Location: Carins, Australia

It was with a fond farewell that we said goodbye to our shipmates early this morning… very early this morning. Today was a day of boat appreciation and friend appreciation. We spent most of the morning giving Argo one last scrub down. Care was taken to make sure Argo was left in the same spotless condition it was handed to us in. This ship has brought us so far and has been the base for countless adventures and friendships; it would be an insult not to appreciate her as much as we appreciated those things over the last 80 days.

When everything was deemed to be in ship-shape (haha), students headed off for one last afternoon in Cairns. It’s amazing how much you notice and appreciate the little things when you know it might be the last time you see them. Some long-running joke that one cleat on the deck you always trip over, these are things we’ve taken for granted over the last 80 days, but that now seems significant. After a lovely afternoon out, everyone returned to Argo, clean, and dressed to impress for one last squeeze around the cockpit. Last words were said, appreciations are given, and tears shed. The most common remark was that many had originally decided to come on this trip for the locations or the activities. However, all agreed it was the people that they would remember and cherish most of all. After one last crew photo, we all walked into town as a group, enjoyed a lovely sit down dinner (at real tables with soft seats!), and danced the night away until it was time to head back. Not much sleeping happened; we were all cherishing one last moment with everyone awake, happy, and together.

Speaking for the staff, we are honored to have had the OMM17 crew with us this semester. They are all incredibly unique individuals who meshed well and created a cohesive, welcoming environment from the start. There was always someone to offer a joke to make you smile or an ear to listen to your troubles. I personally can’t imagine a better group to have crossed the South Pacific with!