Location: Taiohae Bay, Nuka Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia
As every day here in Nuka Hiva, the locals start their days early as the sun is up, usually by 5:30! Most of the crew on Argo has been waking up by 6:30 to have a little bit of alone time, either studying for a test, contacting family members at home, or just reading a good book on the deck. This morning started a little earlier for Christian and me as we went to the local fresh food market for a last-minute top-up of fruits and veggies! As today was supposed to be the student-led day, including a 25 nautical mile passage, I took a step back as skipper, and Patino, today’s bosun ( head deckhand ), took charge of the crew. They readied Argo to sail, and as we got the engine going and began to hull up the anchor, we had a slight hiccup with the hydraulics, which, if you are ever around boats, you will understand this is totally normal! Sam and Kris spent about an hour in the engine room, making some loud noises and coming out fully like grease monkeys, but the hydraulics were back online. Yet, because of this slight delay, we were not able to head to Ua-Pou, as we would arrive after sunset. The students welcomed this with another day ashore to do some last-minute hiking, eat crepes or buy a few more cokes and candy bars. About half the crew decided to stay on Argo for the afternoon and help out with some boat projects. Although, as usual, it is not all work here, we played a couple of rounds of banana grams and had a mid-afternoon dinghy run to get ice cream and crepes for everyone! Ordering 13 cups of soft serve vanilla and pineapple mix can get you some crazy looks. We ate like kings today from our three chefs, Sophie, Anna, and Leah. We even had dessert on a non-birthday night, which is always a great surprise. Anna decorated the homemade carrot cake with a diagram the PSCT students need to know for tonight’s meteorology exam. Good luck to all of the students taking their exams; after today, they will only have two more tests until their theory is complete! As classes and destinations are dwindling, the crew is going to live up to these last 17 days and truly enjoy every moment!