Location: Portovenere, Italy

The morning wasn’t even here when I stretched my arms out in a wide ark with the brisk teeth of the wind blowing my hair and considering what my morning wake-up would be. I decided on the gentle wake-up call and slipped back into the dark interior of Argo, our beautiful ship. One by one, I went to each bunk and shook the sleepy sailors from their dreams and warm bunks. Soon everyone was on deck and ready to eat our quick meal of cereal and yogurt. The Deckies slipped the dinghies into the waters of the Portovenere anchorage. Like ghostly pirates, we slipped off the side of Argo and into the tiny motorboats as the first light peaked across the horizon, outlining the mountains which reached up to greet the sun.

Today we were heading to Cinque Terre, which for those of you who may not know, is a beautiful coastal hike that goes through five different villages. Our stellar captain and his coconut twin, the two Kevins, were joining us as well as our staff Tina, Matt, and Ben. A bus and train ride later, we arrived at a small coastal town, and most of the group split off to do different things. I chose to go with a group that is now called the Sqwawd, consisting of Kelsey, Nick, Sam, Tacha, Maddie, Mason, and me. We didn’t even make it past the first town. The hike there was about two hours long, and we were all very hungry and hot by the time we arrived. Nick, our ‘guide,’ knew this guy who works at a restaurant, and he took us up to the best view and lunch any of us could have asked for.

Below us, the ocean was a very clear blue, and we dove in it from the cliffs with the other locals for quite a few hours before packing up and heading back to the train station. On the first stop, we saw some of our shipmates on the platform and yelled out the windows for them to join us. Soon we had our whole crew assembled, and we were on the docks waiting for our dinghies to arrive back to take us to the ship. Twenty minutes later, we were leaping into the cool, salty waters of the Mediterranean. After shower time, we had dinner and then the intro to our sailing classes.

I would like to put something elaborate and wonderful to end this post to the families and friends, and followers, but honesty is winning out, and frankly, this has been the best day yet for everyone onboard this boat.