Location: Underway to Essaouira, Morocco

This morning we woke before the sun (again) to the pitter-patter of rain on the deck. With the sunrise getting later and later, it’s becoming difficult to get out of bed at our usual 7 am wake-up time (though in all honesty, I never find it particularly *easy* to get out of bed). The chill in the early autumn air and the sound of rain made it all the more challenging, but we were rewarded for our efforts by delicious biscuits with fruit and cream by Head Chef Natalie.

Following the cleanup, we gathered for Leadership class in the salon. This week we’re focusing on the Relational Leadership Model put forth by the class text; we discussed our experiences with unethical or immoral leadership and whether or not an ethical approach was essential for a good, effective leader. We also spoke about process-oriented leadership, looked at some of our group processes, and thought about what kinds of processes we need to promote to remain a happy, healthy community in 30 and 60 days’ time.

Marine biology with Amy came next. Students started a unit on marine zoology and learned about cnidarians and ctenophores while the staff moved Argo to the fuel dock to prepare to bunker diesel for the next leg of our journey. Following marine bio, Natalie and her team treated us to another delicious meal of tacos with corn tortilla shells, pinto beans, and fresh guac & pico.

After lunch, a special-laundry-ops team split off from the rest of the group to run through the streets of Gibraltar towards the Queensway Quay laundry service. As part of this elite team formed of non-cleanup-essential-jobs (headmasters, skipper, stewards, etc.), I led us on a Google-maps-driven power walk to pick up half of our linens, newly washed (and so fresh and clean smelling!). It was roughly a 4-mile round trip walk, but there were enough of us that carrying the bags of laundry back didn’t seem that tough — and thankfully, the rain had stopped around lunchtime. We were even able to take Peter’s bag and send him running ahead to the McDonalds along our walking route so he could meet us with McFlurries on the way back 🙂

We arrived back at the dock just as Argo was pulling away. Smash came to pick us up in Doctor and bring us back aboard. We peeled off towards the Strait as students headed down for Oceanography Class with Amanda. After class, most of us popped up on deck to watch Argo pass through the Straits, where we could see three countries, two continents, and two seas at the same time. The Rock of Gibraltar and its twin (located in Morocco on the other side of the strait) were once considered the end of the known world. Legend has it that Hercules pushed the two mountains apart to allow the Atlantic to flow into the Mediterranean, and create the Mediterranean Sea. Hence Gibraltar’s old name — Mons Calpe — the pillar of Hercules. The thing about the Med to Caribbean trip that I find so special is the way this passage feels: we’ve spent the past 35 days in the Mediterranean together, visiting some of the places where history was made. Now we’re leaving the Mediterranean — our world as we know it — to explore more distant shores.

We’re looking forward to seeing what we find when we get there.

(Happy birthday, CJ!!!)

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