden death round of naming off the currencies of each country we had visited. With the taste of victory in our mouths, my team had the crown ripped from our hands.

Evidently, French Polynesia uses the Pacific Franc, not the Polynesian Franc…who knew? All I know is that bucket full of snacks and squirt guns we didn’t win will be haunting my dreams for nights to come. Congrats, though, to Sam, Katelyn, Young Eric, and RJ for being the smartest kids on the boat! Dinner was a lovely medley of meatballs, rice, and veggies, prepared by the birthday boy himself and his band of faithful sous chefs. Ellie whipped up a phenomenal oreo-cake-brownie creation, and we all enjoyed another beautiful sunset in each other’s company. We’re getting down to the two-week mark now, and while many of us are anxious to get home, none of us can truly imagine what it will be like to leave this ship and its crew. As we experience our last few days at sea, we simply try to live in the moment, sucking the marrow out of this journey, not thinking too much about the plane that awaits us in Cairns.