Location: Gibraltar

Once again, we arrive in a new port, and once again, it is my turn to write the blog. When last I left you, readers, at home, we had just tied up Argo alongside the pier in the port of Horta. Early in the dark hours of this morning, we passed through the straights separating Europe from Africa, between the Pillars of Hercules, and Watch Team 3 anchored the boat outside the breakwater in Gibraltar. After setting up fenders and dock lines and putting Argo to bed, Watch Team 3 handed over the deck to Watch Team 1, who rotated through anchor watch until breakfast.

The marina opened at 8:30 AM, and so some of us picked up the anchor and set up for docking while others of us continued washing dishes. Our dock is a concrete wall on one side of a narrow channel directly after a 90-degree turn. It is the tightest space that this group of students has ever docked Argo in. The crew handled their lines skilfully, which bodes well for docking later in Tarragona and Rome.

We have now crossed the entire North Atlantic. If you look at the line we’ve sailed on our vessel tracker, you may be tricked into feeling like an ocean crossing really isn’t that far; it’s just a flat line on a flat map, after all. It’s when you draw that line on a globe or plot it in Google Earth that you actually realize the magnitude of the distance we’ve traveled. We have wrapped around the curvature of the planet, from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean, two seas hidden from one another by the immense horizon.

In keeping with Seamester tradition, we celebrated our achievement by deep cleaning everything. Bunks were tidied, ceilings and walls were wiped down, and floors were scrubbed. I was on deck with Phoebe, Lily, Maria B, and Leo. We did battle against salt and dirt, soaping, scrubbing, and rinsing everything we could reach above the water line. Our students have become quite invested in maintaining Argo’s relatively new coat of paint.

After making Argo blindingly clean, we headed out into town. Gibraltar is very different. Much like something out of a fantasy novel, it is a castle town built into the side of a giant rock. You make your way to the main street by way of a staircase leading to a stone wall protected by cannons. Winding your way through narrow alleys, you’ll end up on a long strip of designer clothing, toy stores, iPhones, and coffee shops, all inside very historical buildings.

That night we made plans to see a double feature at the movies: Barbie and Oppenheimer. Barbie was sold out, so we bought 16 tickets to Oppenheimer. For maybe the first time ever on Seamester, students and staff watched an 8:45 PM showing of a 3-hour movie as an official program activity. Many important questions about morality, mutually assured destruction, taking the lesser of two evils, and the implications of scientific progress were raised by the film. All of that is beyond the scope of this blog. I’d rather talk about the theater itself. It’s in a building with a bowling alley, an arcade, and a bouldering gym. This building was once a castle, and it is my favorite building I’ve been to on Seamester. I have plans to go back.