Tuesday, October 31, 2006

First day in Singapore

Author: Lauren

Location: Sentosa Island, Singapore

Our first full day in Singapore was today. After a morning BME class, everyone headed into town to begin exploring. There was a lot to see on Sentosa Island, where our marina is, but the majority headed across the bridge to downtown- some even took the cable cars! We made it back to the boat early so that we could have our squeeze at 5, rather than the regular 6pm. We had a night out ahead of us, and this time we were able to have dinner out as well. Even though everyone went their separate ways, we all managed to find great food and good dancing.

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween in Singapore

Author: Allan

Location: Singapore

After an overnight passage leaving from the pristine waters of Pulau Aur, we arrived in the most heavily trafficked waters in the world. Following a successful navigation of the Singapore Straits, we entered Singapore's quarantine zone. While waiting for the immigrations boat the crew gave some good lovin' to Argo, shining all her steel and getting everything straightened away. A couple hours later we were allowed to leave quarantine to go to the marina. Once all straightened out in the marina, we all went ashore to explore. Singapore is huge. Later that night was a costume party and pizza.

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Last day in Pulau Aur

Author: Eliot

Location: underway

Our last full day in Pulau Aur started a little slowly after a late night the previous night. A morning navigation dive as part of the advanced open water certification served to wake everybody up and after lunch a second group splashed in as well. The rest of the afternoon was spent preparing for our passage that evening. As night descended and dinner was cleaned up we turned our bow to Singapore and left this beautiful island behind.

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

diving and beach BBQ

Author: Ashley

Location: Pulau Aur, Malaysia

We woke up this morning to two clogged heads! Marine engineering students took the opportunity to learn about the systems and helped unclog them. The afternoon was full of diving, snorkeling, and swimming. In the evening we all headed to shore for a beach BBQ. Some of us challenged the locals to a soccer game on the beach. All in all, it was a great day on the beautiful island of Pulau Aur.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Reef checks

Author: Breandan

Location: Pulau Aur, Malaysia

Today was a wonderful, relaxing day. The morning consisted of intro to reef checks. Reef checks are a program that allows ordinary divers to do simple tasks and check the stability and quality of a reef. The info we gather is then put into a database in California for the world to look at on the web. In the afternoon half of us did a reef check while the others hung out and relaxed. Everyone loved the dive and were happy to help the reefs. Can't wait for tomorrow!

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Argo stern to

Author: Kevin

Location: Pulau Aur, Malaysia

Today we woke up to a beautiful backdrop of Pulau Pemanggil. After some oatmeal and cereal we split the group for diving and shore time. It was our first deep dive and the advanced divers learned the effects of nitrogen at depth. A few people went out in search of adventure and climbed to the top of the island. After a quick lunch we weighed anchor and set a course for Pulau Aur. We were all a bit sad to leave the beautiful scenery but were soon surprised by our new anchorage. Crystal clear water welcomed us as we put Argo stern to the beach for the first time.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

sailing to Pemanggil

Author: Mary

Location: Pulau Pemanggil, Maylasia

It was a busy, action- packed day for Argo and her crew. After finishing a delicious oatmeal breakfast prepared by chefs Rosy and Tim, we set to work to 40/40 Argo for passage. Our next destination, Pemanggil! Our passage was a short few hours but eventful. The wind allowed us to raise all sails except the flying jib, and sail for the first time headed off on a broad and beam reach. To ensure there was no accidental jibing, the use of preventers was required for the first time and we got to secure them. Kevin and Eliot also assembled a crew to extend the flying jib sheets, and much fun was had while learning to splice and whip the lines together. Arriving at Pemanggil, a beautiful and remote island, the PSCT class members were put to the test and placed in charge of striking/flaking all the sails and anchoring the boat. The practice course proved both successful and fun. The evening found all shipmates tired but excited with the adventure and accomplishments of passage.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

BA and provisioning

Author: Sam
Location: Pulau Tioman, Malaysia

This morning was jam- packed with much needed work done by the crew. The day started off with rain leading to an indoor scheduling meeting, followed by a mostly indoor BA. Kevin and I designated specific jobs for everyone onboard while a select few went to the mainland to provision. The crew focused on their personal spaces, eliminating the odors which will probably return in a few days. BA gave me a power high for a few great hours. Lunch and the majority of the afternoon were spent on shore eating, emailing, and shopping. Marine biology followed dinner, and Talladega Nights followed the class; a great movie to top off a great day.

Monday, October 23, 2006

arrival in Tioman

Author: Ellie
Location: Pulau Tioman, Malaysia

This morning we arrived in Pulau Tioman, one of the most beautiful islands in the world according to Time magazine. The musical South Pacific was filmed in Tioman years ago, which has brought a fair amount of tourism to the island. Therefore those who spent the afternoon on shore were able to catch up on email as well as work on their highly anticipated Halloween costumes. Rolls of Mentos, numerous ice cream treats, and ice cold soda pops were consumed at a dangerous rate. Overall, a successful and rewarding day as skipper.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Under the Sea and Over the Waves

Author: Anna

Location: underway

Today our crew experienced the best of both worlds on Argo. First thing in the morning everyone participated in an underwater naturalist drift dive for their advanced certification, in which exciting things like a shark, moray eel, and Titan Triggerfish were spotted. Immediately after returning to the boat sails went up and the bow was pointed towards Pulau Tioman, 120 nautical miles away. Passage life agrees with everyone, and shipmates relaxed by reading, napping, playing cards, telling stories under the shade of the sails, or doing some homework when they weren't on watch. Dinner was served on deck just before sunset while under full sail, and the addition of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies made the busy day complete. Leaving Tengol after such a short period was sad, but Tioman promises to bring some excitement as it is new to everyone onboard.

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Night Dive and Turtles

Author: Jim

Location: Pulau Tengol, Malaysia

We had an early morning arrival into Pulau Tengol after a short three mile passage from Pulau Kappas. The morning was spent aboard as well as snorkeling around the point in order to orient ourselves for the upcoming night dive. In the afternoon some went ashore to explore the epic jungle of Tengol while others relaxed on the beach and free dove. Finally our anticipation was met with a stellar night dive. The rays, eels, and many fish were a delight to see in the exciting darkness of the night sea. Following the dive one of the local resorts invited us to watch and participate in the release of some baby sea turtles they had been nurturing as a conservation project. The sight of these tiny wonders finding the sea for the first time was an utter delight.

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Jungle adventures and boom swinging

Author: Evie

Location: Pulau Kappas, Malaysia

Today, as our last day in Pulau Kappas, we knew we had to take full advantage of the sunny weather and beautiful scenery. We started off the day on a windward/leeward hike through the jungle. Kevin, Boomer, Tommy, and Ashley were a little ahead of the rest of us and got to see not only a python but a miniature lizard. On the windward side of the island some of the group resorted to primitive methods of getting fruit down from a tree; throwing rocks at it. However, when that failed Jim save the day with his tree climbing skills and retrieved the fruit. Upon returning we enjoyed a cake and PB+J lunch, which was proceeded by hours of boom swinging and fun for everyone and a few injuries for some (Boomer and Kevin). After dinner we got some nap time in before setting sail to Tenggol.

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Another Beautiful Day

Author: Tom

Location: Pulau Kappas, Malaysia

It was another beautiful day at Pulau Kappas. After a dive in the morning, everyone onboard is a certified diver. With all the training dives now out of the way, we are all looking forward to doing some real dives and many are ready to work towards an advanced certification. In addition, today the engineering class learned about the fresh water system onboard Argo. After a post- lunch seamanship class and some more swimming, we all got ready for our night out. At a nearby resort, which was virtually empty, we had an amazing BBQ. We all stuffed our faces and had some heated games of fooze-ball. I don't think we could have asked for a better day.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Finally diving again!

Author: Rosy

Location: Pulau Kappas

Today was bright, sunny, and beautiful and the majority of the day was spent in the sparkling clear water. We went scuba diving in the morning to complete our Open Water dive #2 certification dive, and then again in the afternoon to complete Open Water #3. We are now only one more dive away from being certified. Today was by far the best diving we have seen; there were tons of brightly colored reef fish, clown fish in sea anenomes, puffer fish, barracuda, and one blue spotted stingray. The many different kinds of coral and urchins added to the underwater beauty, making the whole experience very memorable. The day was busy but relaxed at the same time and ended well with a new and succesful dinner of pizza.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Best Day Yet!!

Author: Mike C.

Location: Pulau Kappas

Well today was probably my best day yet on our good ship Argo. After Boomer cleared out of Terengganu, and we had finished with an SLD course, we headed out of the brown river water and hazy complexion that Terengganu had to offer. We motored eastwardly, on our way the water slowly turned bluer and the sky followed suit. After dropping anchor we all went ashore for an MTE lecture on the beach which meant that afterwards we were free to explore our own deserted tropical paradise island. We walked along beaches, delved into bat caves, snorkeled among hundreds of reef fish and corals, all before getting back on Argo for dinner. After that, OCB was held was had and I think I can say for everyone that after an action packed day, Argo rocked us to sleep very nicely.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Field Trip

Author: Peter

Location: Terengganu, Malaysia

Today we went on a field trip after brunch and it was good. We met the Sultan's cousin and got to see his home. After we went to a boat yard and saw some old style boats being built. Some spent the afternoon aboard while others went to shore. We rounded off the evening with an exciting scheduling meeting that everyone seemed to love. We leave tomorrow for Pulau Kappas.

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Transferring fue in Terengganu

Author: Boomer

Location: Terengganu, Malaysia

Today we started the day with an OCE quiz coupled with an engineering class. The BME students learned how to transfer fuel today! After was a PSCT class where we learned about lines of position and running fixes. After class we went to shore to explore. Being Ramadan now we could not eat or drink in public and that was a bit of a foreign concept for some. The day was ended with a lecture on dangerous marine animals.

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Terengganu

Author: Nickie

Location: Terengganu, Malaysia

This morning we woke up and motored into the Terengganu River canal to dock Argo, while dodging a few fishing boats along the way. After lunch some shipmates gave presentations about Malaysia's history and culture and then we went ashore to experience it for ourselves. After dinner we had an awesome guest come talk to us about traditional Malaysian sailing boats and his effort to preserve this skillful craft of building them, as they've been used in the spice trade for 1,000 years.

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Almost there...

Author: Evan

Location: Terangganu, Malaysia

Today was another fantastic passage day. We talked and we laughed, especially about a group of birds that followed us all day and landed on the boat, our hands, and even our heads. We kept up our watch schedules and will arrive in Terangganu late this evening. We are all very excited about being in Malaysia.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Clear waters at last

Author: Mike M.

Location: underway

This morning was an early wake up call for some, and a time to sleep for the night watch teams. The morning was full of lounging on deck for some and studying hard for biology midterms for others. In the late afternoon we stopped in the middle of the Gulf and went for a quick swim and shower. I have never seen seawater that crystal clear and blue in my life. We would swim 20 feet down and could see as clearly as at the surface. We got some great views of the hull underwater, which was a really cool perspective. After dinner and clean up the winds picked up out of nowhere and after raising the jib, we were soon cruising at just over 9 knots, which had everyone really excited. It was the first tie we've really sailed in good winds, and it was a blast.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Busy Day

Author: Claire
Location: underway

Today was a busy day! In the morning we did BA, or boat appreciation, which entailed a full blown clean up of Argo. By noon she was shining and for our efforts the crew was rewarded with Thai take out food for lunch (it may have also had something to do with the fact that the galley was utterly out of commission all morning). After lunch clean up we were given a few hours to go to shore but had to be back and showered for dinner by 6pm as usual. As soon as dinner was finished we all prepared the boat for our passage to Kuala Terangganu. All in all it was a rewarding day. Argo is looking beautiful for our impending arrival in Malaysia.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Fun Times!

Author: Tim

Location: Ko Samui, Thailand

Today we woke up to a breakfast of cheese and eggs. Then the BME students had an optional class to change the oil and stuff on the generator. Afterwards everyone (basically) went to shore to explore on their own, with lunch on shore. Everyone came back at around 4-4:30 to shower and swim and then eat. After clean up we are going to our night out. Fun times!

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Monday, October 9, 2006

Operation Ko Samui

Author: Chris
Location: Ko Samui, Thailand

Argo and her crew made safe passage to Ko Samui this morning. Although there were a few problems in the engine room, we arrived in port at around 5:30am- only a few hours off schedule. After dropping anchor the crew was able to rest until the 7:15 wakeup call for breakfast. Proceeding classes, much of the crew ventured ashore to experience the sights of our new port. The weather seemed to be clearing just before dinner, but a quick shower forced us below to the salon to dine. Tonight we will be scheduling for the coming week's classes, activities, and passages. It's good to be on the move again.

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Passage to Ko Samui

Author: Chantale

Location: underway

After motor-sailing through the night with 2 sails, we put up another 2 sails early this morning and increased our speed. Watch teams kept rotating on a 3 hours on, 6 hours off schedule, and in the afternoon we had an oceanography class followed by a nautical science class on deck. After classes, most of the crew cooled off with buckets of salt water on deck. The wind was close to our bow for most of the day and we had to keep the engine on to keep on course at good speed, but around dinner time the wind veered to the west and we managed to turn the engine off for several hours and finally sail Argo under wind power alone, which we're all excited about! We're making good speed and will be arriving in Ko Samui before day light.

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Saturday, October 7, 2006

Passage to Ko Samui

Author: Lauren

Location: underway

We finally made it out of Ko Chang! There was still a little engine work that needed to be done this morning, along with a test motor around Ko Chang, but by noon we were finally underway! Shortly before 1 the engines were off again so Kevin, Boomer, and the marine engineering class could remove some pieces of smoldering insulation in the engine room, but we were back on track before 2. The rest of the day brought us the most sunshine we've had in a while, and lots of crew members have the sunburns to prove it. We broke into our watch teams for the first time this semester and we are finally getting the chance to put up some sails and learn how to make a ship like Argo travel smoothly from point A to B. Everything is running beautifully and we can only hope that tomorrow goes just as well and takes us safely to Ko Samui.

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Friday, October 6, 2006

Last Day in Ko Chang!

Author: Allan
Location: Ko Chang, Thailand

Our engine is so close to being fixed. The original schedule had us leaving for Ko Samui at 10pm, however, it looks like we'll be pushing departure to sunrise. Most of the morning was spent in class hiding from the rain, but as lunch came near we began to hear rumors of the sun coming out. Before we knew it, many of us (or at least myself) had some vicious sunburns. Considering the sun has been hiding for the past few days, I'll welcome the pain. Overall it was a pleasant day aboard Argo and all of us can't wait to set sail tomorrow.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Busy Day

Author: Eliot
Location: Ko Chang, Thailand

Today has been a day full of cooking, class, and Ko Chang. After breakfast we had a fascinating lecture on marine bio algae, followed by a trip into the engine room for the engineering students to see some of the inner workings of our boat, while others went to shore. After three hours of preparation our hearty lunch of baked potatoes disappeared in minutes and a sailing test was done just as quick. Most people went to shore in the afternoon and returned laden down with prickly heat powder and suits just before shower hour. We had a huge lasagna for dinner and finished the day with one final lecture on meteorology for our professional skippers class. Now it's time to retire to the cockpit to listen to Tommy work his magic on the guitar before bed. Good night.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Traveling

Author: Breandan

Location: Ko Chang, Thailand

After an early wake up we all couldn't wait for the two different five hour bus rides we had ahead of us. The first being from Siem Reap to the Thai border and that was a fun ride. Five hours in a bus made for people under 5'2 on unpaved roads full of obstacles was excellent. After getting through immigrations we ate a good lunch and got on the mini buses for another ride to the ferry. The ferry ride was enjoyable due to the sights during the ride. We finally got back to Ko Chang and couldn't wait for a hot meal and sleep. Getting back to Argo was a relief.

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Tuesday, October 3, 2006

First Day Back

Author: Ashley
Location: Ko Chang, Thailand

Today was our first day back from Cambodia and everyone seems to be adjusting back well from our mini vacation. After breakfast we made our schedule of classes and activities for our upcoming passage to Ko Samui. After our scheduling meeting some people decided to head to shore for entertainment, while some chose to stay on the boat and were given the opportunity to learn how to drive the dinghy. All in all the day was a good ease back into life aboard. We're happy to be back; we all missed Argo.

Monday, October 2, 2006

Last Night in Cambodia

Author: Lauren

Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia

Today was the last full day in Cambodia, and we started it off with a basic seamanship class by the pool. After breakfast we met Sophat, our guide, who showed us the floating village on Tonle Sap lake. We then returned to Siem Reap and took a tour of an artisan school, where young people from rural villages learn traditional Cambodian crafts. The gift shop had some pretty great things! After lunch, our last stop of the day was the Cambodian land mine museum. It was founded by a man named Aki Ra, who was a child soldier in the Khmer Rouge regime and was then kidnapped by the Vietnamese army before he joined a UN force de-mining his country. The donations he receives from his museum go towards maintaining a landmine clearing crew. Afterwards we made it back to the hotel for a marine bio class and got ready to go out to dinner. We went to a place that offered traditional Cambodian dancing. It was incredibly beautiful to watch. Since it was our last night we all went out for a night of dancing. We met up with Peter's tuk tuk driving friend Borei, and took over the dance floor at a funky little bar in Siem Reap. It was a great way to end a fantastic trip.

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Sunday, October 1, 2006

The Great Angkor Wat Temple

Author: Ashley

Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia

Everyone was a little groggy when we left the hotel at 5am this morning to watch the sun rise at Angkor Wat. It was an amazing site and we all got some great pictures. In the afternoon we went back to tour the temple with our trusty tour guide Sophat. While at the temple we saw some monkeys being fed by tourists, we admired the intricate carvings on the walls, and we got some great bargains on t-shirts to bring home. All in all, I'd say it was a great day.

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