Location: Nice, France
Our final morning dawned clear and beautiful as the second round of students caught their taxis to the airport around 8 am. There were lots of hugs and well wishes to go around as slowly our 22 shipmates departed Argo for the final time. A few had time for breakfast or a quick helping of gelato before they left. Many students are heading straight home to continue with college– some are even starting as freshmen within the next week or two! Several have travel plans to continue to explore Europe either solo, with family, or with friends they have made during our crossing. A few have been so inspired by our sailing adventures that they are going to seek employment on sailing vessels right away. No matter where the students are going or what they are doing, we are proud of them and how far they have come.
We can’t believe this 40-day voyage has flown by so quickly. It feels like just last week we were boarding Argo for the first time in Tortola and just yesterday that we were making our first landfall in the Azores. We have seen dolphins, whales, turtles, ocean sunfish, birds, sunrises, sunsets, the milky way, constellations, squalls, fog, and so much more. We have come together as a group in so many ways. We started asa group of 22 students and 6 staff, but we are ending as a team and a family.
It’s been a fine journey aboard our lovely vessel. From sailing through storms and seas that sent us hurtling back and forth both above and below deck, to gliding across glassy, transparent waters, we found ourselves immersed in the experience of traveling a total of 4574 nautical miles. We got seasick, flooded the heads, cut our hands on cans of tomato paste, got rope burns, sunburns, and gnarly tan lines; we also crossed an ocean and a good portion of the Mediterranean, visited five countries/cities/commonwealths, hiked through rainforests and around volcanos, and formed bonds that will last a lifetime. We did it, and now, it is time for our journeys to continue on.