Location: Thursday Island

Latitude 10?35.38’S, Longitude 142?13’E, with these words I display my first glean of a new language – we are learning the tongue of the sea. A rough translation into a position places us about 400 yards away from the customs dock of Thursday Island. As we awake with an eager excitement to go ashore the tedious chore of our first Boat Appreciation’ hangs over our heads. During morning muster at a cockpit breakfast the staff tries hard to convince us of the fun ahead, but I cay cleaning will always be cleaning, and an overhaul of Argo didn’t seem to ?. After the first meal the rush began and I went to town to help provision for the next week’s passage to Darwin. In a quaint but surprisingly well stocked supermarket we still managed to clean some shelves of veggies – don’t worry parents, we are eating very well – and I even snuck in some loaves of wheat bread. But I will express how ecstatic we all were about stuffing our faces with candy and ice cream. Five shopping carts later we swang the food from the dinghy and swiftly stored it in the many secret compartments of the salon. Finally, civilization, a minor relict of our still young cabin fever. It turned out that while boat appreciation was cumbersome many found Argo’s shimmer and shine rewarding, but not enough to keep them onboard. So we scrambled to Boonrod and Nopodom (our dinghies) and flung ourselves onto the dock and scattered to the Laundromats, public phones, restaurants, grocery stores, and open fields of Thursday Island. With a local population of mostly Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders we stuck out well. But we stuck together, we ate, did many overdue loads of laundry, meandered a bit, played a sweltering game of soccer, and some even called home. After 5 hours we all gathered our gorged sugar filled bellies to the docks. A quick communal deck shower from the raging fire hose then a steak dinner. I am glad to hear the enthusiastic chatter before mealtimes, the comfort level is rising with the temperature as we near the equator. We are passing acquaintanceship and moving on to what I call best friend strangers. While our characters are now unfurling we still have much to learn about what’s inside us all (candy!). I know I have a lot to digest at the days end from all the conversations I’ve had with new friends. Another spectacular sunset and a quick lesson on sail physics nestles us right to bed in the calm swaying bay waters just outside Thursday Island. (P.S. On a personal note – Ehag Samach Mom and Dad, love you, Garrett)