Location: Montril, Spain/Underway to Gibraltar
Today we woke up to warm peach & apple pastries prepared from scratch for breakfast. They were delicious and started us off on the right foot for the day. Then we headed over to our neighbors at the dock, Open Arms, for a tour of their vessel. Open Arms is a refugee non-government organization that rescues refugees (primarily from Africa) and brings them safely to Spain so they can seek asylum. Open Arms was initially a tugboat that was intended to be thrown away, and instead, volunteers refurbished it to hold up to 400 people at a time. Something unique to Open Arms is the intense equipment that allows them to physically reach into oceans and pull refugees to safety, utilizing their highly trained staff aboard. In addition to the crew, engineers, and a captain that keep the vessel afloat, they also have highly trained lifeguards and a doctor aboard to provide medical care to refugees when needed. After an excellent tour on Open Arms, we then brought their crew aboard Argo to show them what living looks like for us and what Seamester is all about.
Additionally, Doctor John Valentine (Volunteer doctor aboard Open Arms) gave us an incredible presentation on his journey from the Arctic to Russia. Soon after we rolled into passage prep to get Argo ready to sail from Montril to Gibraltar. Successfully, we made it off the dock, broke into watch teams and had a scrumptious dinner of pulled pork sandwiches, mashed potatoes, and salad. All in all, it was a great day, with an excellent opportunity to learn about the incredible and selfless work Open Arms did and ended the night with a great meal. In the morning we should be arriving in Gibraltar, and we are all very excited.
Pictured Is Cole on the Upper Deck of Open Arms, Amy, and Jonas in front of Open Arms, and Amanda and Claire working on plotting our position on watch during passage to Gibraltar.