Location: 19 35.99'S 151 51.73'E
Watch team one started the morning with the 8-12 watch, admiring the calm ocean and sunny weather. Because we are beginning to near Australia, the crew has begun to tidy up Argo during the morning watch. Therefore, half of our watch team proceeded as normal, manning the boat and making sure everything was running smoothly, and the other half spent time cleaning and organizing various areas on deck and down below. To everyone’s delight, preceding lunch, a large pod of short-finned pilot whales were spotted off the port bow! PFDs were donned, and those napping in their bunks were woken from their slumber as the crew hurried up onto the deck to watch the whales swim towards the boat, in awe as they continued to swim alongside Argo for another twenty minutes or so before continuing. Needless to say, the long-awaited whale sighting was met with oohs, aahs, and high levels of excitement, as well as crossed fingers hoping it was not the last time we would see whales on this trip. The crew then gathered in the cockpit to enjoy delicious pasta, lettuce-free salad, grapefruit, and amazing coconut chocolate chip cookie lunch prepared by the chefs of the day. The afternoon consisted of marine biology followed by navigation practice during seamanship, preparing for the Navmaster exam coming up in the next couple weeks. Deck showers in the last rays of the daylight and a hearty dinner accompanied by a beautiful sunset opposite of a moonrise were the cherry on top of another day at sea. Though it has been a fun and relatively calm passage thus far, the anticipation of arriving in Australia is building as we only have about 170 nautical miles left; it won’t be long until someone on bow watch gets to announce “land ho!”.