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Cape Verde Day and a Small Spill

Nov 14, 2011

Location: Cape Verde
Author: James Hughes
Setting foot on land in the Cape Verde city of Mindelo was delayed by a day due to the lack of custom agents on Sunday. It wasn’t a waste by any mean. Refer to Mattys’ blog to get those Argo project details. So today we get to dinghy to the docks. The final preps for our two week Atlantic crossing will occur here. Everyone has come to learn that laying out his or her priorities early on makes shore time an easier adventure. Balancing exploration with running online errands and picking up snack supplies is always an act to accomplish when working in-between dinghy ride times. Today’s destination is a remote island far removed from the west coast of Africa. It’s in stark contrast with the metropolitan island city we just left eight days ago but I have to go..we have to clean up some water in the galley bilges.. So cleaning up the water in the bilges tuned out to be a huge project. It turns out that a raw water bleed valve had been leaking over night. This resulted in some water to take out of the bilge. Together we used buckets, cups, bilge pumps, drill pumps (shocking I know), sponges, and chamois to get the seawater out and our bilges clean and dry. Not a single crew member, staff and student alike, griped about getting to shore even though we had already waited a full day. Everyone was focused on the task at hand as one cohesive unit. We had to unload all gear stowed in the bilge, pump out all seawater, sponge with fresh water, and chamois it dry. The 2 hour event went relatively smoothly and we all made it to shore for final Atlantic passage preps. It really is a rare and rewarding thing when an emergency brings the community together.