Location: Villefranche, France

Our first full day as a crew on Argo began early with a 7:00 am rousing. There was no mercy for the sleepy faces still fighting jet lag! The schedule was packed with activities to familiarize students with life on board. They started by learning their daily duty from the job wheel, which we use to organize life on board. Each day, every student’s name corresponds with a duty, from cooking, to cleaning the deck or dishes, to being skipper for the day. We then met up for a delicious traditional French breakfast of croissants and baguettes. Following breakfast was clean-up and a group meeting to discuss a variety of issues concerning life on board.

At 11, we mustered on deck for our first passage of the trip. It was a short but beautiful trip around the corner to Villefranche. A fellow traditional sailing vessel saluted our departure by firing their canon. After a short motor with stunning views of the French Riviera, I conducted an anchoring demonstration with the help of Fitz, Nick, and Sonya. We then went back down below for a few more words from the staff before the much-awaited swim call! This marked our first time in the Mediterranean of the trip (a bit warmer than expected).

The late afternoon still had time for a short break before dinner. After dinner, as skipper of the day, it was my responsibility to introduce the students to a SeaMester tradition called the squeeze. The squeeze is our chance to come together as a group and allow everyone’s voice to be heard once a day. It works like this: We join hands in a circle, the skipper poses a question to the group, and we take turns going around the circle to answer the question. Tonight, I posed the challenge of introducing the person to the right and telling the group something that you have learned about them in the last twenty-four hours. The result was a bit mixed but funny and a good learning/bonding activity for all!