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Location: Arrival in Villefranche

After 35 days of sailing and pitstops, our journey’s end is finally in sight. Those who had early watches today were greeted by the sight of the one thing we had seen the least of on our voyage: land. Watching off the port side of the boat, they could see in the wee hours of the morning the tell-tale collection of lights in the darkness that meant land. After arriving and anchoring in Villefranche, the entire crew began the first part of our extensive “boat appreciation” — our repayment to the boat for taking us all the way across the Atlantic and then some, in the form of a deep cleaning. Having wrapped up with that, lunch was served, and the shipmates were ferried onto land by Griffin and Amanda via our dinghies, Doctor and Nopadone. We were then given the opportunity to explore Villefranche and the surrounding area, which involved a trip to a beach and much gelato, amongst other things. Griffin once again took up the task of ferrying, bringing everyone back onto Argo roughly an hour before dinner, and the chefs, who had returned earlier, prepared an excellent meal. While the chefs put the final touches on dinner, everyone else was given the opportunity to take showers, which is a pleasant break from routine, meant jumping and flipping into the warm Mare Nostrum. After dinner, we went over our CPR certification exams and prepared ourselves for the NavMaster exam, which is one of the first steps toward certification for becoming a skipper. As the sun sets on the beautiful town of Villefranche, amongst their happiness, everyone seems to feel an undercurrent of melancholy as we near the end of what was and is an amazing experience.