Location: Georgetown, Grand Cayman
Another twenty days have flown by. Argo has turned westward since the last staff blog, visiting Bonaire, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and having our longest passage to date. It’s crazy to think that so much has happened over the past twenty days — we’ve learned to windsurf, swam in natural infinity pools, dove through waterfalls, caught some waves, explored a deserted island and more. Shipmates have learned how to catch fish on a hand line, plan their own dives without instructors in the water, barter for handmade crafts and goods, and cook some of their favorite family recipes. So far we’ve sailed 1,747 miles together, and we’re excited for all that’s yet to come.
Since we last checked in, students have nearly finished their PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course and (some) are gearing up to start their Rescue course. All of our students have recently become CPR/First Aid certified in a class taught by our medic Tina, performing well under pressure in a surprise scenario held on deck after their practical exam (though they still have a lot to learn!). The MTE Basic Seamanship midterm was passed with flying colors, and everyone has their heads down studying for Marine Bio and Oceanography — exams which are up and coming in the next few days. Oceanography papers have been turned in, Fish ID logs have been updated, and students are taking advantage of their newfound diving skills to plan and execute student-lead, no-instructor dives for their science research projects.
It has been a pleasure getting to know our student crew of 15 over the past 40 days, and though it’s sad to think that the trip is already almost halfway over, We’re glad we’ve got 50 more days to share with them. We’re looking forward to hearing more of Orren’s spot-on Kiwi and Australian accents and impressions, Ben’s elaborate squeeze question answers, and Zack and Oscar’s quick wit and mealtime banter. We’ll follow Isaac, our “sasquatch”, down the trail on hikes buoyed by Jason’s “awh YEAH!” positivity and spurred on by Conner’s willingness to rise up to any challenge (even if that challenge is to do a giant belly-flop off the cap rail!). We’ll be happy to see Keenan and Drew up and at ’em, always the first ones offering help and trying to get the job done. We’ll sit down every night to dinner with Elliott to have debates on topics as diverse as classic literature, ancient philosophy, and Star Wars. While Katie and Emily work to take home gold in the underwater salsa dancing championships we’ll be following Carly as she keeps on planning awesome dives for her fellow crew. Audrey’s solid sailing skills are sure to give us a fighting chance at race week, and we know that Mona’s sunny outlook will help us make way even when storms show up on the horizon (when she’s not rolling out of her bunk during said storms, that is).
The thing that makes the Sea|Mester experience so special and unique is our crew, and Argo’s staff is lucky to have a crew as hardworking, funny and dedicated as the 15 individuals we have aboard. We’re looking forward to exploring Cuba, the Bahamas and the BVI together, and can’t wait to see what the upcoming weeks have in store.
Fair winds and following seas,