Location: Puna'auia, Tahiti, French Polynesia
Today dawned bright and early as S/Y Argo’s seven staff members put the final touches on the vessel, eager for students to arrive. It has been a long interim full of boat projects and maintenance, so getting back into the swing of program life has been much anticipated. Our first three students arrived at lunchtime, excited to see the vessel and start getting settled in. Not long after bringing their heavy bags onboard, we put them to work helping to lift Tim the rigging. They began to learn the technique called “sweating,” which is what we use to raise the sails. Sweating is an accurate name for it because it sure had us all sweating in this Tahiti heat and humidity. But it was great fun to see the students get so excited about their first learning moments aboard Argo.
The rest of our current group all had flights that landed in Tahiti around dinnertime, and we welcomed them all on board with our first group meal followed by “squeeze.” The squeeze is a time for all of us to reflect on the day and learn new things about each other. For our very first day, we used it as an opportunity to introduce ourselves to the group. We have students from all over, including the east and west coasts of the US, Panama, and Greece. For some, this trip is another highlight on their already impressive travel reel, and for others, it is their first time on a sailboat. I am personally very excited about this group – their energy, curiosity, and spunk are already super contagious.
After student check-ins and a little bit more unpacking, the weary travelers (and staff) settled in for a good night’s sleep on the newly crowded Argo. We are all looking forward to what the next several days and weeks hold as we make our way through French Polynesia and beyond.
Pictured: Tim ready to go up the rig; views of Shelby, James, and Amanda teaching some students how to sweat lines; two views of a beautiful sunset off the bow.