Location: Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu

With the sunrise this morning came the call of land-ho as the island of Efate was spotted off the starboard bow. Even with our computer and paper charts telling us where we are in relation to land, it is always an exciting moment when land is spotted, and you realize that using just a few simple tools, we are able to sail for multiple days without land in sight and arrive safely and even early to our new destination. Watch team two spent their morning on deck, starting our arrival ritual of boat appreciation. Even though this does not normally begin until the anchor is dropped or the dock lines are secured to the dock, the amazing sunny weather made us antsy to get going. So we began the soapy deck wash and the polishing of the metal. By the time lunch was served and the rest of the crew was awake, Argo was shiny and ready to show off. Once we pulled into the harbor, the real boat appreciation began, but this time focusing on down below. Bunks were stripped, new stylish pillowcases were put on, fridges were cleaned, and hallways were mopped. By four o’clock, everything on our BA list was complete, making this the fastest BA to date. For dinner, head chef Grace cooked up a delicious meal of Penne Alfredo, and the bread maker of the day, Jenna, wowed us with her braiding skills and prepared the most amazing Challah bread. I don’t understand why we would ever buy bread onshore again when each day, the bread maker serves us delicious warm homemade bread and makes our galley smell amazing. Now, as the evening winds down, everyone is down below for an evening of classes with Sam. In the Basic Seamanship class, they will practice using the chart to determine compass error, and then in their Emergency First Responder class, work on their CPR and first aid skills. But hold on, it seems that class will be taking a moment’s break as there are fireworks being set off from shore. Tomorrow is Vanuatu’s Independence Day, and it appears that the festivities begin the night before.