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Location: Darwin, South Africa

Just past noon, as the waves in the harbor began to die down, staff members took our faithful dinghy ashore to pick up our first students and their bags. Students rode through jade-green waters from Stokes Hill Wharf to the anchorage, watching Argo’s masts grow tall overhead as they approached the boarding ladder. Even though it’s spring in Darwin, the midday heat is incredibly hot, and all were eager to duck down below for their first tour of the boat. Students found their bunks and unpacked before congregating on deck and in the salon. Games of chess were played, and tunes were going as we rolled through check-ins and got started learning one another’s names.

As evening fell, we ate a delicious dinner of ravioli with salad and broccoli, courtesy of Head Chef Alex and his sous chef team. With full bellies, we had our very first squeeze, during which we answered the questions: “What is your name? What is your quest? Where are you from?” After the squeeze, we learned about the job wheel and roles/responsibilities aboard before rolling into our first mealtime cleanup. Salties scrubbed dishes, stewards cleaned down below, and headmasters took care of the student heads up forward. Once Argo was sparkling clean, we met in the salon for a brief chat about life aboard and what to expect over the next few days. Jet lagged and sleepy, some of us headed straight to bed while others hung out on the bow, too excited to sleep, and chatted well into the night.

We’re thrilled that everyone is aboard safe and sound (and with all of their bags!) and can’t wait to see what this semester has in store for us.