Location: Cairns, Australia

We made it to Australia! It seems like almost a dream because no one could really wrap their heads around the fact that we actually made it to our final destination. The morning started off early for watch team three as they came up for watch at 4 am. It was pitch black and could only see one flashing light on the horizon. The team worked together as a group, to navigate the pilotage through the reef, looking out for different lights as they popped up, adjusting the sails with every turn, and using all of the seamanship skills learned from their class with Tim and the hands-on skills learned throughout the semester. The sun started to come up behind them, with Anastacia on the helm, and she got to be the first to yell, “Land Ho!” as Australia appeared on the horizon. No one could believe how big it was, especially when comparing it to all over the other destinations throughout our journey. It was time to wake up watch team 1 for watch, and they joined us on deck to adjust sails and bring down the jib. Watch team 1 were the ones to bring us into the port of Cairns. Once we were close to docking, everyone got woken up to help out on deck; however, not without grabbing some of Lucy’s famous (or infamous) blue “boom boom cake” on the way up. We pulled in seamlessly to our berth and even got compliments from the harbormaster on how smooth it went, considering the wind. All of the students set up the lines and talked about where our dock lines were going to be placed. It was all student-led, and we looked like a professional crew coming in because of how it was run; it was really cool to see all of the progress all of the shipmates have made throughout the semester!

Everyone clinging on to the few hours that they got to sleep the night before; we all had to reach deep down inside for some energy to put some love back to Argo. Although, that was not an issue because we were all appreciative of all of the memories Argo provided us with this semester and how safe she kept us crossing the South Pacific. We got into our normal Boat Appreciation and “put the boat to bed.” Everyone worked hard to clean their own bunk and spread out throughout the deck and down below projects. After lunch, we finished up our Boat Appreciation and got into two jobs that consisted of inventorying all of the food onboard and everything in the salon bunks and benches, as well as cleaning all of the PFDs and putting them away.

Before dinner, everyone got a little bit of time to catch up with family and friends back home, indulge in the hot showers and flushable toilets we have access to on the dock, and splurge on ice cream and coffee onshore. We were back for dinner that was prepared by Lucy, Raul, and myself. It was fried rice with orange chicken. We finished off the night with the squeeze question of “What has been your favorite memory of the person to the right of you?” It brought up some random and funny moments throughout the semester. We ended the night with our normal clean up and then some free time to study so they can all do well on their finals in the next few days.

Pictured: Emily at the helm with the sunrise, Raul and Frank on the bowsprit taking down the jib, Sunrise, Sunrise with the Argo ensign, and Sunset in Cairns, Australia.