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Location: Portovenere, Italy

Yesterday we began our very first overnight passage as the 2015 Fall crew of Argo. Last night’s sail proved very peaceful with not much wind until 11:30, when we hit a mini squall, which means we got to use our sails instead of just motor sailing. Watch team two and watch team one both had a trail of bioluminescent jellyfish that illuminated our dark sail.Watch team two got to enjoy a spectacular lightening show off our port side and fireworks that were going off on shore as we sailed by.Everyone on watch got a chance to either helm or sit on bow watch.

This morning started out with watch team one on their watch from 4-8 am.The rest of us got to wake up at 7:45, as we began to approach Portovenere, Italy.We all hurried to the deck in order to prepare to lower the sails.First, we lowered the forward staysail, next the main staysail and lastly, the main sail.With all the lines down, watch team one, who had already had a quick breakfast while we were under-sail, was our anchor team, while the rest of us had breakfast.Finally anchored and able to take in the beauty of the Italian Coast in the morning light, the crew cleaned up the deck and put the sail covers on.After the last tasks of our night sail were checked off, our crew that is taking the Open Water Diver Course went below deck in order to review the knowledge reviews that we have been working on.The rest of the crew launched our two dinghies and then had some down time, which we used to read, sleep, listen to music and organize our things.

After our busy morning, we ate a pineapple fried rice for lunch, courtesy of our chefs: Townes, Mason and Emma. Once in town, we divided into separate groups, but often ran into each other in town.Greg, Townes, Somers and Paulo ate Italian pizza and gelato right off the coast, while Ava Leigh and Georgia went on a run up to the castle.Nick, Maddie and Brahm all bought woman’s pants from a local shop.The rest of us went on to explore the remains of this Medieval Castle and the town.The Castle boasted many winding staircases that could easily be overlooked and ruin one’s chances of seeing the hidden views of the coastline.The town had many tourist shops and restaurants. Straight out of an oil painting, Portovenere’s buildings cast uneven shadows across the sidewalk and the pastel colors they were painted lit up the skyline. However, Trixie, Kierra, Mason, Nick, Sam, Tacha, Kelsey, Fitz, Katie and Maddie said the food was their favorite part.Parker, Hillary, Ava Leigh, Georgia, Kristian, Chloe, Veronica and I ended up having margarita pizza near the Marina. Sam was lucky enough to have not one, but two gelato (the second one he got for free, as his first one was not proportioned properly according to his server).Sonya even bought a small cabbage from a local market.Overall, everyone got their first taste of Italy in the form of pizza and gelato, which left us hungry for more.

At 3:30, we were all on the dock ready to go back Argo.Once aboard, we took boat showers and the chefs began to cook mashed potatoes and chicken wings.As we cleaned up, we anxiously awaited the beginning of our science classes.We also are preparing for anchor watch tomorrow and being able to explore land again tomorrow.Right now, as class is about to start, the entire crew is dancing to Townes’ iPod.