Location: Falmouth, Antigua

Today was our first full day in Antigua, and we made it count! Having completed our last passage yesterday, it meant that it was time again to give back to Argo. Boat appreciating, aka cleaning, was the major task on today’s checklist. We started out the day with an excellent breakfast of carrot bread prepared by head chef Sam. We then Rolled into a Marine Bio, species ID quiz. Emma asked the students to identify, on paper, a series of organisms as she showed pictures on the salon TVs. They consisted of species we have encountered in our travels and other key species for understanding biological communities and evolutionary relationships; I casually observed the first part of the quiz while cleaning, but I was shortly driven from the room by unappreciative looks as I remarked: “Ooh I know this one, I know that one too!”

Following the quiz, we met and divided into small workgroups to take on the cleaning challenges that lay before us. I headed up a team, including Rob, Katie, and Jia. Her rust busting and cleaning the outside of the hull. We made quick work of that task and had Argo shining in no time. We then divided and joined the other groups. One tackled cleaning the lazarette and all its contents, including dive gear. Another, cleaned all of the deck storage lockers. The salon and galley also received a good clean. Eli and Claire deserve a shout-out for taking on the dirtiest job of the day: cleaning the dreaded grey water tank, where sink water drains before being pumped overboard. The initial smell was not pleasant, but they had it so clean you could eat out of it in no time.

While cleaning, we also enjoyed our new view. From the anchor, Antigua looks quite nice, and one fact is indisputable. Argo is no longer the biggest sailboat in the anchorage! Throughout the day, we periodically put cleaning on pause and dropped our jaws as beautiful and monstrous 150+ foot sailing yachts casually meandered past. Despite a relative disadvantage in size, after the day’s clean, Argo holds her own alongside them.

As a reward for the day’s work, we concluded with a barbecue on the beach. We all enjoyed delicious burgers and a bit of sport. I also had the pleasure of acknowledging Josh, Dylan, and Kyle for having all but completed their Divemaster course. They now have all the hard work done and just need a few more dives in their logs to be all signed off!