Location: Tarragona, Spain

We had a delightful start to our third day in Tarragona with Santana’s delicious chocolate chip and blueberry muffins. While breakfast was still in the oven, PSCT students crowded around the chart house table, intently listening to Calum as he introduced the process of passage planning, including fuel usage, intended course, ports of refuge in case of emergencies, and intended configurations of the sails. After breakfast clean-up, we immediately jumped into readying Argo for our passage to Sardinia, uncovering sails, re-attaching the halyards, and making sure our bunks were 40-40. At this point in the trip, we are getting quite efficient at passage prep, so in seemingly a blink of an eye, we finished all we could do this morning and got some extra free time to get coffees, sweet treats, and a WiFi connection from the nearby cafes. Fortunately, we all still had plenty of room in our stomachs to devour an amazing lunch of baked sweet potato patties covered in seasoning on home-made rolls (courtesy of our newest staff member Will) with a side of “orange” salad (i.e., shredded carrots and sliced oranges tossed together). While the general rule of thumb might be a colorful plate is more nutritious, our orange meals are an exception, packing protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamin C all in one color.
After lunch and lunch clean-up, we took our physical oceanography quiz focussing on currents, waves, and tides and began biological oceanography with a lecture on estuaries and the law of the sea (e.g., which offshore oil deposits belong to which country). Then we were released to have one last hour or two in Tarragona–of which many of us spent doing errands with varying success. At 5 pm on the dot under the scorching Mediterranean sun, the gangplank was raised, dock lines were thrown off, and we sailed back out to the (more or less) open sea. I must say, even though I’ve been land-based for most of my life, there is nothing better than leaving the land and feeling the first rush of a sea breeze on your face. However, it’s not Seamester without a twist, and as we sailed out from the coast, Cedrick, our honorary crew buoy, got too excited and ended up in the water. It was a much-needed practice run of our man-overboard drill, and though it took two attempts to launch our rescue swimmer Phoebe due to some tangles in the lines, our second attempt went quite smoothly, and Cedrick was successfully retrieved. On that somewhat exciting note, Watch Team 3 took the helm, and the rest of the crew dispersed to hang out and catch up on sleepoverall, a long but successful day–also known as a typical day on Argo.