Location: Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Today was one of my favorite days we have had on Argo. It started off with our first delicious breakfast with a student as head chef, and we split into three groups. The first group would spend the morning diving with Pacific Divers, a local shop in Rarotonga. The second group learned how to drive the dinghy and got their license (no official licenses were actually issued during dinghy school 2019). While the third group (my group) stayed back and polished some steel on Argo to make her look shiny, I can’t speak for the other two groups, but I know that I enjoyed cleaning; it was peaceful. When the other two groups returned, with smiles on their faces, we ate lunch and celebrated our shipmate’s 21st birthday with an amazing cake and happy birthday song. After this, we had a seamanship class, starting with some friendly immersion suit relay competition and ending with a talk about anchors. We then quickly showered, and a bus picked us up to take us to Te Vara Nui Village. None of us knew what to expect, but we all left extremely excited and happy we went. We were taught about the founding of Rarotonga, as well as the rest of the Cook Islands. We also learned about how their ancestors lived and completed everyday tasks. We then went and enjoyed the all-you-can-eat buffet before watching a native dance. It was a truly unforgettable experience. When we got back to the boat, everyone spent time talking and laughing, making Argo feel even more like a family.

Pictured: Immersion suit relay race; rainbow views; Frank’s 21st birthday cookie cake; views from the Te Vara Nui village feast and show.