Location: East London, South Africa

Today was a momentous day, as it was Morella’s 18thbirthday! Tegan, Manuela, and I baked and decorated blondies for a dessert celebration, and after dinner, we got to enjoy a night out at the restaurant near the dock. Aside from Morella’s birthday, today was also significant because it was navigation exam day. At the culmination of the last month of MTE, everyone switched out for his or her 2-hour exam blocks in the saloon. They have spent numerous hours practicing their skills with plotting, determining the course to steer, and calculating the effects of currents on the course, and today was the day to show what they had learned. After passing their exam, they will all be granted the title of “Navigation Master” (it is really a thing, you get a card in the mail and everything!) We can’t believe that we are in finals week and that the trip is almost winding down. To remind us of all of the fun we have had over the past two and a half months, I wrote a summary of the trip in Mad Lib form for my squeeze question, and everyone had to help fill it in by giving me a word. Sadly (in my opinion), quite a few of them actually make sense, so in case you can’t figure out which words were filled in, they are in ALL CAPS. Enjoy!

Argo Mad Libs – Fall 2014 –

Once upon a time, 23 GREEN strangers came together for the adventure of a lifetime. They all DANCED to Singapore and boarded the vessel Argo, where they met their good-looking, intelligent, kind, and FUNNY crew that they would be working with for the next 90 days. They quickly became accustomed to boat life, each day learning a new job from the job wheel, such as deckie, saltie, skipper, or PAINTER. Although on day one, they didn’t know a HERLM from a SCUPPER, by the second week, they were able to QUICKLY haul up all of the sails. Their first stop was in the jungles of Borneo, where they saw orangutans SAILING through the trees. Next was a visit to Bali, where the students bathed in WHISKY at a PURPLE temple to cleanse themselves, and all became SHINY surfers after their lessons in Kuta. They learned how to scuba dive and were able to SHOOT amongst the fishes and HIPPOPOTAMUS in the coral reefs around Gili, Christmas Island, and Cocos Keeling. After enjoying the BLUE sandy beaches and PERIWINKLE water of Cocos, they prepared for their longest voyage – AN EPOCH across the Indian Ocean. The passage was a bit rolly and STINKY, but everyone quickly got their sea legs. They sat watch for 8 hours a day, FLOATING the boat and looking out for boats, trash, and BEANIES. As much as they loved being surrounded by the ocean, CAROLYN was excited to yell OUCH when she first spotted land – this time, the island of Mauritius. They visited waterfalls, a Hindu temple, the TWENTY-THREE colored earths, and a BEACH and ate a delicious meal of curry chicken, creamed spinach, and GUACAMOLE. Another passage soon followed, and finally, they arrived in South Africa. They were all super FLABERGASTED to go on safari, and despite the weather being A WHITE SQUALL, both groups saw elephants, hippos, rhinos, MEGASHARK, and GIANT OCTOPUS. From here on, the days flew by, visiting the towns of Durban, East London, and LAKE FORREST. Although everyone will be sad to leave on day 90, they have made memories and friendships that will last FOUR SCORE AND SEVEN YEARS.