Location: Saint-Pierre, Martinique

Throughout the first 2/3’s of this trip, all of our passages have been at least a week, and some closer to 2 weeks. Now that we are approaching the end of this journey, our passages are only a little over 100nm, which translates to one night and coming up, we have a few that are only a few hours. Last night I fell asleep just after setting sails in Bequia (I can happily report that I can now haul away on the jib halyard all on my own!), woke up for watch at 3 am to a brilliant view of St. Lucia’s skyline on our starboard side, the faint hue of lights off our bow, total darkness off our port side, Bequia nowhere to be seen off our stern, thousands of stars in the sky and specks of bioluminescence in the ocean below us. This morning I woke up to the sounds of the anchor chain being lowered into the depths beneath us, realized it was my job to wake everyone up in the next five minutes, and clambered on deck to see what was going on. I looked around the deck to see watch team 3 tying down sails and putting the finishing touches on the anchor, briefly glanced at the small town on the French island of Martinique, and had my breath completely taken away by the huge volcano that sat before my eyes. I excitedly went back down below and woke up sleeping shipmates as nicely as possible while trying to contain my excitement caused by Mt. Pelee. After a delicious lunch prepared by Ariana and Gabe, we dove right into a BA to rid Argo of the huge quantities of salt she acquired on our short passage. A few people went with Leah to do some provisioning, which resulted in some delicious-looking baguettes that now sit teasingly in the saloon. Others polished cleaned cabins, swept, and made Argo look like the beauty that she is. After a refreshing swim and shower, we had an unusual squeeze where everyone wrote down a secret on a piece of paper and put it in a bowl. Then everyone had to pick a piece of paper and read off the secret, of which nobody knew the answer. People are still trying to figure out which secret belonged to whom. Everyone enjoyed an amazing dinner of gumbo while watching another beautiful sunset across the ocean. We wrapped up the day with a brief SLD class and a Blue Planet: The Open Ocean. Today was a day filled with hard work for the boat that has carried us a quarter of the way around the world. As our days on Argo are dwindling, the crew is only growing closer. I feel we take more time to sit back and absorb all that has happened in the last 71 days, and that will continue to happen for the next 19. We may be drawing to a close, but we still have about four more islands to explore, days of hiking and diving, and 27,360 minutes to embrace everything that is Sea|mester. This is Kira signing off on my last day as the skipper of Argo. Out.