Friday, August 18, 2006

Goodbyes are the worst!

Author: Sara B.
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Our 40 days have come to a close today, sadly. It is so surreal to be saying goodbye and leaving Argo behind. We have been avoiding the sad reality by keeping busy all morning with our monster boat appreciation day. We tried to return every bit of the love to Argo that she has given us on her maiden voyage. We scrubbed, polished and swept until Argo was spotless and even more beautiful than usual. In an hour we will depart for Bangkok for good. All in all, as the first crew of Argo, we have learned, loved, and lost a few dishes, and we will step off the boat stronger, smarter and better people. Argo will always stay in our hearts and minds and I hope she will continue to keep crews safe and happy on journeys to come.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Exam Day!

Author: Blair
Location: Ko Sichang, Thailand

We woke up this morning back in Ko Sichang where the trip started. The day was spent studying for our oceanography exam and our nautical science final. As we were taking our finals, many of us commented on how amazing it is to take a final exam on the deck of Argo, anchored in Thailand! After our exams, we sadly began to pack our stuff. Argo was covered with our bags and clothes as we had limited space to pack. We had an amazing dinner prepared by a local restaurant on Ko Sichang, which we all enjoyed. After dinner, we had closing program, an activity that consisted of a slide show and writing appreciation notes to each other. A few of us stayed up past midnight to wish Alan a happy birthday and then we were rocked to sleep for the last time on Argo.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Back to Ko Sichang!

Author: Chantale
Location: Ko Sichang, Thailand

After sailing in fast through most of the night on a broad reach, the wind slowed down in the early morning and we turned the engine on to help us get back to Ko Sichang quickly. Watch teams held us on course through the morning, and after lunch with had an oceanography class where we sampled water at the surface and at depth to test salinity, temperature and dissolved oxygen, followed by a final review in Nautical Science. As the wind was getting lower and lower, we took sails down right before dinner and arrived back in Ko Sichang, where we started the voyage on Argo 37 days ago. The evening was spent doing an oceanography review and studying for final exams tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Advanced divers!

Author: Scott

Location: Ko Tao, Thailand

Sailing to Ko Tao, we had a reefed main and a staysail, and with the wind over 20 knots we made good time. After dropping the hook a rather tired crew had a quick breakfast then hopped in the tender for the first dive of the day. Tanks were pumped during oceanography class. The crew then gorged on Boomer's famous grilled sandwiches. Tenders were loaded for the deep dive, after which gear was stowed and sails hoisted in record time. A tired bunch of newly certified PADI advanced divers sailed to Ko Sichang.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Day in Chaweng

Author: Zen Alan

Location: Chaweng beach, Ko Samui, Thailand

0830 Oceanography class; 0930 Dinghy rides to Chewang beach. Today we spent the morning and afternoon on shore. Several of us had some sweet clothes made by local tailors, and then we showed them off on Argo with a fashion show. At 2200, Boomer surprised us all with a fire drill, and we began our sail to Ko Tao.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Riding elephants

Author: Katie T.

Location: Ko Samui, Thailand

Today was our big day of touring Ko Samui. After our oceanography quiz in the morning we went to shore, got picked up by our van and headed a little creek where most of us canoed around, while others struggled with the steering and just went in circles. Next, we went to nice waterfalls where several of us swam in the pools. Then it was time to ride elephants! After our ride we watched a monkey show and an elephant show, during which Sarah M. and Bree got a massage from an elephant. To cap it all off, we went for a late lunch of local food in town and had an hour to tour around town before heading back to Argo. We heard a poem during the squeeze, and after dinner talked about fisheries in oceanography class.Today was our big day of touring Ko Samui. After our oceanography quiz in the morning we went to shore, got picked up by our van and headed a little creek where most of us canoed around, while others struggled with the steering and just went in circles. Next, we went to nice waterfalls where several of us swam in the pools. Then it was time to ride elephants! After our ride we watched a monkey show and an elephant show, during which Sarah M. and Bree got a massage from an elephant. To cap it all off, we went for a late lunch of local food in town and had an hour to tour around town before heading back to Argo. We heard a poem during the squeeze, and after dinner talked about fisheries in oceanography class.

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Friday, August 11, 2006

Samui

Author: Sarah M.

Location: Ko Samui

After a cereal breakfast, we all attended an oceanography class then prepared for a half day on shore. We took the dinghy to the beach (Chaweng beach) and spent the morning exploring, shopping and then we had lunch at the local cafes. At 1400, everyone came back on board for our navigation dive. This turned out to be quite an adventure as there was current and a couple of feet of visibility, but everyone managed to stay calm and do their best! After a final scheduling meeting we went back to the beach for a fun night out-lots of dancing!

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Chaweng!

Author: Bree

Location: Chaweng Bay, Ko Samui

This morning we woke up within sight of Ko Samui. After dropping sails and dropping anchor, Boomer headed into town to clear immigration while the rest of us gave Argo some serious cleaning love. A few people even went up the rigging in order to polish the spreaders. When we were done, Argo gleamed! After lunch on board we took the dinghies into shore to explore the island. Shopping, internet, and waterfalls were on the agenda. Dinghies back to Argo at 1700 in time for dinner and a nautical science class before bed.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Lovely day to go sailing!

Author: Katie E.
Location: Gulf of Thailand

The crew are all in high spirits to be at sea. We continue with the watch teams after a lovely moonlit sail up the Malaysian coast and into Thailand. We are all excited to be on our way to Ko Samui. We had an oceanography class at 1300 and nautical science class at 1400 on deck. It's great to be back sailing. We are averaging 7 knots and hopefully will be arriving in Ko Samui at 0900 tomorrow morning. Until then it will be another moonlit sail tonight!

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Off to Thailand

Author: Boomer

Location: Gulf of Thailand

The day started with clearance from Malaysia and preparation for sailing. The crew of Argo then skillfully left the dock in a 3 knot current and headed to sea. Next stop Ko Samui, Thailand. The wind was light and the seas calm through the night. Watch team rotations are back on and the crew is happy to be back at sea.

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Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Malay traditional boat building

Author: Tom

Location: Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia

Our first activity was to check out a sailboat that was built in traditional Malay fashion. The project was headed by a German man named Chris. He has spent years trying to revive this old way of boat building which has fallen by the wayside, for most of the local community. The boats are built without plans and constructed by eye. We were joined at the exhibition by the German ambassador in Malaysia, and the local press. We then took some time in town to use the internet and grab some lunch, served by an Indian man who sang Elvis Presley songs for us. That afternoon we joined Chris and the ambassador again for a tour of a traditional style Malaysian home, owned by a member of the royal family. We were also treated to a traditional music and martial arts demonstration. All in all, it was an enlightening day of unique opportunities.

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Monday, August 7, 2006

In the Malaysian Interior

Author: Jason

Location: Terengganu, Malaysia

At 9am we began our tour of the Malaysian interior. We road-tripped through the Malaysian countryside where cows and goats roam freely before arriving at Sekayu waterfalls. We hiked through rainforest and braved leeches and a few minor injuries to swim in the clear waters of some of Malaysia's best waterfalls. We then got to witness the craft of Batik first hand , watching as the hot wax was poured on the cloth to create beautiful patterns, which of course were available at the gift shop. We concluded our tour with a look at Terengganu's history at the local museum, the largest in Malaysia. It was historical and informative and the perfect way to end our stay in Malaysia.

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Sunday, August 6, 2006

Back to Argo!

Author: Catherine

Location: Terengganu, Malaysia

0700: wake up on the big island of Pulau Perentian Besar. 0730: breakfast. 0830: OCE class. 1000-noon: free time: scuba (saw sharks!), jungle trekking, napping, reading, poolside relaxation etc.. Noon: ferry back to the mainland. 1300: lunch in Kuala Besut. 1400-1600: van back to Argo... wow she looks great at the end of the dock among the 8 Monsoon Cup boats. 1600-1800: unpack, clean berths, relax, change into clean laundry :) 1800: Squeeze and dinner (pad thai and salad!). 1930: MTE class, received midterms back (everyone passed!), and enjoyed the sailing adventure tales of Paul, a Danish cruiser anchored next to us.

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Saturday, August 5, 2006

Sharks!

Author: Sara B.

Location: Pulau Perentian Besar, Malaysia

Today was the second day of our little land excursion. We've been spoiled with a breakfast buffet and fresh juice and shakes with every meal. We have still kept up with school work though and had an oceanography class in the morning, after some went snorkeling (and saw small reef sharks!) while others hiked or read. After a nice lunch of American food and lots of French fries , we had an oceanography lab on the beach. Then we had some free time before our MTE midterm. After the midterm we had a delicious local dinner and a few Tigers and card games. Arwana has been good to us!

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Friday, August 4, 2006

Expedition to Perentian Besar

Author: Blair

Location: Pulau Perentian Besar, Malaysia

We woke up this morning to crepes cooked by Jason and Bree. After breakfast, the shipmates, with Chantale and Jason, packed for a camping trip to Perentian island! We loaded the cab and drove about 2 hours north. It was a great way to see the mainland of Malaysia! We then arrived to the ferry boat docks where we all bought fisherman pants. We arrived at our beautiful resort on Pulau Perentian Besar by lunch time and were greeted with welcome drinks. The rest of the day was spent reading by the pool, relaxing on white sandy beaches and exploring the jungle. We had an amazing dinner at the 'Be First', a little hut on the beach. After dinner, we all went back to our dorm room for a wonderful night of sleep.

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Thursday, August 3, 2006

Back in Terengganu

Author: Chantale

Location: Terengganu, Malaysia

This morning we woke up early and lifted anchor in the dark at 6 am and started motoring towards Terengganu while most of the crew was still asleep. We had our general wake up a couple of hours later and were treated to a nice scrambled egg breakfast by Katie E. and Sara B. We anchored in Terengganu at 9am and had the day to tour around town, catch up on email and phone calls, and study for the oceanography midterm, which we had right after dinner. All are looking forward to our expedition to Perentian!

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Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Mexican Asian fusion

Author: Scott

Location: Pulau Kappas

After a quick breakfast we waved goodbye to the picturesque Pulau Tenggol. At last we had the wind aft of the beam as we headed North East towards Terengganu. The breeze picked up and we had a cracking sail as Argo topped 9.5 knots. Oceanography and Nautical Science classes were held on deck during the sail. Shortly after lunch the wind started to die away. This left us doing 4 knots as we approached Pulau Kappas. Boomer summoned a quick vote and our destination was changed from Terengganu to Pulau Kappas. The crew spent the afternoon swimming in Kappas gin clear waters and playing volleyball with the locals. We still had Mexican night to look forward to. And Boomer definitely lived up to his billing as king of Mexican.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2006

A day in the life

Author: Alan
Location: Pulau Tenggol

A quiet morning in Pulau Tenggol reminded us all that we truly are 'a little blue speck caught in a beam of light' (Carl Sagan)). Some of the group then embarked on a nature hike that was a bit more rock climbing and vine swinging than hiking, but the view at the top made it all worthwhile. All the students then enlightened the staff with their oceanography presentations. And the squeeze was a guided meditation for the ages.