Location: Richards Bay, South Africa
After 66 days and 6314 nautical miles aboard Argo, we’ve arrived here in Richards Bay, South Africa! This morning on the 8 to 12 watch, I had the pleasure of helming us all the way in through the channel to port. Ben was right there by me on the helm, helping me dodge, dip, duck, dive the 30 or so container ships anchored outside of Richards Bay. If you can dodge a container ship, you can dodge a ball! On our way into port, we also spotted a few Humpback whales breaching a few hundred meters off the port side of the boat! It was quite the sight, also disproving our hypothesis in the cetacean group for the oceanography group project. As Argo entered the channel, it was all hands on deck to prep the boat for coming onto the dock. This entailed running dock lines on the starboard side, inflating fenders, and hanging them to protect the hull. Ben, being the impeccable mariner that he is, “Irving Johnsoned” all 112 feet of Argo back around a tight and narrow corner in the marina, to then parallel park the boat between two tugs on the dock. All of the crew was very impressed, but as we started to take off our PFDs, a dock worker came to notify us that we needed to change places on the dock. Reluctantly, the PFDs went right back on, and we tossed lines to move the boat again. Everyone started a big BA (Boat Appreciation) as soon as all the lines were made off. There was one team up on deck, scrubbing every part of the deck with salt-away and another team down below cleaning and disinfecting every surface. This being our sixth or so BA, everyone just fell into their roles, and before anyone knew it, Argo was spotless from bow to stern. Although the BAs are tough and tedious work, I think everyone enjoys living on a clean boat as much as I do. For dinner, Grace and Claire whipped up some chicken alfredo with delicious rosemary rolls. After the main course, grace brought up a cake for Ally’s birthday, and everyone enjoyed a slice before retiring down below to watch the movie White Squall in our seamanship class. Emotions were high after the movie before the majority of us went to bed, probably to have bad dreams about our coming passages, knock on boat.