Location: Horta, Azores

This morning, before the sun had risen, watch team 3 remained ready as we approached the port of Horta. After 19 days of adventure, Argo was anchored early in the AM in the Azores. Nineteen days of lightning and gales, rain and squalls, waves crashing over the deck, and sunsets that turned the whole sky orange and pink have led us to this island. We have seen humpback and sperm whales, dolphins and porpoises, diving birds, and flying fish. Sails were raised and lowered, dances were danced, stories were shared, and hot drinks were spilled as all 22 of us laughed and were tossed around by the waves. It was a passage of wet rainy nights and unpredictable days, and now we are finally back on land. We aren’t quite sure what to do with ourselves.

The crew was allowed to sleep in until ten this morning as Argo herself was resting at anchor. Upon waking everyone up, I announced that it was, in fact, 11, as we had forgotten to change our clocks to our current time zone yesterday. Then it was only an hour until lunch, and after our meal, watch team 2 regaled us with their traditional timezone dance. After lunch, we got Argo ready to move on to the dock. All of the students jumped into action, inflating fenders, flaking out dock lines, launching the dinghy, and putting away halyards. We got everything set up perfectly to tie up on the port side. I briefed the crew on their jobs for coming alongside the dock: Cate and Celia on the stern line, Maya and Santana on the bow line, Charles, Will, Maria, and Alex on spring lines, Emma on roaming fender, Lily and Eddie calling out distances, Robert catching lines, Leo and Drew were working down below, and Sammy and Carsen standing by to step in where needed. We motored into the marina, approached the dock, and the harbor master told us we had to turn around and point the boat in the other direction. It turned out that we needed everyone after all, as we very quickly had to move all of the lines and fenders from the port to the starboard side. Calum spun Argo around, and we tied her up and put her to bed.

Following an extensive deep clean above and below deck, we sat down to dinner, and for the first time in 19 days, we were able to put our plates and bowls down. Many people had walked by on the dock and had stopped to ask us about the boat. We were just shocked to see any new people at all, people who weren’t us. After dinner, we all had free time ashore, but the shore was just so much. It’s so much bigger than Argo. Where does one even begin, on land, with all these strangers everywhere? The 10 PM curfew felt just right.