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A Sea of Diamonds

Jul 29, 2011

Location: Porto Vecchio
Author: Sean Greene
The number of stars visible during the night passage from mainland Italy to Corsica is beyond anything imaginable. The night sky, absent the light pollution from any nearby human habitation is a sight to rival any that we have seen thus far in our journey, even the cliffs of Monaco and the ruins of Rome. With the lights from the stars combined with the lights from the convoy of cruise ships passing in front of us and the bioluminescence of the marine plankton behind us, it seemed as if Argo was on an ocean of diamonds, not of water. This night passage also served as a sort of marker for us as sailors as we were competent enough to switch from our previous two-watch team system where each team got three hours off duty for every three hours on to a three-watch team system composed of only four or five people each with six hours off for every three on. This left us each with both a greater degree of responsibility while on deck and more time to catch up on sleep in between watches. Arriving in Porto Vecchio, we spent some time giving Argo some TLC and then went ashore where the guys spent the afternoon relaxed in a French cafe in the walled-off old town and the girls went elsewhere to (presumably) shop. The night was devoted to science as we took (and rocked) a quiz on oceanographic geology, watched fascinating fish feats in an episode of Life, and stayed up late finishing our literature review essays for Oceanography class.