Location: VandA Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa

Today marks the beginning of the end of the trip for students as well as some of the staff. The last two days, Day 88 and 89, will be spent cleaning Argo and getting her in ship shape for her next journey across the Atlantic. Today’s cleaning was spent inside the bilges: the areas between the floor and the keel. We use the bilges for storage of pretty much everything not used on a daily basis, such as extra food, cleaning supplies, tools, and bags. They will get cleaned once per semester, and it is surprising how much dirt they accumulate over the course of a semester. It took most of the day to get the bilges looking somewhat clean, with students exploring areas of the boat most didn’t know existed.

While most of the students and staff cleaned, others began to pack their belongings and clean their bunk areas one final time. It is sad to see everyone’s belongings on deck and all the bunks starting to get cleaned out. Although many of us are staying in cape town, some will be leaving the day after tomorrow. With the exception of the safari, all of us have seen each other every day since the beginning of the trip, and it will be weird not to see everyone anymore. One thing that will help with the process of leaving is our final assignment given by Tina. We are writing a letter to each person on the boat where we can say anything we would like and share any memories we have together. When we leave, we will receive a letter from everyone, and the final letter we will write to ourselves and receive in the mail one year from now.

After tomorrow’s external and down below clean, the boat will be presentable and ready for the parents who are able to make the trip down to finally get on board and see Argo in person.