Tuesday, December 11, 2007

final BA

Author: Anna
Location: West End, Tortola
Today was spent giving back to Argo, as the crew scrubbed, polished, and shammied for over seven hours in thanks for bringing us across an ocean. She looks amazing... After a moving final squeeze question about the incredible places we've seen and friends we've made, the crew headed to Pusser's for a final dinner and night out.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sandy Spit

Author: Anna
Location: Sandy Spit, Green Cay
This morning started early for the ten or so crew who decided to take a sunrise hike on Norman Island. After returning to a breakfast of scrambled eggs, we motored to Sandy Cay, where everyone had free time to explore the small tropical island, play in the surf, and just enjoy the last couple days of each other's company. The rest of the afternoon and night was spent on the closing program and collecting those last couple pictures,songs, and signatures on keepsake charts and journals.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

day 87

Author: Rachel
Location: The Bight, Norman Island
This morning we awoke and a few people did one last dive to complete their Advanced Diver Certification, so now everyone is certified! Once that was complete, we motored to Norman Island where a lot of the ship mates enjoyed lunch at Willy T's, a boat that has been converted into a restaurant. After we stuffed ourselves with burgers and fries, we went snorkeling in some caves nearby where the fish would swim right up to you. The rest of the afternoon was spent swapping photo's and relaxing before dinner and a PSCT meeting to get our Yachtmaster paper work. And so day 87 ended.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

diving part 2

Author: Will
Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
Today we finished our diving and are all now scuba certified! Our journey on Argo is quickly coming to an end. It is a beautiful day to lounge around and enjoy the hot Caribbean sun and reflect with ourselves and each other about the past three months.

Dec 6 Argo Update

Michael calls in form the BVIs with an update on the activities aboard Argo for the past few days.

Friday, December 7, 2007

under the sea

Author: Abby
Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
Today was a day of extreme diving. We completed five separate dives as part of a two part dive bonanza. We dove deep style over the wreck of the Fearless, did a navigation dive, and a night deep dive over the Fearless. With our passage plans and Telltales in there is no more academic work to be done, which means ample time for play. All in all things are jellin on the good ship Argo. No problem mon!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

daysail duo

Author: Mike H.
Location: Great Harbor, Peter Island
Today was the much anticipated day of sailing alongside Ocean Star in the home waters between Virgin Gorda and Peter Island. We started early with a speed race (unofficial) and then swapped crews to get a taste of our Caribbean counterpart. When we arrived at Peter Island we set up the boom swing for a bit of water fun. Some of us went snorkeling near shore as well and then settled in for a nice Mexican dinner to conclude another good day in the Caribbean.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

finally... the BVI

Author: Mike C.
Location: Gorda Sound, Virgin Gorda
Today was the day which many of us have waited for Argo finally arrived in the BVIs! It's been a long way from the Med, over 6000 nautical miles and this morning at sunrise we sailed through Round Rock passage and into her port of registry. We also had an action-packed day onboard, starting with a BA to clean up while Simon was clearing in. Then we anchored off the Baths to let everyone explore the plethora of boulders, and then on our way to Virgin Gorda the ColReg exam took place. As we motored into Gorda Sound, Ocean Star came into view finally the two ships together. At night we all went onto Ocean Star for a BBQ and returned the favor by hosting the Ocean Star crew afterwards. What a day

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Saba Day

Author: Myla
Location: underway
Today we arrived in Saba early in the morning. It was beautiful! We "marine style" jumped off the dinghy and tried not to get crushed by the wavesand yes- even the girls did it (because we are hardcore). After that we started the hike (1,064 steps)only about ten people actually competed the hike, while others enjoyed food at Tropics or went to Jo Bean's bead shop (beautiful artwork). It was a great day. We hitch-hiked around the safe little town. Everyone had a sweet time, no matter what they chose to do. Tonight we will make our final passage to the BVI.

Monday, December 3, 2007

NavMaster exam day

Author: Dan K.
Location: underway
Today we took our MTE NavMaster exam. It was pretty tough, but I think most of us did well. It took pretty much all morning and a little afternoon. After that, we got to go ashore and relax at Lord Nelson's harbor, which had some nice coffee shops and a great bookstore. Antigua is beautiful and we have all enjoyed our time here. Tonight we will depart for the island of Saba, our second to last passage aboard Argo.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Shirley Heights

Author: Beaker
Location: Falmouth Harbor, Antigua
We arrived in Falmouth Harbour in the early hours of the morning. The rest of the crew were woken at 7am and mustered on deck in another new location. After breakfast we began a deck wash, which got delayed a little due to rain. The marine biologists took their final exam during the rain break, and once we were clear of customs everyone went ashore to explore Falmouth Harbour and English Harbour. At 4pm we squeezed and then began a shuttling process over to Galleon Beach in the next bay. From here we hiked up to Shirely Heights to listen to the famous steelband play as the sunset. We enjoyed a BBQ feast and scenic views, before heading back to Argo to rest before the much anticipated Nav Master exam tomorrow.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Dominica to Antigua

Author: AJ
Location: underway
Today was a normal breakfast at 7:30am. Following our breakfast cleanup we received our laundry from an amazing local named Pancho. As you may recognize the name, Pancho ran the show for us on the hike. After the laundry was dealt with we hauled in our stern lines and made way towards Antigua. Following our lunch underway was our review for our MTE NavMaster exam. The review was solid, as some students had things that were unclear explained to them thoroughly. MTE was followed up with OCE presentations, where students taught the class about the material they have been studying and mastering since the start of the trip. After 3 o'clock some people continued to study, while others slept and some chilled out and played instruments that they acquired places on this trip. We continued our 120 mile passage to Antigua with dinner soon to come. That's all from Argo today, thank you.

Friday, November 30, 2007

a little bit of this, a little bit of that Dominica style

Author: Abby
Location: Roseau, Dominica
Today was full like a puffer fish. We started off diving in the morning with Dive Dominica. We loaded up on the dive boats, moored at two different reefs, and went down to a max depth of 60ft. We then went to shore to explore Roseau, the capital city of Dominica. The vibrant colors and friendly people made an excellent place to check out, not to mention some good eats. We finished off with a swim with the local kids and a good dinner. All in all Dominica has been an excellent intro to the Caribbean.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

the boiling lake hike

Author: Isabelle
Location: Roseau, Dominica
We woke up early this morning to go on the boiling lake hike. We met Pancho and Sea Cat, our guides for the day, on the dock. We then drove through town and towards the rainforest. We hiked up to the top of a mountain, it was amazing. The lush vegetation, the muddy pathways, the heat and the rain were very refreshing. Also it felt good to be able to really walk around for the first time since we left the Cape Verdes. As we descended down the steep steps on the other side of the mountain, we started to smell the sulfur of the hot spring. We climbed down a rocky hillside and into the valley of desolation. There was steam blowing by us as we ate our lunch with natural mud masks on. We continued our hike towards the boiling lake. It was amazing sight, looking over the steep ledge into a huge bubbling lake. On our way back we stopped and bathed in the hot springs. The hike ended at the Titou gorge, an amazing swim spot through the rock walls in the cold water to a waterfall that was almost completely enclosed by the tall rocks. We then cruised back to the dock listening to reggae.

Nov 29 Argo Update

Capt Simon calls in to update us on the current seismic activities in the Caribbean. The crew is well and the days activities were unaffected by the initial quake and subsequent tremors.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Dominica and the sweet taste of land

Author: Phil
Location: Roseau, Dominica
Argo made her final turn on the Atlantic passage around the south point of Dominica as the sun crept up from where we came. After being surrounded by blue for so long, there was something strange and majestic about the intense green of the island. We set to sanding the cap rails and beautifying the boat as soon as our island friend Pancho helped us anchor stern to with our lines made fast around a rock and a palm tree. Our mid afternoon swim was fun and playful and this is when most of us re-acquainted ourselves with terra firma. Now we're off for a night out!

Nov 28 Argo Update

Capt Simon calls in from Dominica after Argo's arrival. The crew enjoyed the two week passage and are very excited to explore the lush tropical island of Dominica. Stay tuned for more podcasts and surf over to www.seamester.com to see some of the photos and written log entries from the passage.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

land in sight

Author: Doug
Location: underway
296 hours after leaving our friends in Cape Verde the crew of the Argo sighted land. At 22:47, a "land-ho" was sounded by the ever attentive bow watch, setting off a celebration that would last until daybreak. The winner of the estimation for time of first sight of land was the expert mathematician Rachel who calculated almost to the second when we would see the beautiful sight of a Martinique lighthouse. We were welcomed to the Caribbean Sea by a pod of dolphins who played off the bow multiple times today. Tomorrow we will make landfall.

Nov 27 Argo Update

Argo closes in on Dominica as they are a bit over 120 miles east of the island making around 7kts. Look for some photos from the passage in the next day or two.

Monday, November 26, 2007

bobbing about the big blue

Author: Erick
Location: underway
The skies are generally clear and the stars are bright! A Minke whale joined us early in the afternoon, making passes only feet away alongside, remaining for a few hours. An escort for our arrival in the Caribbean, perhaps. At dinner we submitted our estimates on the time an nature of our first sight of land, along with $1 for the pot; by tomorrow night or the next morning we should have a winner. Doug spotted a bottle six days ago Mars is still in Gemini

Nov 26 Argo Update

Argo near the Eastern Caribbean! Landfall should be early Wednesday morning as they are down to around 300 nautical miles to go.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

goodbye full moon

Author: Mike P.
Location: underway
It is the eleventh day on this truly amazing passage. Though seemingly long, we are accustomed to a great rhythm of life onboard Argo. Days blend together and what separates them mostly is the sunrise and sunset. The evening and early hours of the morning have been bright as the day lit up by the moon. We carry out our watches on three hour shifts on a continuous basis with lunch and classes running through 12-3pm. An OCE quiz and review followed by a Blue Planet documentary were penciled in for day 73. The ocean and sky are typically presented as blue, but take a closer look and so many color, shapes, sounds, smells, and tastes can be experienced at any moment. Just like the full moon has already started to fade away, this voyage is gradually coming to an end by the day. The tradewinds are allowing us to sail around 7-8 knots. Thank you.

Nov 25 Argo Update

Michael calls in to update us on Argo's westward progress. Argo continues to make good time as she sails along at 7.5kts. The current plan is to make landfall on the island of Dominica.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

full moon and flying fish

Author: Danie
Location: underway
So it was a great day at sea. Watch one hit 5000nm for the entire trip on their 12-3am watch, which was a momentous mark, though most of us were sleeping soundly. Good winds have kept us sailing all day and everyone yearning for borrowed helm time. I'm still waiting for someone to break my record of 11.1 knots though! We had one of our last MTE classes today, which is sad, but has gotten the crew fired up for our final NavMaster test coming up soon. OCB followed and then some bucket shower time. Kevin and crew made us some yummy and spicy chilli. We had an early squeeze at 5:15 where I asked about everyone's bad habits they have or want to give up, after a day of trying to pass along the good habit of trying to give at least three compliments a day. With that said, Argo, you are beautiful and I love the way you sail.

Nov 24 Argo Update

The Saturday the 24th update from Argo. The tradewinds have kicked in and the crew is in high spirits as the put in some good miles under sail.

Friday, November 23, 2007

tradewind sailing

Author: Kate
Location: underway
Today was our first full day since setting the clocks back and for me, it began with an 0300-0600 watch. This was a treat since the winds had picked up overnight and the sun is still rising relatively early. So by 0430, our entire watch was enjoying a gorgeous sunrise over the open Atlantic as we cruised along at speeds averaging nearly 10 kts. Dani broke our current semester's speed record by logging 11.1 kts and the watch team celebrated a total of 28 nautical miles during the three hour watch - all great numbers. The rest of the crew began waking for breakfast soon thereafter and the smells of fried eggs and pancakes took over the deck. After lunch, there were oceanography and marine biology classes, along with an impromptu "bathtime" when some inspired souls beat the heat by scrubbing one of our dinghies clean and then filling it with buckets of sea water and some bubble bath solution. The sun set early for us, and we all enjoyed a dinneron deck under the near full moon. All in all, another contented day in the Atlantic.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

gobble gobble!

Author: Jenna
Location: underway
Happy thanksgiving! Today Argo reached its halfway point across our journey. Watches were in place throughout the morning. After classes (MTE and PSCT), we changed our clocks back three hours and had a wonderful afternoon of intense sailing. Argo almost reached ten knots- the wind and waves were unforgettable. As a crew, we decided to dress up for thanksgiving. Various costumes, including a turkey, were all present during our fabulous dinner. The chefs did a spectacular job with dinner. There were two lines full of main dishes and desserts. Everyone was so happy and impressed with the meal. We will always remember this thanksgiving as a crew. What a day to be thankful for!

Nov 22 Thanksgiving Argo Update

Jenna calls in to update us on Argo's position and the crew's mid-Atlantic Thanksgiving plans.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

day seven underway

Author: Mike R.
Location: underway
Today started like any other day at sea so far on this trip. In the morning we had around 1200nm to cover until landfall, and the watches went through the rotations flawlessly until lunch and class time. At night many seized the opportunity to watch a movie or get to bed early. Never a dull day on Argo.

Nov 21 Argo Update

Mike calls in from Argo on the day before Thanksgiving. The wind has picked up and the crew has gotten to do some sailing as they pass the half way point in their crossing. About a thousand miles to go and the weather is forecast to keep them sailing for most of the rest of the crossing.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

day six across the pond

Author: John
Location: underway
It was another calm day on the Atlantic. The crew enjoyed the warmth and sunshine. It was a day of studying as we prepared for the first Yachtmaster exam. Besides that and a game of "murder," there wasn't a whole lot else going on. We stood our watches and enjoyed plenty of peaceful time of reflection. Some people even took part on their afternoon to practice up on splicing. It was over as fast as it began though. Time seems to run together at sea in my mind. It is as we get in a rhythm and just go with it. Keep on trucking.

Nov 20 Argo Update

John calls in for the November 20th update. The wind is increasing and the outlook for some good sailing is very good!

Monday, November 19, 2007

day five of the Atlantic crossing

Author: Ryan
Location: underway
Once again, we had a beautiful day of calm weather and sunshine. We have really gotten into the routine of being at sea every day; two three hour watches a day, two classes at the same time every day, seeing your watch team members at every waking moment. It has really been nice getting to this point, and it feels great. I'm loving these longer passages, and I think that the whole crew shares this feeling. On the flip side, I cannot wait to arrive in the Caribbean, see land, and step foot on good old solid ground. I'm sure it will be a spectacular achievement.

Nov 19 Argo Update

Ryan updates us on day 5 of Argo's Atlantic crossing. The crew stopped for a mid-ocean swim as the weather is amazingly calm.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

floating castle

Author: Bret
Location: underway
Today was a pretty hot day. Things are starting to heat up a bit as we enter the tropics. The highlight of the day started last night. This is when the three to six watch saw a glowing light far off in the distance. When the sun came up and we got closer we realized it was an oil rig. How cool- an oil rig being towed by two boats across the Atlantic. The fun did not stop there. We also had a great swim and some super cool fun in the science labs. It turned out to be a pretty eventful day for being in the middle of the middle of an ocean.

Nov 18 Argo Update

Argo continues west despite a lack of wind in their sails. Lots of good fishing, marine science coursework and the occasional spotting of a colossal oil rig under tow are keeping the crews spirits up. The wind is forecast to build again in the coming days so stay tuned.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

a whale of a day

Author: Dan W.
Location: underway
Today Argo continued making way towards the Caribbean as the crew aboard began to settle into the natural routine of watch teams. The highlights of the day were various whale sightings, a mid-day swim call, and several successful reductions of celestial navigation sights by the crew. Students learned about coral reefs in Marine Biology class and listened to fellow crew members present their research on marine engineering topics after lunch. Class was interrupted by a few mahi-mahi bites but unfortunately our catches were a little too small to eat so they were released. Nonetheless we enjoyed a tasty chicken dinner and continued to motorsail into the magnificent sunset.

Nov 17 Argo Update

First Mate Dan calls in with an update from the chart house of Argo as she makes her way across the Atlantic. The wind remains light and the seas are quite calm. While these are not great sailing conditions it is allowing for some wonderful fishing and also allows the crew to keep a focus on their academic projects.

Friday, November 16, 2007

day two of Atlantic passage

Author: Zoe
Location: underway
Passage continued as usual today, rotating through the normal three hour watch team schedule. After our break for soup and Cobb salad for lunch, we continued the afternoon with an MTE class followed by an OCE class up on deck in the beautiful, sunny weather. Just before our 1800 muster for the squeeze and dinner, Bret caught and released a small female mahi mahi. We're looking forward to more enjoyable passage days.

Nov 16 Argo Update

Zoe calls in after the first day of Argo's Atlantic crossing from Cape Verde tot he Caribbean. The weather is very stable and with winds in the 12-15kt range and for the time being the winds still have a good bit of north in them so the sailing is good.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

start of our Atlantic crossing

Author: Mani
Location: underway
Today is one many of us have been eagerly anticipating- the start of our Atlantic passage from the Cape Verdes to Grenada in the Caribbean. We had some shore time this morning to tie up any loose ends- the last call home or email sent. Some also went to a local school to drop off some baby food (which made its way onboard at some point in our Moroccan provisioning). We got Argo ready to sail while awaiting our turn at the fuel dock. After a top off we set sail to a good beginning- the engine is off and we are sailing out to open ocean with a top speed of 10.6 knots! What a great beginning to our longest passage yet. We're all very excited and enjoying the first day.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

arrival in the Cape Verdes

Author: Simon
Location: Cape Verdes
At 0800 we dropped anchor in a small bay inside the bustling port of Mindelo in the Cape Verde Islands. Local ferries and small inter island traders were tied up along side and rusty and expired freighters lay at anchor or foundered on the beach to leeward. Oddly enough a US submarine was also in port and its crew were busy in many of the same pursuits as ours; internet and junk food. After clearing in and cleaning the boat from a week at sea we sent the crew ashore to assist with the daunting task of provisioning in small local markets for 30 people on an Atlantic Crossing. Everyone had some time to explore and the reports were that the Island's people were hospitable and kind and the city was lively and colorful. We had carried two large duffle bags of clothing along on the trip to distribute in Cape Verde. Abby made contact with a local orphanage and we transported the clothing up to the director. After an eventful afternoon everyone was back aboard and ready to continue with preparations for our Atlantic crossing, in hopes of getting underway tomorrow.

Nov 14 Argo Update

Captain Simon calls in from The Cape Verde Islands where the crew prepares for the Atlantic crossing.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

don't let it get away!

Author: Chris
Location: underway
It's a beautiful day! From sunrise to sunset the good ship Argo sailed (and motored) at a steady pace, bringing us that much closer to the Cape Verde Islands. Watches went through their duties and those not on watch spent their time studying and enjoying the weather. Oceanography taught us the interactions of water molecules in their grander form of waves, and the rest of our class time was spent learning about the long anticipated coral seas. The beauty of the ocean is hard to express, but the overall feeling is the ship, in my opinion, is one of peace and contentment.

Nov 13 Argo Update

Chris calls in from Argo as she slowly makes her way to Cape Verde. The crew should arrive at first light on Wednesday morning.

Monday, November 12, 2007

a day underway

Author: Evan
Location: underway
Today was another gorgeous day spent in the beautiful Atlantic. The weather did not supply a steady wind, but it did supply our team of sunbathers with a cloudless sky. We had OCE and PSCT today where we learned about ocean currents and weather, respectively. Dinner was great, everyone filled themselves to the brim and will soon go to sleep dreaming of what adventures the Cape Verde Islands will bring.

Nov 12 Argo Update

Evan reports in with the November 12th Argo Podcast. The passage continues to go well although the wind speed has decreased a bit but there is promise that it will return in the next day or so.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

a fair day

Author: Matt
Location: underway
The seas have been quite fair to us thus far and today is no exception. The calm sailing has brought a sense of solace over the crew that seems to resonate from that around us. Warm tropical showers are enjoyed on deck, as the water temp is a roaring 80 degrees farenheit. Life onboard is perceived well by all lately and the anticipation of the crossing post Cape Verdes is growing. We are getting just a taste of the quality sailing that the trade winds hold for us. Flying fish are now a regular sight off the bow as we break through the ominous ocean before us. I believe we could not ask for more pleasant times at this point in our journey. Now brings the closure to another day of life onboard our home Argo.

Nov 11 Argo Update

Matt calls us from Argo as she continues her passage to The Cape Verde Islands. The wind is back and the crew is sailing Argo well.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Author: Kevin
Location: underway
Today was a bright, sunny day underway. The wind has been light and we have gone back and forth between motoring and sailing. We made one repair to the fisherman rigging in the morning and sent Evan up the mast to repair it. In the afternoon we crossed the 3000nm mark on the trip, and about 6nm later we entered into the tropics. The water has also gotten warmer and the crew enjoyed our time to swim and do some back flips off the bow. Overall it has been a great day.

Nov 10 Argo Skippers Report

The school ship Argo came to the aide of a small vessel some 140 nautical miles from land. Captain Simon Koch gives us a detailed report of the actions taken by Argo's crew to drop food, water and fuel to what was believed to be boat of refugees before taking action to alert the Spanish Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC) in Las Palmas of the vessel's position and situation. The MRCC sent a spotter airplane out to verify the location of the boat and a tugboat was dispatched to tow the vessel and it's crew to safety in Tenerife.

Nov 10 Argo Update

Kevin calls in from the charthouse of Argo as she heads south and west in the Atlantic Ocean en route to The Cape Verde Islands of the west coast of Africa.

Friday, November 9, 2007

a day like no other

Author: Rachel
Location: underway
Today began like any ordinary day underway, but that soon changed. Everyone was awoken for lunch, after which we had an MTE class. Right as we were about to start, a Minke whale was seen off our port quarter, thus postponing class for a few minutes while a few of us ran up to check it out. Halfway through class a pod of about ten pilot whales came upon us and everyone ran on deck to watch the whales pass us. Some of the whales came within five feet of the boat, surfacing long enough for people to attempt snapping some photos. As we headed back to finish class we marveled at how cool it was that our class had just been interrupted because a pod of whales was passing that's not something that happens every day. We finished MTE and were starting into our PSCT class when Simon was called on deck because a small motorboat was approaching us waving flags. We soon realized it was a small, fifty foot wooden boat full of refugees from Africa, we presume. We decided to help them out as best we could, and gathered some spare food and water which we attached to a buoy we had found. We dropped the parcel overboard and moved away from it a bit before the boat approached it and picked it up. They seemed grateful but were still waving at us. We realized they were holding up empty fuel tanks and probably needed gas, so we prepared a spare canister of fuel and the shipmates gathered all the water bottles they could find to fill with more water. They also donated an abundance of precious personal snack food. Soon we had a very large and heavy trash bag full of more food and water, which we attached to the fuel container and several lifejackets. We dropped everything overboard and watched as the refugees struggled to get their boat started, but were eventually able to pick up our second package. We continued on our way but contacted the Spanish coast guard in the Canary Islands to alert them of the boat and give them their position. A few hours later we saw a search and rescue plane fly overhead and shortly afterward we were notified that the refugees had been found and a ship had stopped by them and would wait until a tugboat could get to them. We heard that approximately 800 people flee Africa every day, and as we enjoyed a delicious dinner and watched more whales swim past, many of us thought about what a different life the people of Africa must lead to have that many people trying to leave every day. We realized how truly fortunate we are onboard Argo, but also how unique of an opportunity we are having here.

Nov 9 Argo Update

Rachael calls in from Argo on passage from The Canaries to the Cape Verde islands.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A slow beginning to our longest passage so far

Author: Will
Location: underway
Today we had some tasks to complete before making the 850nm journey to the Cape Verdes. It was a slow morning of settling up with immigrations, classes, and fueling up before we left around 1pm. I am pretty sure everyone is happy to be back underway and looking forward to our longest passage yet.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

in a little town called Las Palmas...

Author: Abby
Location: Las Palmas, Canaries
Today was a prime day to get a lot of those little things done before crossing the great abyss otherwise known as the Atlantic. We went on an informative dock walk this morning then had the day to ourselves. Las Palmas has an excellent HiperDino that has every possible watch food that a body could want, a number of cafes and other services. Everyone is back to good health and we're jellin anticipating the upcoming crossing!

Nov 7 Argo Update

Abby calls in from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria as the crew preps for the passage south and west to the Cape Verde Islands. Stay tuned for podcast updates becoming more frequent as the crew checks every day or so while at sea.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

arrival in Las Palmas

Author: Mike H.
Location: Las Palmas, Canaries
Following a calm night sail from Gran Tarajal to Las Palmas, we settled into our berth at about 9 o'clock or so. I brought us into the marina and Simon finished up flawlessly squeezing us between two boats. We had a very successful BA today and an extreme provisioning session that got us ready for our crossing. The group had a bit of time ashore after lunch that involved internet, personal provisions, and fresh water showers. Tomorrow we will be here and will get to explore a bit more, now that everyone is feeling better. Woohoo!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Guy who?

Author: Mike C.
Location: Fuerteventura, Canaries
Well on this 5th of November with gun powder, treason, and plot fortunately onboard Argo we haven't had any. Today was a wholesome day of diving and some time ashore. We started off this morning with open water dives three and four, finishing most peoples dive course, whilst others went shore. The afternoon was very similar, split only by an OCB lab and hull scrape to make Argo go that teensy bit faster across the ocean

Sunday, November 4, 2007

certified open water divers!

Author: Myla
Location: Fuerteventura, Canaries
Some people were feeling sick today, either that or getting better. Half of us finished the open water dives, and the rescue divers went in the afternoon. A few people went on shore. Later we had our VHF PSCT class I hope I passed! Worn out, we all went to sleep

Saturday, November 3, 2007

underway to the Canaries

Author: Dan K.
Location: Fuerteventura, Canaries
We arrived in the Canaries today after a two day passage from Morocco. The passage went smoothly as did anchoring. The islands seem very interesting, although it's hard to tell at night. Everyone is very excited for our dive tomorrow, which should be a lot of fun.

Nov 3 Argo Update

A hip-hop update from Argo?? For those not keen on rap music be patient.... once they get through the intro it becomes entertaining and informative. Stay tuned for less "hip" updates as the crew travels south and west in preparation for their trans Atlantic passage.

Friday, November 2, 2007

calm seas

Author: Beaker
Location: underway
We were up early today at 6am to leave Agadir. We cast off our dock lines and motored past the many small fishermen out in the bay at sunrise. Today was an important day for the crew; we switched up the watch teams, and began the watch rotation with our new team members. After lunch we had an MTE class and an OCE class. The Atlantic has been extremely calm today, like a lake for most of the morning. It was a great time to sit out on the bow sprit enjoying the company of our new watch team members. Following the lunchtime activities we had a man-over-board drill, we practiced a different technique to last time when we launched the rescue dinghy, today we practiced the figure-8 maneuver under sail, and sent in a rescue swimmer for the final grab. Phil volunteered for the task of rescue swimmer, we tied a line to him and kitted him out in a life vest before he dived in to rescue our large orange buoy! As the boat was hove-to it was then a perfect time for a shower in the Atlantic. The water has been about 62oF for the past few days along the coast of Morocco, possibly due to local upwelling. Today as we motored offshore it jumped back up to our more usual 70oF, making shower time pretty refreshing. We have just had dinner, prepared by Bret and his team, and the watch teams will continue into the night.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

surf day in Agadir

Author: AJ
Location: Agadir, Morocco
Today started off as a normal breakfast and the usual cleanup. But today was going to end up as no ordinary day. After cleanup we were accompanied by a man named Sufjian. This was Argo's first time with Sufjian so I think we were all a little skeptical on how he would treat us. He led us to an old beat up bus that we all piled into and made way for the beach that we were all meant to surf. The surf was small but perfect for beginners. Before the surf guides let us into the water they gave us a vigorous workout to get our blood flowing and get us stretched and ready to surf. After they released us into the sea we surfed for hours. There were about twenty boards but twenty seven of us so some people were playing great games of ultimate Frisbee and football as well. Sufjian even joined in on one of our football games and showed his fun playful side, he even gave our shipmate John a little tackle. We were served a nice lunch that has become popular known as tagine, and had a great fruit basket for lunch dessert. Afterwards the surfing went on as the waves seemed to grow, eventually dying down later in the evening. Everyone started to settle down as we all had an adventure packed day. The men that let us use the boards were good people as well as Sufjian and the people that fed us. This day was over as we all rode the bus home, with some of us considering surfing as a new hobby.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Author: Anna
Location: Agadir, Morocco
In celebration of Halloween, throughout the night everyone had the pleasure of being woken up for watch by some sort of scary creature, i.e. Bret with a mask on. The watches ended at nine when all hands were called up on deck for breakfast and the striking of the sails as we prepared to enter the port of Agadir. Once secured on the dock and after a quick lunch, boat appreciation started and everyone worked hard for several hours to make Argo sparkle. After an hour of shore time, followed by showers and studying for the upcoming OCE exam, the group convened in the cockpit for dinner in full costume. After cleanup and the exam the tired crew gathered in the salon for a scary movie and then headed to bed, eagerly awaiting tomorrow's surfing trip.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

our day exploring Essaouira

Author: Isabelle
Location: underway
Today, after marine biology, we went to shore in Essaouira. We split off into smaller groups to explore. Everyone did a lot of shopping. People bought everything from jewelry to bongo drums to traditional Moroccan clothing. It was a cultural experience walking through the markets. We saw a table full of chopped off goat heads. Essaouira has two main beaches, one of which had camel rides available. Some people went to see some ruins that were said to have inspired Jimi Hendrix's song "Castle Made of Sand." After we all got back to the boat we left for Agadir with the engine off and making way at about eight knots.

Monday, October 29, 2007

world champs

Author: Philip
Location: Essaouira, Morocco
Having grown up in Boston, being a diehard Red Sox fan has just been in my blood forever. Baseball season means that somehow, around 7:05 EST every day, I find my way to a TV or a radio to cheer my beloved Red Sox to glory. Now as you can well imagine, it has not been easy to do so in the middle of the sea halfway across the world. On that note, however, there have been some serious efforts made on the part of the Argonauts to keep apprised of the situation. If you haven't yet heard, the Red Sox won the World Series last night with a series sweep of the Colorado Rockies and my world was completed again! Having resorted to tape a cell phone to the hatch of the fo'c'sl (the forward room) to ensure optimum reception, it was announced over the PA system at approximately 10am local time and the celebrating began. We laughed and cried and sang our hearts out to "Dirty Water," but now it is time to move on and sail. (Editor's note: Phil doesn't remember much else from this day, but we actually had a beautiful morning of sailing, arrived in Essaouira safely, and are looking forward to exploring shore tomorrow).

Sunday, October 28, 2007

road to Essaouira

Author: Doug
Location: underway
Day 45, our halfway point, began early as we bid farewell to Morocco's main oil refinery in Mohammedia and set sail south towards Essaouira. As we proceeded towards our destination, 175nm away, we dodged local fishing boats and their traps. Strong northerly winds allowed us to cut the engine and sail through the smooth waters along the coast.

Oct 28 Argo Update

Erick calls in with some great details from the crew's first experience in Morocco. The tour was a great experience and as Argo sails south to her next Arabian port all are excited to see more of Morocco.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Mr. Sugar's "good idea" is "not a problem"

Author: Erick
Location: Mohammedia, Morocco
To Casablanca! An awe inspiring tour of the third largest mosque in the world and the flamboyant antics of our animated tour guide - Mr. Sugar, from Fez - left us eager and grateful for an authentic four course Moroccan meal. Although this might justly be described as one of our more "touristy" days ashore, our bus-and-foot tour of Casablanca gave us an invaluable window into the lifestyle and economy of urban Morocco. With obligatory souvenirs stowed and a few extra dirham in our pockets, we hit the rack with anticipation for our continued voyage south along the Atlantic coast of Africa and beyond. A wise man once said that every boat can be a submarine, but only some can come back up. In the words of Mr. Sugar, "Good idea!"

Friday, October 26, 2007


Author: Michael P.
Location: Mohammedia, Morocco
We were underway, heading along with the Atlantic coast of Morocco, eagerly anticipating to capture sight again of the African shore. The Moroccan coastline is generally low and sandy, thus, making it unclear as to when exactly it will appear. After a beautiful passage we finally arrived at Mohammedia, just east of Casablanca. The temperature has noticeably risen, which sets a good atmosphere. Marine biology took place this evening with guest lecturer Simon talking about marine birds. Overall, it has been a very relaxing and enjoyable day. We now await for tomorrow's exploration on land. Thank you.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

welcome to the Atlantic Ocean

Author: Danie
Location: underway
We began the day with a quick fuel up and then set out to the straits of Gibraltar. Everyone was excited to pull out into the Med and see Europe to our starboard, Africa to port, and the Atlantic dead ahead. After an energetic all hands effort to raise the sails, watch two carried us through the straits with some musical entertainment from Matt and Simon, which was only interrupted by swarms of flying ants overtaking the deck as we crossed into the ocean around lunch time. Not to worry, our fearless bosun Dan and his deckies fixed the problem (after I squished most of them with my boots). Our first activity on the ocean was an MTE class on tides, which was most appropriate as we just started experiencing these in Gibraltar, and then an OCE class. Mani and I sighted a large sea turtle waving us hello as we came around the coast of Morocco. Kevin made us a delicious dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, which was followed by a simultaneous and heavenly sunset and moonrise. Spirits are high in the salon, everyone is very excited to get to Africa and work on OCE projects. Watch one has just taken over for a beautiful, moonlit 9-12pm watch to carry us into tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

klepto monkeys

Author: Kate
Location: Gibraltar
After a sound night's sleep post passage, the crew of Argo started their first day in Gibraltar with a thorough wash down on and below deck. Afterwards we ventured out to enjoy "the rock." Some took the sky tram to the scenic views from the summit, while others hiked or taxied to Ape's Den, where they got to experience Gibraltar's infamously kleptomaniac apes first hand. Tomorrow we'll head out to Morocco, leaving the Med behind and setting our sights on the Atlantic for the first time on this voyage.

Oct 24 Argo Update

Argo's Second Mate, Kate calls in from Gibraltar. After exploring "the rock" the crew is excited to depart into the Atlantic as they set sail for Morocco in the morning.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

we made it!

Author: Jenna
Location: Gibraltar
Today we completed our voyage to Gibraltar! To begin our day, the crew mustered together for a challenging lunch. We all squeezed together in the cockpit and ate sandwiches. Watch team four took over from noon to three pm. We had a fun watch because on bow watch each of us got soaked head to toe from the waves. After watch we hung out and prepared to arrive in Gibraltar. The dock we are staying at is very nice, with warm showers and fancy boats around us. It is Isabelle's 18th birthday today so at dinner we made a cake for her! PSCT took place after the meal and those who weren't in class were able to explore the quaint town. All in all a great day!

Monday, October 22, 2007


Author: Mike R.
Location: underway
Today was a relatively calm and standard day on Argo. We are underway enroute to Gibraltar sailing close hauled with the prevailing winds coming from almost exactly where we want to be heading, requiring frequent tacks. The wind has been blowing tons of waves and spray over the deck making this the wettest passage yet. Today has been a great day for wild life, with frequent but short visits from dolphins off our bow, a few Minke whales at lunch time, and a large pod of 10-12 pilot whales following us at dinner time. We've kept with the watch cycle we are all so familiar with and a sighting of Africa is keeping morale high for what's to come.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

leaving Cartagena

Author: John
Location: underway
We woke chipper for breakfast after a wonderful night out. French toast made for a great breakfast. We then had four informative presentations in PSCT, followed by one last shower. We had lunch and MTE at the dock and left around 1400. I just saw Africa- cool! The weather is great, making 6 knots under sail. Couldn't be happier!

Oct 21 Argo Update

Ryan calls in with details of the crew's trekking day on the south coast of Spain. A great time was had by all as the crew stretched their legs and enjoyed some time ashore.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

beach hike

Author: Ryan
Location: Cartagena, Spain
Today we had a 7am breakfast on the dock and immediately left for Los Balones to do an incredible hike along the coast. We had to hike the coast through swarms of mosquitoes. Then we followed the coast to a huge, flat, sandy beach. Half of us, mainly the guys, played a couple games of ultimate Frisbee (my favorite) while the rest laid out and went swimming. All of us really enjoyed today's expedition and I think it will be a fond memory for everyone. Later in the night everyone went out to watch the championship rugby match, England vs. South Africa. Overall we had a fantastic day , followed by a great night out.

Friday, October 19, 2007

missing you

Author: Bret
Location: Cartagena, Spain
Today we arrived in Cartagena, Spain. I got to dock Argo early this morning in between rain storms. There was a test tonight, I hope I did well. All in all it was a pretty great day exploring the town of Cartagena. I really miss everyone and I wish you were here for the experiences.