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Journey to the Island of the Clouds

Feb 9, 2012

Location: Underway
Author: Stephen
Today was quite the eventful day for the Argonauts. We were up bright and early for some a nice communal breakfast and then we were off to the Dominican shore where we had roughly two hours to do with what we wanted. I found myself walking down the street saying good morning to the locals. I bumped into Sea Cat, our guide from yesterday along the way and chatted with him for a hot minute. Continuing towards the main drag, I found a free library with wifi to catch up on e-mails and world news. I made it down while at the post office where all the big cruise ships stop and sent some letters to friends around the USA, making it back just in time to dinghy back to the Argo. We then prepped the ship for our departure from Dominica. Checking that everything is 40/40, which means safe and secure in the lingo, and we started towards our next destination: Bequia (pronounced Beckway). This was the longest we’ve been underway thus far, a grand total of 140 miles sailing straight and roughly 16 hours, and we crammed a lot of stuff in that span. We had our first classes with the boat going upwards of 10 knots, and it was brutal, but we Argonauts handled it well and got through our first Oceanography Lecture and a Professional Skipper and Crew Training session. Very Dry Martinis Lay Willy Down! After class, I was beat, so a bunch of us passed out and got some solid shuteye for the night voyage that was ahead of us. Following some delicious pasta bolognese for dinner, we split into our watch teams for our first major haul. It was a gorgeous night for sailing, after the sunset, the moon hadn’t immediately risen and because we were at sea, I found new stars I had never seen before. As the moon rose, the Ocean turned to the shade of liquid silver and the visibility was excellent. Perfect for our first night passage. We each took turns at the helm, doing our hourly boat checks, and of coarse, sitting at the bow to watch for vessels. I don’t think one of us got away completely dry, however, I didn’t mind because there was a warm breeze in the air that night. Through the night we passed Martinique, St. Lucia and St. Vincent. When the sun rose we could see the silhouette of our new port in the distance, and I saw a dolphin jump right near our ship, first sighting of the semester. We made arrival in Port Elizabeth just in time for a simple cereal breakfast. That’s all for now, more exciting adventures to come.