Location: Port Vila, Vanuatu
August 1st; 58 days past, 21 days to go, eight days before Australia, and one last day in Vanuatu. Start of another amazing and exciting day with an early wake-up. Thankfully, the chefs put everyone in a good mood with their really tasty breakfast of banana bread and yogurt. Half of the advanced divers, the rescue divers, and divemaster candidates went on a wreck dive, which followed by a fun dive around one of the best dive spots in the world. While the coral may not have been as diverse as Fiji (the soft coral capital of the world), the coverage was amazing). The coral reef and marine life seen on this dive were incredible, and apparently, we are not the only one that found it great as a white tip shark and turtle had fun joining us. The other part of the crew that had dove yesterday went to visit a healthcare ship, Pacific Hope. This ship travels around the world in small villages to provide healthcare to people who cannot afford it and teaches new skills to teachers. Having the opportunity to meet people who have lived around the world and helped others has made us realize even more how lucky we are and how teamwork is the key to many things. The divers and crew then enjoyed our last lunchtime in Vanuatu until 1:45 PM when we all met with Christina, who was part of the VESS Organization, one of the few ecological research societies in Vanuatu. During the afternoon, we cleaned beaches to help collect data for the organization concerning plastic pollution. While doing so, we came across islanders, who appreciated our dedication to this project and told us stories about Vanuatu. It is so heart-warming to see the sincerity and proudness of their island. Once we were done collecting data, we had a presentation about the dugong, an animal very similar to a manatee.
Interesting fact of the day, they are known to be friendly and playful. Right after this presentation, we had some more land time before getting back on Argo for dinner. Sara, Margaret, and Lindsay, the chefs, cooked an amazing meal of chicken Parmesan.
Nevertheless, this day is not over yet; our Marine Biology exam was tonight. Right after the exam, sails cover off, anchor up, sails up! We left at the unusual hour of 10 PM due to local tides and depths. Here we are on our way to Australia. Last long passage of the trip! For most of our crew, Vanuatu was a great open-minded experience. Even though we are getting closer to the end of this trip, more adventures and places to visit are yet to come. Such places where you feel welcome by the people and the culture are to be kept. So, thank you, thank you for letting all of us visiting that place and living those experiences. Merci Edouard, Gregoire, Alexandre, Victoria, et Maman.
PS: Je suis plus bronze que toi vico mouahaha.