Saturday, September 30, 2006

Angkor Wat

Author: Breandan

Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia

Today was our first day in Cambodia and everyone was excited to get going. We started off the day by visiting the Bayon temple. As soon as we stepped off the bus we got a taste of Cambodia when we were mobbed by locals trying to sell us everything from books to t-shirts. After escaping the frezy of solicitors we entered the temple and immediately were taken back by the breathtaking temple. After exploring Bayon for a bit we headed to lunch, for a real Cambodian meal which was fantastic. The next stop on our tour was at the Ta Prohm temple, where they filmed the Tombraider movies. This was by far my favorite temple. Inside we found massive trees growing all around that were actually part of the buildings. It was amazing. We finished the day by heading back to the hotel for a warm shower and a great meal. After spending only a day in Cambodia I'm already taken back by all it has to offer. I'm glad we got the opportunity to spend time in such a unique place!

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Friday, September 29, 2006

Travel Day

Author: Anna

Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia

What a busy day! We awoke at 5am to a thunderstorm hanging over Ko Chang, and after a very wet taxi ride arrived at the ferry terminal for the half hour ride across. On the mainland we loaded into two minibuses for the approx. 4 hour drive to the border, stopping only to get our pictures taken for the visa application. While our paperwork was being processed we had a very chaotic lunch, and then walked across the border and through immigrations. This took a couple of hours, and it was about 3pm when we finally boarded the bus that would take us all the way to our hotel. And what a ride that was! The road wasn't paved, but that sure didn't stop our bus driver from going full speed ahead. It was fascinating to see the Cambodian countryside pass by, full of beautiful fields and small villages with people waving to us at every turn. Everyone was excited to finally arrive at the hotel just after 7pm, have dinner, and join some Semester at Sea students for a swim in the pool. The hotel is gorgeous but we can't wait to get out and explore tomorrow!

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

More classes

Author: Kevin
Location: Ko Chang, Thailand

Last night the crew was notified of our engine troubles and offered a trip to Angkor Wat, Cambodia, to visit the ancient ruins. Today we got some classes out of the way while others went to shore. After dinner Boomer and I taught MTE class as a practical class. We went through all the fittings and Argo's rigging.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Many new adventures

Author: Mary H.

Location: Ko Chang, Thailand

Well, another day in Ko Chang!! Certainly not a terrible place to be stuck in! Our shore adventure today consisted of a spectacular and trying hike- much more intense than our walk to the waterfall yesterday. We found ourselves quite off the beaten path, making our way up and around another much larger waterfall. Rocks were clung to, slimy rocks balanced upon, and vines swung from- by far the most exciting, adventurous hike I've ever been on. We all turned up extremely dirty and tired, but most importantly excited and satisfied. Upon our return to Argo we found out the scale of our engine problem. It seems it will take about a week to fix- a let down but a golden opportunity for new, spontaneous adventure. We're headed to Cambodia! Everyone seems very pleased with this plan, despite the delay in sailing. We'll be heading for the border early Saturday and spend a good four days experiencing the ruins of Angkor Wat. We'll miss Argo but Saturday cannot come soon enough. What a delightful surprise to be headed into Cambodia.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Waterfalls

Author: Sam B.

Location: Ko Chang, Thailand

After a day of laying about the boat in hopes of hearing the engine power back up, we woke up this morning eager to set sail today. To pass time, the plan was to hike to a waterfall, have lunch, then explore Ko Chang until 4pm. The "45 minute" hike turned out to only be about ten minutes, but the waterfall was spectacular and the water was perfect for a dip. After the hike and lunch, the group split up to explore. We returned to Argo to find that the engine problem would not be easily fixed. Jim and the rest of the mechanics arrived right before dinner to work on the engine. Shepherd's Pie was enjoyed by all at dinner, but the swaying of Argo almost brought it back up for an unlucky mechanic.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Relaxing Day

Author: Ellie J.
Location: Ko Chang, Thailand

This morning we were hoping to set off across the gulf of Thailand for Ko Tao. Right before departure a slight problem with the engine arose. After working on it all afternoon, it was decided that we would stay in Ko Chang for an extra day or two. Therefore, we spent the afternoon in class, doing homework, and watching movies- quite relaxing. To end the day, backflips and other acrobatics were performed off the ship in the warm gulf water.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Elephants and Island Exploration

Author: Anna J.

Location: Ko Chang, Thailand

We started off the day with some delightful breakfast "buddies," and immediately set off in a taxi for an elephant trek on the island. A half hour of crazy hairpin turns later, we arrived and everyone boarded their elephant from a platform and spent the next hour strolling through the jungle. It was a totally new experience for most people, and everyone was amazed at the elephant's stability on narrow trails and streams. The afternoon was left open to explore the island. Some groups went by taxi to other parts of the island, while some explored the dock by our boat on foot. Everyone returned with fun stories of life on Ko Chang. After showers and a fiesta casserole for dinner, the crew headed out for a few hours on shore to experience some local nightlife.

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

BA and Provisioning #1

Author: Jim B.

Location: Ko Chang, Thailand

A slightly early wake up call brought the deckies to the bow to raise anchor and begin the short passage to Ko Chang from Ko Wai. After dropping anchor Anna, Chantale, and Mike left to provision and Eliot to find a needed hydraulic part. We didn't see them again until later that evening. The crew immediately got to work on BA. As a result of our efforts, Argo truly looks as she is meant to. Hull shining, and deck sparkling. We had Mexican night for dinner which was much enjoyed by all. As we wait for OCE to begin for the evening, there is a dance party of sorts going on in the salon. The crew is coming together.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Jungle exploration and open water dives

Author: Evie O.

Location: Ko Wai, Thailand

Today we woke up to a heart- healthy breakfast of oatmeal; prepared by chefs Evan and Eliot. After getting all of the dive gear out of the lazarette, we broke into two groups for our first open water dive session. Although none of the staff had dove in this particular spot before, it was said to be good. While the first group dove, the rest of the shipmates headed towards shore for some exploring/jungle hiking. Right before lunch we caught some of Boomer's windsurfing and later got to see Kevin too. The afternoon was the reverse schedule of the morning; divers went to shore and vice versa. Just before dinner we prepared Argo to motor towards Ko Chang tomorrow morning and set off for our second MTE class at 7:30.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sailing!

Author: Rosy W.

Location: Ko Wai, Thailand

Today was our first day with the sails up! We woke up a little earlier than usual to gt ready to make our way, sixty nautical miles, down to Ko Chang. The island is actually part of a small archipeleago that is quite close to the Cambodian border. Although we didn't have much wind when we set out from Ko Samet, we raised our sails anyway. Managing the sails on Argo can seem like a daunting task, but everyone took to it quickly. Later in the afternoon the wind picked up a bit, allowing us to cut back on the motor and also cool us off! We came in to anchor just south of Ko Chang at a smaller island called Ko Wai. The islands looked beautiful even through the torrential rain that started coming down in the afternoon, and lasted through dinner.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

More Diving

Author: Rosy W.
Location: Ko Samet, Thailand

We had a great breakfast of cereal then broke right into more diving. Eliot finally arrived, so now we have our full crew, and he jumped right in to helping lead and teach the rest of the confined water diving skills we needed to learn. We also finished our knowledge reviews for diving and worked really hard for our dive certification tests. After our delicious dinner of spaghetti and nice spicy sauce, we had a meeting about watch teams and ship life while we are underway. We begin actually sailing tomorrow, which is really exciting, the meeting briefed us on what to expect, but I can't wait to actually experience it!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Day of Dives

Author: Mike C.

Location: Ko Samet, Thailand

I was stoked to get out of my bunk this morning! After a great breakfast, half the group went to the crazy Thai holiday resort of Ko Samet while the other half did their PADI knowledge reviews and confined water dives. Everyone met back on board for lunch and then we crossed over and switched schedules. After dinner we all finished first aid and had the exam. What a great day!

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Second Day

Author: Peter H.

Location: Ko Samet, Thailand

Got underway shortly after 0600 and steamed to Ko Samet. Breakfast was cereal and yogurt. Steamed all day until dinner at Ko Samet. Everyone had showers and were happy to swim in clean water. Everyone is tired but tonight is the first night of the watch so we will be awake again.

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

First Day

Author: Boomer

Location: Ko Sichang, Thailand

We awoke today anchored off Ko Sichang. After a nice breakfast the crew went shortly to discuss diving and then headed to shore for a tour of the Buddhist monastery. After returning to Argo and a hearty lunch of golf charlies and chilli we had our first marine bio class. This was followed by a tour of the local marine center and some free shore time. We capped off the day with a good dinner and a nautical science course. Good start!

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Welcome Aboard

Author: Anna
Location: Ko Sichang, Thailand

Today Argo welcomed aboard her new crew of 18 shipmates. Everyone is excited to have finally arrived and to start learning about the program and boat. After a quick lunch of local Thai food and some paperwork, everyone rotated through three different areas of the boat- learning about the galley, deck, and charthouse. After showers and a delicious chilli dinner came another meeting, and finally reading, unpacking, and bedtime for our weary travelers.