Location: Gorda Sound/Peter Island, BVI
Monday morning started early for some Argo students who observed the total lunar eclipse and blood moon at 1 am. Shortly after falling back asleep, we were awoken at 6:30 am to prep Argo for a short sail to Peter Island. Among the seemingly endless checklist that needed to be completed before Argo could leave Gorda Sound, students diligently raised dinghies, dogged hatches, lashed benches down, stowed dive gear, secured sails, and lifted anchors. Shortly after Argo was underway, she ran into a small rainstorm just in time for breakfast. Students and staff raced down the companionways to toss on our foul weather gear. Once suited up, a delicious breakfast of flapjacks and yogurt was had in the drizzle. Following the cleanup, we began our first sail training class and learned some of the ropework behind raising sails. We raised half of Argo’s sails, including the main staysail, forestaysail, and jib. Afterward, we were allowed a short amount of free time before hearing a frantic “man overboard!” called out. We quickly realized, after rushing to the cockpit and nervously searching the smooth waters for a person, that it was only a drill. After successfully completing our first drill, we arrived at Peter Island and enjoyed falafel wraps for lunch. Then, open water divers headed out to Great Harbor to complete the last of our qualifying dives. With the help of our instructors and divemasters, we practiced manually inflating BCDs, removing and replacing masks, and navigating using our compasses in deep water. We also observed colorful coral, trunkfish, lobsters, brittle starfish, and countless other marine life. At the same time, the already qualified students learned all about tall-ships from Meg, watched a documentary, and played the game spoons. Before dinner, students either showered, swam laps, or studied. After stuffing down chicken wings for dinner, students and staff explained their daily appreciation and top bucket list items during our squeeze. The open water folk ended the day with a few final quizzes while the remaining crew went off to bed.
Pictured: Image (by Ivan) of the lunar eclipse/blood moon overnight; students geared up in foulies for breakfast; our view of an early morning rainbow; Bianca and Sophie enjoying some sailing; Sophie and Alex hoisting the main staysail; the group topping the boom for the main staysail; some boys practicing “sweating,” the technique used to raise heavy sails by hand; a beautiful French coil for one of the sheets.
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