Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Feb 3 Argo Update

Quick update form the crew of Argo in Guadeloupe.

Feb 16 Argo Update

Skipper of the day Chris calls in the first Podcast update from Spring Sea|mester 2011

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mega BA

Author: Leah Shopneck
Location: Antigua
As the sun rose this morning over the 150 foot yacht docked off our stern, the smell of Ned and Kira's breakfast wafted from the galley: a smorgasbord of pancakes and other delicious foods was on the menu for our last breakfast as a crew. After a quick clean up we kicked off a BA unlike any other BA. Usually during our routine post passage boat appreciations we clean out the fridge, cover the sails and wash the deck, but today we went beyond our past check lists. We also made every pin sparkle, the haul shine with a little elbow grease and every cabin and bunk look like it was cleaned by a professional. Despite the rain showers that we endured throughout the day, Argo now looks like a mega yacht ready to race in a regatta. As the last deck brush was put away the smiles and watery eyes of the crew showed the pride that they had in their beloved vessel. This may be the last day the Spring 2010 crew of S/Y Argo is complete in order to recite our well practiced count off, but this only begins our journey down the 'road less travelled." From this point forward we have chosen a path that will be full of adventure and a group of friends that are always there to share those adventures.

*To the crew of Argo: As I write this final blog entry, I'm sitting at the chart house table thinking about how Argo already misses the businesses of a full boat. It may be only 7 o'clock in the morning but usually by this hour 24 people are laughing in the salon or on deck sipping their coffee. The quietness is almost deafening. So for one final time, thank you to the Spring 2010 crew of Argo and the people that made this adventure possible for those 24, these past 90 days were one for the record books*

Monday, April 12, 2010

Exploring Antigua

Author: Cammie Burke
Location: Antigua
Today was our last free day aboard Argo so we had the day completely open to explore Antigua. In the last two days our world has taken a 360 degree turn, where we went from being on the open ocean to now being surrounded by the ritziest mega yachts I have ever seen. The staff took some of the crew around the docks and talked to them about the various boats while other people explored the town. It is strange to be back in civilization and words cannot describe the feeling of knowing that I will be leaving Argo in a day.
Although it is heart wrenching to think of leaving Argo, I kept the squeeze question light and asked everyone their funniest moment aboard Argo. It was absolutely hilarious to relive the hysterical moments we have had the last 88 days and by the end of the squeeze my stomach hurt so bad from laughing. My 23 Argo family members have made this a trip of a lifetime and I will keep these memories with me forever.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thank You Leah

Author: Kevin Johnsen
Location: Antigua
I have good news and bad news. The good news is we have just arrived in Antigua, our final destination. The bad news is Im not going to tell you about it. Youll have to wait for tomorrow. Today I want to talk about Leah Anne Shopneck. Leah is one of the staff members onboard. Shes responsible for a number of things, but I basically think of her as a keystone take her away and the whole program collapses. Included among her duties is bringing you this blog. And although youve never met her, for the last 87 days shes been tirelessly working for you. Shes the woman behind the camera, always remembering to take pictures while the rest of us are busy playing in waterfalls. Shes the one that motivates and reminds each of us to write our skippers blog. Shes the one who always somehow manages to find internet no matter how remote our location or how slow the connection speed. And she is the one that courageously battles the technological problems inherent in the process. Its an incredible amount of work and if youre reading this, youve obviously been following them. If the blog is a window into our world, Leah is the frame. And since, unfortunately, you cant thank her in person I thought Id do it for all us.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

If this were a country song, IÕd have my wife back, my dog would be alive, and IÕd be rich

Author: Ariana Tobias
Location: Deshaise, Guadeloupe
Forgive me for writing this log in reverse, but I have to start with a description of our last passage prep. Our plan is to leave Guadeloupe in the middle of the night tonight, to ensure a mid-morning arrival in Antigua, our final destination. After a bittersweet pep talk from Dan, reminding us that these last 40 miles deserve the same high performance standard as the previous 6,200, we rolled straight into passage prep from dinner cleanup.
I wish words could describe how proud and impressed I was by the flawless execution of the 'Pre-Cruise Check List." As skipper, it was incredible to be able to watch the flurry of activity as we hauled up the dinghies and secured them on deck, prepared the sails, re-coiled the lines, put all the dive gear away, got the laundry off the lifelines, filled the day tank with fuel, ran the jack lines, and secured our personal belongings down below.
It was like (if youll excuse the clich simile) conducting a symphony every player in place, every note perfectly played. I want to give a huge thank you to the staff for taking a rag-tag group of teen- and twenty-somethings, land-lubbers and pollywogs, and using the past 85 days to turn us into a professional crew. And of course, kudos to my fellow shipmates, who are the best group of people you could ever hope to cross an ocean with, en route from South Africa to the Caribbean.
I had to start with that, but the rest of the day was no less remarkable. In the pouring afternoon rain, we set up the 'boomswing" (which is exactly what it sounds like). A dedicated group of eight took charge of raising the boom and securing the lines, and the whole group had a blast launching themselves off the boat, swinging across the water, and dropping (some more gracefully than others) into the water. We ended the day with more than a few bright red bellies and backs, and Stephanie the undisputed champion of the backflip.
Lunch was a delicious Mexican feast of quesadillas, and the morning consisted of an optional river hike in Deshaise for those of us not retaking any exams. Breakfast was cereal at 0730, preceded by wake-ups at 0700 by yours truly. Phew, reliving a day backwards is hard work, but I couldnt have asked for a better last day as skipper.

Friday, April 9, 2010

End of Finals Week

Author: Cat Buckley
Location: Deshaise, Guadeloupe
Today was another fantastic day in Guadeloupe. We awoke to some scrumptious breakfast muffins and cereal. After clean up, we all split to go a few different places. Some chose to go diving, others to shore while a few hung around the boat to study. At lunch we all traded places. By the time dinner rolled around most everyone had had a chance to explore the underwater wonderland and the enchanting little town of Deshaise. It was a nice relaxing day, wandering around town, eating ice cream, swimming, studying, reading and diving; a much needed day of randr as our 'finals week" winds down. As usual, at six we all gathered together for our beloved squeeze and a hearty dinner of chili and rice. A few eating contest and boxes of Salticrax later it was time for the Marine Biology fish identification quiz. Now we are all scattered around the boat, chatting in the bunks, watching movies or spread out in the salon cramming for our last big exam. Its hard to believe our time on Argo is going to be over so soon; it feels like just yesterday we were all moving on board, meeting each other, learning about the classes and the parts of the ship. Though I will no longer be here physically come the end of the trip, Argo and the people and experiences I have had will remain with me for years to come. This has truly been an inspiring, revitalizing and live changing ride, for that I thank Argo and her crew. I am grateful to all of you for livingfor living lives unimagined!
-Always Cat (Skip of the Day)
*This blog contains pictures from the previous day's diving at Pigeon Island*