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The First Day of Program

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

'Twas the first day of program and all through the boat
staff hustled and bustled and cleaned down below;

PFDs were hung from their bungees with care
knowing that shipmates soon would be there;

Amy and Tina made thirty-two beds
While Chief Mate Dan scrubbed all the heads;

And Lindsay in the galley and Carolyn on deck
And Cap'n Ben aloft doing a final rig check;

When out on the dock there arose such a clatter,
They sprang from the boat to see what was the matter;

And away to the charthouse they flew like a flash
Tore up the ladder and threw open the hatch;

The sun shining bright on the V&A dock
Revealed the first of this semester's new flock;

With armloads of great big duffel bags
Covered and coded with 'overweight' tags;

As taxis arrived down the ramp they came
And the staff waved and smiled and greeted them by name--

"Hi! Patrick, hi! Davis, hi! Ashley and Lilli,
Hi! Lauren, hi! Daniel, hi! Robbie and Ellie;

Careful on the passerelle, be sure not to fall,
now welcome, welcome, welcome aboard all!"

So up onto Argo the new students flew,
with Ethan and John and Jeremy too;

Down the companionway, they came with a bound
To unpack their bags and learn their way around;

And take off their worn travel gear
Because spring Sea|Mester was finally here!

Chattering and laughing they went to unpack
And filled up their bunk-bags with clothing and snacks;

Once dinner was cooked and salad was done
They ate and cleaned both deck and salon;

And when everything was finally all put away
They gathered for their final chat of the day;

To learn about duties and life on the boat
To make sure they knew how to keep Argo afloat;

And the staff left for bed at the end of the meeting
But not before one final group greeting;

For I heard them exclaim as they walked out of sight--
"Welcome aboard to all, and to all a good night!"