Location: Falmouth Harbor, Antigua

Today, rain mixed with tears as the last few students lowered themselves reluctantly into Doctor, one of our faithful tenders. As they waved the vessel and staff goodbye (the waving continued well into the distance), the heavy hearts of the staff were left on board, Argo feeling especially empty without all of her students. However, behind the sniffles was an immense sense of achievement, personal growth, and inspiration for all that had been accomplished thus far. A recent squeeze reflected upon the fact that one of the trip’s revelations was that we all have the means and the where-with-all to follow absolutely any path that we choose in life. It may not always be easy, but it is well within the capabilities of Argo’s most recent family members to become or do anything with their lives — nothing is beyond our grasp! Along with this, Jay rightfully reminded everyone that despite the last goodbye to Argo for now, this is still only the beginning of the rest of the adventure, and we are still far better off now in so many ways than we were before.

The coming days are going to be tough for the close-knit bunch who reluctantly return to their own lives, with many having to sit out periods of quarantine, solitary isolation compared to the past few months spent in the constant company of 29 others in 112ft of living space. But with promises to keep in constant contact, recent memory bank entries filled to capacity and a new spirit for adventure, near-future prospects of action-packed reunions will be a spur of excitement and encouragement. Many have already made plans to visit each other in new and wonderful places to continue the new but lasting friendships that Argo has afforded.

From the staff of the trip (Tim, Steph, Smash, Mimi, Jay, Elle, and Calum) to our cadet crew: we miss you guys! Cleaning up is not nearly as much fun without Shane’s speaker ringing from the mainmast, and cooking for seven people is a tall order when we’ve learned so well to use quantity enough for nearly 30! We’re already missing the constant movement and laughing chatter of the familiar bodies around us. All of us, however, are grateful for the connections we made, for the small talk, the heart-sobs, the laughs, the pranks, fun-facts, and many other ways in which your growing experience has enriched OUR lives. We also look forward to finishing our spring program remotely, allowing us as a group to uphold the experience despite the distance between us.

So, in putting aside the sorrow of goodbye, we can be glad to reflect upon the experience for years to come and can now move forward with a new sense of hope and empowerment. As some obscure fictional character that Tim loves once said, “Don’t be sad that it’s over, be glad that it happened.”