Location: Cape Town, South Africa

We woke up on day five to the ship’s rocking and the wind howling above deck. Tired students are reluctantly dragging themselves out of bed, ready to face the day’s coming chores and tasks. Undeterred from the elements that threatened us above, we enjoyed a hardy meal of yogurt and grain on deck in the drizzling rain. Finished, we went below to start with our studies of seamanship, learning the difference between a top line and a halyard, which lines control the boom, and the different properties of rope. Putting on our brightly colored foul weather gear, we journeyed above deck to turn our new-found knowledge into practice, our instructor Smash going through more lines than I thought possible. Lines were properly knotted, were coiled, and fastened, each with its own proper placement and method. Soon enough, it was lunchtime. Everyone ducking low and looking over there shoulders for the flying rice noodles and stirfry that were caught by the high winds. Afterward, many went to the nearby stores and shops or took shelter below deck, passing the time with books and rowdy games of cards. The blustering winds and rainy weather may have kept us from sailing the coasts and thoroughly exploring the great outdoors, but our spirits were still kept high by the gentle rock of the Argo and, most importantly, each other’s company.