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Location: Villefranche, France

Waking up at daybreak, Argo was welcomed by the early morning sun. After a hearty breakfast of baked brie, melons, and pita bread, the crew of Argo was introduced to essential safety precautions and outfits with Dan. Practicing first with bulky lifejackets, the crew then donned large, red immersion suits (aka Gumby suits!), which help prevent hypothermia. Tasked with putting on the suits in one minute, the crew happily struggled to wiggle and squirm into the large neoprene suits. To the delight of fellow boaters, an army of red “Gumbys” emerged from the deck of the Argo and posed for a group picture. After safety training, the crew went through a myriad of seamanship activities: engine room tasks, boat checks, and head upkeep. These tasks help to maintain a steady voyage when the boat is sails up and are an early warning system against major problems at sea. Greeted with a healthy lunch of chickpea salad and chicken, the crew was rejuvenated for free time in the port town of Villefranche. Whether it was exploring the old fort, sightseeing, beach-going, or shopping, almost every crew member was graced with a scoop of refreshing gelato before they boarded the return dinghy for Argo. To end the day, students took showers on deck, enjoyed a dinner of stuffed peppers, learned more about each other during the squeeze, and watched the Mediterranean sun descend across the picturesque seaside town. The last thing before bedtime, the crew had their first Marine Biology class with Amy. Now we are rolling into anchor watch where the students keep an eye on Argo’s surroundings in two-man teams to assure the safety of the boat and the crew through the night.

Pictured: View from the fort above the town, Jake getting into his immersion suit, a group picture of the crew in immersions suits.