Location: Tortola, BVI
We are happy to report that Argo is full of all of our shipmates (and their bags!) after an exciting arrival afternoon. There was a mass arrival of shipmates on the 4 pm ferry from St. Thomas, followed by a flurry of learning names, unpacking into their bunks, tying dive gear up in the laz, and having our first squeeze. After dinner, we learned about the daily roles onboard the boat and rolled into cleanup, trying our hand for the first time in the roles of deckies (cleaning the deck after the meal), salties (washing dishes), and gophers (passing up food and putting away dishes). As I write, these several students are already asleep after a long day of travel, while others are up on deck hanging out, getting to know each other, and playing guitar. Everyone is excited about the trip, and we are equally excited to have them on board.
We also wanted to take this time to introduce the staff onboard Argo for spring 2017:
Ben - our captain and fearless leader, Ben has been the captain of Argo for the past year, and prior to that, was captain of her sister ship Ocean Star. Ben is also a dive instructor and used to work in the field of marine science. Ben is excited to be repeating a trip that he did ten years ago when he first began ocean sailing, this time as the captain of the vessel.
Carolyn - enjoys planning our schedule and excursions as the program manager; she is also the oceanography instructor onboard. She is stoked to be teaching oceanography on a trip where we are going to so many amazing places - through the Panama Canal, to the Galapagos, and across the Pacific. She also can't wait to arrive in Tahiti at the end of the trip and complete her circumnavigation!
Ian - our first mate, Ian, will be teaching us the ins and outs of sailing and how to take Argo through the Caribbean and across the Pacific. Ian also catches fresh fish for us (he's got some new lures!) and keeps us laughing on a regular basis.
Tina - does all of the jobs that we would not survive without - she is our medic, is in charge of provisioning and food onboard, and also is a dive instructor and will be teaching the student leadership course. She cannot wait to go diving in the Galapagos, something that has been on her bucket list for years!
Simon - after several summers of working for ActionQuest, Simon is happy to be joining us on Seamester as a mate and dive instructor.
Lindsay - is excited to be joining Argo's team for her first semester as a Marine Biology instructor. She is most excited to be teaching her favorite subject and to return to the Galapagos Islands, where she has previously performed research.