Location: 18 52.94'S 171 24.19'W
My day started at 3:35 AM when I was woken up for my 4:00 to 8:00 watch. 4-8, previously known as the sunrise watch, now consists of a dark sea with a moon for maybe an hour. The further west we go, the later the sun rises. While this sounds maybe like the worst thing imaginable, the early hours of the morning are often the best bonding times. This particular morning my team had conversations ranging from the possible futility of life to what our favorite dinosaurs are. Around 5:00 AM, with a mysterious island off to the starboard side, bow-watch came back to the cockpit with a surprising message: whale!!! Very quickly after, we heard the sound of at least a couple of whales reaching the surface. Bryant, our staff member, saw the spray coming from the spout close to the side of Argo. A little ways off, we saw a few more passing by in the water. While the sighting was brief, it lifted away any grogginess. Our head chef for the day, Sam, also decided that instead of the usual underway breakfast he would treat everyone to coffee cake. By 7:00, our team sat around the still dark cockpit with a warm piece of coffee cake in hand. It was becoming increasingly clear that the day was going to remain overcast with rain by the time watch team 3 relieved us.
After heading back to sleep for a three-hour nap, we all headed up on deck for lunch. Joyfully, we found that the wind that had left us three days ago had returned! The mainsail was reefed and sheeted out to a broad reach, and the now normal growl of the engine was gone. In between bites of pita, fish, and no lettuce salad, we all watched the consistently passing white-capped waves. The water was a blue we had not really seen before- dark blue, like the ink from a fountain pen. After lunch, we had Marine Biology, where we learned about marine mammals. We then had a leadership class taught by Jim, where we guided our own discussions about values, heroes, and lives back home.
My watch team was back on duty until 18:00. We sat in the cockpit, sharing stories and eating Tim Tams (Australia and Watch team 2’s favorite cookie). I then had a bow watch with Shelby. I grabbed my Go Pro and a box of sour gummies to snack on. We talked and laughed for an hour until other teammates switched out with us. We then had a delicious dinner of gumbo and cornbread. Tonight my squeeze question was less of a question and more of an opportunity to make others feel good. I asked for people to say something they admired/respected about the people on either side of them. While the question took longer than most, seeing the crew smiling and feeling the happiness coming from all those around me was completely worth it. I hope the question helped people realize how we each play a crucial role in this vessel and contribute something important that any person could point out.
Argo is starting to feel more like home and a part of the crew every day. Her personality and quirks become more apparent, and we all certainly appreciate the security and opportunity she provides. It will be hard to comprehend taking the bags out from under our beds that keep us from rolling in our sleep, untying the nets that literally keep some of us in bed, and not wearing PFDs at all hours on deck. With this crew, I feel like I could sail on endlessly and never run out of things to talk about or fun to have. It may sound odd that even on a rainy, colder, ordinary day crossing a part of the Pacific -where the horizon goes on endlessly and the water blends together- there could be so much fun and positivity.
Please wish us wind and whales,