Location: Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

Today was a beach day for most of the Argonauts here on Fernando de Noronha, where we enjoyed the sun, sand, and surf. We had a bright and early wake-up, cereal for breakfast, and got to the beach with plenty of time to spare before our surfing lesson. The group lesson (and for many of us, our first taste of surfing) began on land, with stretching exercises and practicing our moves on diagrams of surfboards drawn in the sand. The instructions were a bit of Portuguese, English, Charades, and Simon Says all rolled into one, although luckily, one of the instructors brought his American fiance’ to help translate. Before we knew it, we graduated to real boards and waves. Each wipe-out was more impressive than the last as we fought to defy gravity and Poseidon’s wrath. I know you’ll enjoy the pictures. We got some great action shots. Be sure to check out the facial expressions! Eventually, though, we got the hang of it (some more than others), and the surprised and triumphant looks on the new surfers’ faces were priceless as they balanced successfully on top of the waves. We worked up quite an appetite for our PB and J sandwiches, which we ate together before scattering to our last free afternoon on the island. We came back to Argo for a delicious curry dinner and the final exam for our PADI Open Water scuba diving class. Exhausted physically, mentally, and nursing various degrees of sunburn, we couldn’t resist gathering around Sean’s computer in the salon to laugh out loud as we looked at the pictures from today’s adventure. As I type this now at 22:00, most of the shipmates are sound asleep in their bunks, getting some much-needed shut-eye before tomorrow’s departure for Fortaleza and the second Marine Biology exam. And now, I’m off to join their ranks.