Location: English Harbor, Antigua

Our final morning on Argo dawned bright and early, around 6 am for a lot of us. I’m not even sure that everyone slept at all. But I was up by 6 am to sort out the final cards that we wrote to each other, prepare passports to be returned to the students, and just generally prepare for departure day. It was a beautiful, sunny morning. Moving around the boat felt a lot different than normal this morning because everyone’s huge suitcases were piled on the salon tables, and the hallway where the foulies and PFDs usually hang is completely empty. It’s definitely a bittersweet day for us all.

Lolo arranged and picked up French pastries for all of us for breakfast from La Brasserie, the French restaurant right next to where we are docked. After a tasty and leisurely breakfast and quick cleanup, we went down into the salon to watch some end-of-semester videos and slideshows. A crowd favorite was Sarah’s “one second of the day” video that she has been compiling every day of the trip. With lots of laughter and a few tears, we prepared for the first students to be on their way. There were lots of dock hugs and second hugs and forgetting things, and look-backs, and a few more tears, but by noon, all was quiet, and everyone had departed.

As I reflect on this semester, I remember the challenges, but mostly I remember the triumphs. In the midst of a global pandemic, we were able to cross the Atlantic ocean TWICE, go hiking, canyoning, swimming with dolphins, complete a bunch of dive certifications, see false killer whales, Risso’s dolphins, and a Minke whale, learn about sailing, the marine world around us, and about ourselves and others. This list doesn’t even come close to covering everything we did, big and small, this semester. Despite the multiple covid tests, days in quarantine, wearing masks everywhere we went, we got to do so many amazing things, learn so much, and make strong bonds with our big floating family.

Argo students, you will be missed. I hope that all of you treasure the memories made this semester and you go on to even bigger adventures in your future.

Fair winds and following seas,

Pictured: Partial group picture on the dock before departure; Sophia lounging on all the suitcases; Avery, Sam, and Margaux; beautiful few of Antigua