Location: Soper's Hole, BVI

Even though this is cheating a bit, I wanted to start this blog with an appreciation for yesterdays sunset. All of us crew mates, particularly Maya and I, who were jumping with excitement, revealed over the pure beauty of a stunningly vibrant sky. Being that today was our final day before passage, we honestly couldnt think of a better omen for our voyage to come.

Looking forward to many more sunsets and rises over the glistening Atlantic.

But, while the beauty of yesterday was something to remember, the adventure of today was arguably more iconic.

We awoke bright and early to Dolly Partons 9-5, which set the tone for an extremely packed day, and one that was significantly longer than 9-5 (more like 7 am-10 pm (at least)). Luckily, Amanda made us pancakes. And oh man, were they good.

After leaving our last diving anchorage, we set sail back to West End. This location is where we will be departing from tomorrow. Super fitting as just 12 days ago, we began our journey in the same place.

Much happened during our motor from one anchorage to the next. As youll see from the pictures, the crew tackled the task of putting on our Gumby Suitslarge, red safety suits that will serve for both warmth and buoyancy in case of an emergency. Of course, we appreciate all the Gumby suits can do for us. However, we did not appreciate the smell nor the free sauna one experiences when within the suit on an already 85+ degree day.

That being said, after two in-depth (pun intended) lessons from Gabe on our Gumby suits and type-one life vests, the crew felt more prepared for our coming passage. It was also a mood boost after our failed fire alarm practices yesterday

Soon after anchoring in West End, Claire, Santana, and Rob embarked on the Grocery Quest. As honorary heroes of today, the three crew members returned, after five long hours, with 11 carts worth of groceries.

While they were at the grocery store, the rest of the crew members began passage preparations, something we had practiced a few days ago.

This involved 40/40-ing our cabins (equipping them for the scenario of 40 knots of wind and 40 degrees of tilt), disassembling dive gear, and killing Ply, our dinghy. Perhaps a more unwieldy moment of the day was loading Plys engine into the tiny entry of the lazaret lets just say it took us a few more attempts than we originally planned.

Other exciting moments of passage prep included Alex and Carson scraping barnacles off the rudder, Celia spotting a pair of dolphins (ahhhhh), and Will and Phoebe hanging precariously off the bowsprit.

Around 4 pm, we finally were given a break and had a few hours to spend on land. Most students chose to call family members and order large glasses of ice water (extra ice). Then, we all regrouped on the dock and loaded the endless stream of grocery bags into the dinghy: 5 trips and an uncountable amount of grocery bags later, all of our provisions were on board.

Then, it was crunch time. With the last of the crew arriving back on Argo at 5:00 pm and an impending dinner reservation at 6:00, it was all hands on deck to pack away provisions into the boat. Whether it was Will wrestling with the cans of beans, Charles head-first in the refrigerator, or Eddie and Sammy and their coconut milk jars, everyone had something to do.

We finished the day with a group dinner (on land!) at Omars, a beautiful sunset, and a nurse shark swimming right off the dock 🙂

We are now winding down, still packing away what seems like infinite cartons of milk into super awkward places, and listening to Gabes stories of when he was our age.

We are all super appreciative of the jam-packed day we have had. Sad to say some goodbyes, but also thrilled to begin an even crazier journey across the Atlantic.

Though we may not all feel ready, tomorrow we set sail.

Switching into beast mode. Accepting we will get less sleep. And about to conquer our next challenge.

Bring it.