Location: Richards Bay, South Africa

Today mom and dad (Tina and Ben) left crazy Uncle Eric in charge!

The second group left for their safari adventure this morning, where they had the amazing opportunity to go on both a river tour to see hippos and crocodiles as well as a sunset drive in St. Lucia. Fingers crossed that they saw some leopards tonight along with other members of the Big Five! The rest of us were left under the command of the one and only first mate Eric LaMastro (please refer to Mikaela’s previous post for a fantastic image). The fourteen of us left on board had the pleasure of beginning our day with two hours of navigation practice under Uncle Eric’s command. The study time was much needed and useful as our Navigation Master Exam quickly approaches like a vessel to its Estimated Position.

After our study time aboard, we had free time until dinner, where the majority of the crew spent time at the Richard’s Bay mall. Our first stop was to purchase some movies picked out by Henry, Claire M., Allie, and me. We decided on Die Hard, Deepwater Horizon, Catch Me If You Can, The Hangover, American Sniper, Home Alone, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Manchester By the Sea, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. We plan to watch them all before reaching Cape Town and hope that Argo will appreciate them as a nice contribution to her collection of various items. Although we ensured that hunger would not take over before our shopping spree began, Claire M. lost the battle to a strong flow of AC at the restaurant in which she had to share in Al Murph’s expandable fleece (pictured above). We then headed over to the much-talked-about Woolworths, where some small provisioning of snacks took place.

With Thanksgiving behind us, the holiday celebration has begun. We finished off the rest of the leftovers for dinner and started decorating Argo for Christmas (sorry, Jonluc and Simon, maybe we can buy a Menorah as well). Mara, Mikaela, and Claire R. kindly bought a Christmas tree complete with lights and ornaments to really get us all in the holiday spirit. Lindsay put her creativity and craftsmanship to use as she made the tinfoil star on top. We all jammed out to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” as we witnessed the first lighting of Argo’s own little plastic fur tree!

Much Love, Grace
p.s. Nick H. also dropped Alex’s shoe into the Marina today but heroically fished out the beloved Teva.