Location: St. Helena
It was so strange (yet incredible) waking up this morning to a giant rock smack in the middle of so much water after not seeing anything but ocean and sky for upwards of 10 days. We were woken up for watch early and came up the companionway to be greeted by a misty sky that encircled the island of St. Helena. There were so many more people than I expected there to be up on deck before 8 am, but it was great to watch the island grow from the distance with all of my shipmates. The rest of the morning went by pretty quickly. Watch team 2 was on from 8 am-12 pm, and by 10:00, we had lowered and centered all the boom sails, let down the jib, dropped anchor, and began the process of Boat Appreciation (a deep clean of Argo to thank her for getting us safely through our passage). A few of us began with re-flaking the jib and flying jib, while others started tidying up cabins and getting lunch prepared. It was so satisfying to see everyone coming together after the somewhat chaotic schedule of watches, class, and regular napping. Just as we began ridding her of the thin but consistent layer of salt, the call for lunch was made, and we all sat together in the hot sun laughing and enjoying vegetarian bean tacos.
After lunch was when the fun really began, we were quick to clean up once our duties for the afternoon had been assigned and got straight into the task of making sure the Argo was spick and span; ready to be swept, scrubbed, and sprayed down and ready for our next adventure. Nobody would have expected a crew of tired students to be so eager to hop to cleaning toilets and scrubbing dirt and salt off the deck, but to the surprise of every parent back home, we got the entire boat, inside and out, sparkling clean by 4:00 pm. From there, we all got to spiffing ourselves up and ready for customs.
The dinghy ride to the island was the first time most of us had seen the grandeur of Argo from a distance, and her astonishing beauty was only made greater knowing how much she has done for us over the duration of our passage. Her white masts stood tall against the vibrant blue of the sky and had us all in awe. Once we got to land, there were a few minutes of disorientation from being on still ground before we began our trek to customs. It was neat to get a sneak peek of the city and see all the wonderful people that live here.
After returning to the boat, it came time for the most exciting part of the day: ocean showers. It was the first time we have gotten to swim on this trip so far, and the water was cool and refreshing, We had a blast swimming around the ship, and I was once again blown away by her size. Those five laps were pretty tiring. Then we did our treading, got out, soaped up, and did one last jump into the water before we had to prepare for dinner. The sunset over us just as our meal came to a close, enveloping the sky in vibrant pinks, soft yellows, and warm oranges: the perfect close to our productive day. Now comes the time to snuggle up in our freshly made beds to ready ourselves for a new day full of adventure.