Wednesday, February 28, 2007

drop sails

Author: Mike M.
Location: underway

For the second day in a row we were fortunate enough to wake up to glass calm seas and another pod of dolphins. Shortly after nine am we dropped all the sails, stowed the lines, and threw on all the sail covers to prepare for a short time on the anchor in Salalah. After classes we stopped the boat about 80nm from Salalah for another beautiful swim in the ocean. Tomorrow we should arrive in Salalah at dawn to provision, scrub the boat down, explore another country, and then sail out towards the Red Sea.

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Feb 28 Argo Update

Skipper of the Day, Mike calls in to let us know that Argo is only 52 miles away from Oman. The crew has made ready for arrival. Some course work and a swim in the sea were other notable highlights.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

nature's beauty all in one day

Author: Arron
Location: underway

How to paint this picture? First: lots of sun. Second: flat seas. Third: grinning, tan looking sailors. Fourth and final: our beautiful boat Argo. Now keep that mental image n mind and add dolphins, a big green sea turtle, and crabs swimming in the open ocean as far as the naked eye can see. Then imagine a horizon that blends together ocean and sky, creating an effect where one is not distinguished from the other. Then to top off one of the most beautiful days on this trip, we had a sunset that fell off our port side. That was by far the most exuberant one we have had on this trip. To sum it up for everybody back at home, we just had one of the most amazing and beautiful days on this trip yet. Now we will head into the night with enough bioluminescence to make Argo's hull glow like a neon light. We also had our second open ocean/blue water swim today, and no sharks. And a quote for all of our loved ones back home by Chris: today is the best day of our trip so far.

Feb 27 Argo Update

Finally a new update on the progress of Argo. All is well and the crew is only about twenty four hours away from their arrival in Oman. All aboard are in great spirits as they near the completion of their crossing of the Indian Ocean


Monday, February 26, 2007

I have no idea what day it is

Author: Keely
Location: underway

On passage We're all on it. It's not a drug but it changes the way the world looks and the way we see time and one another. Passage is a place where small things mark the movement of hours (sunburn, shade shifting from port to starboard, a boat on the horizon, catching a fish) but where time is also regulated, punctuality stressed. Three on, six off, lunch at noon, dinner at six Class at one, after lunch cleanup. Today we did a plankton tow and looked at tiny current- bound organisms under the microscope. We saw snails the keep from sinking with snot bubbles. What's time like for zooplankton, between nightly ascents, down in the dark and cold? What's time like for a jellyfish? There's a lot of time for thought on passage, silent helm time, and bow watch in the dark. Good wonderings I think watch team two is like zooplankton, we come up from the depths each night to feed. My belly still hurts from last night's snacky cake binge, but we scrubbed all the chocolate from the deck before Kevin could sit in it again.




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Sunday, February 25, 2007

two dolphin fish

Author: Kevin
Location: underway

Another fine day at sea with two dorados caught, and thrown back as they were on the smaller side. We are all on passage mode keeping to our watch schedules and attending daily classes. We are approaching our destination and getting excited to see what Oman has to offer us.




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Saturday, February 24, 2007

exciting day

Author: Jill
Location: underway

Today was an exciting day; we watched a really cool movie about Irving and Exy. Then, later, a large rusty tanker was coming towards us and we tacked to avoid it. Also, we had banana bread for dinner, which was really sweet.





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Feb 24 Argo Update

Boomer, James and Justin fill us in on the progress of Argo as she make great time on her passage between The Maldives and Oman.


Friday, February 23, 2007

great day

Author: James
Location: underway

It's been another great day of passage as we finish off day number four. Everybody is back into passage mode and adjusting nicely to watch schedules. We've had some very nice wind today and are pushing along at about 7.5 knots. Morale is as high as ever, and we're all looking forward to Oman.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

sailing the high blue seas

Author: Chris
Location: underway

It's now been three days since we left Male, and everyone is getting back into watch mode. Morale is high and the shipmates are enjoying life at sea again. We are making excellent progress along the Indian Ocean with good winds pushing us along, possibly leading to an early arrival in Salalah. Life onboard is as good as it gets, with everyone laughing and never any regrets. Passage is great, and everyone is happy, healthy, and loving it.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

three hours on, six hours off

Author: Cody
Location: underway

The Argonauts are once again falling easily into the three on six off watch cycle. All of us dream of times when we can legally and socially acceptably go to sleep at six in the morning and wake at twelve, just in time for lunch. The weather has been mild and beautiful with just enough wind to keep us sailing. With the recent ordeal of finishing my OCE paper (whew!!), we can now sit back and enjoy the waves and sun. For all you pirates ahead of us, beware!!

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Feb 21 Argo Update

No audio update for today, a poor satellite connection made the audio feed to choppy to publish. Our data transmission did come through and the crew reported great sailing conditions with the wind just behind the beam and the speed over ground showing 9+Kts.

Position 5° 17.8' N 071° 56’ E
Water temp 28.3°C
Windspeed 12-15 kts
App. Wind angle 100°

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ode to Maldives

Author: Justin
Location: underway

Goodbye Maldvives, we hate to see you go
But now it is time for our sea legs to grow.
Male is a beauty as well as the beast,
We stopped for the girls to stock up on sweets.
The Arabian Sea is the next we will cross,
Dang! I sure make a really good boss.
To Oman we go, it's next on our list,
I hope none of the locals ever get pissed.
Now it is time to go back to ship food,
Argo is singing, she's in a good mood.
This rhyme is awesome, but no Edgar Poe,
Goodbye Maldives, now we must go.




Flickr Photos from Today

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Argo checks in as they depart The Maldives

Captain Boomer calls in an audio update just before they leave the mobile phone coverage area of the Maldives. The crew is looking forward to an enjoyable 1300 nm sail up to Oman and will be updating the audio podcast daily, via satellite, as they make their way west and north in the Indian Ocean.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Feb 19 Argo Update

Final prep takes place before Argo sets sail for Oman. Captain Boomer also gives a brief description of the Professional Skipper and Crew Training course offered by Sea|mester. This course allows students to gain professional yachting qualifications during their time aboard. For further information about this and all the courses offered to students sailing with Sea|mester please surf over to the academic overview section of the Sea|mester website.
www.seamester.com/academicoverview.php


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Feb 18 Argo Update

Matt gives us a detailed update on day 34 of the 90 Spring Ocean~mester. Lots of diving and academic paper writing. Argo has one more day in the Maldives before they head to sea once again to complete their crossing of the Indian Ocean. Argo will sail slightly north of west as she heads for Salalah, Oman some 1300 nautical miles away.


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Dives in the 'Dives (the Maldives)

Author: Matt
Location: Maldives

Today was filled with both fun diving and slightly less fun schoolwork. It was the final day before our oceanography literature reviews were due, and apparently the Argo is full of procrastinators. With only four computers to go around it was somewhat of a battle royal for computer time. Meanwhile, the group of nine advanced divers had a couple of specialty dives to do. Before lunch we dove down to 101 ft. At the end of the day, we also did our night dive. We continue to move towards the status of advanced, one phenomenal dive at a time. As far as the paper writing goes, there's not a whole lot to say except that most people got them done in time. All told, day 35 was pretty much my favorite day so far. Thanks for reading, and have a nice day!

p.s. Argo will be out of internet contact for the next approximately two weeks, stay tuned for more updates then and look out for our podcasts while we're at sea!



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Friday, February 16, 2007

busy day of diving

Author: Julia
Location: Maldives

This morning began with a dawn dive for thirteen shipmates. We woke up at 5:30am to finish gathering gear and got in the water at 6am. After a nice, deep dive, we headed back to Argo to wake up the remaining shipmates and had breakfast followed by a quick cleanup. We then motored to a dive site and quickly set up our gear before lunch. After an amazing dive around the atoll, we pumped tanks, ate lunch, and cleaned up once again. Group two of the divers set out on their dive while the rest of the crew caught up on some work and rested. Once again, tanks were pumped, gear was set up, and our meal was prepared. After dinner, the wind and current started to pick up and it was decided that the night dive which had been planned would have to be postponed. While getting ready for our night time marine biology class, we realized that our current anchorage was not a safe place for Argo to spend the night since it was close to a reef and the wind was very strong. We are currently motoring to a safer anchorage for the night where we will drop anchor and have our marine bio class slightly later than planned. A wonderful and busy day was had by all!

Flickr Photos from Today

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Feb 16 Agro Update

Manta rays spotted and the crew actually got to snorkel with them! Annie give us the rundown on a day to remember in the middle of the Indian Ocean.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Manta Rays are cool!

Author: Annie
Location: Maldives

Today we woke up and got straight to diving. We broke into groups to dive a shallow reef. Many divers spotted schools of fish, sea turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, and other great sea life. After the dive we found a group of manta rays in the shallows and snorkeled with them. They had wing spans of around four meters and were truly a sight to see. It was a once in a lifetime experience being barely inches from these enormous and unique creatures of the sea.



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Feb 14 Argo Update

The chief scientist aboard Argo, Chantale Begin, provides us with an update on the happening and where-abouts of Argo. The promise of diving with manta rays in the coming days has the crew pretty excited!


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

towards the Manta Rays

Author: Chantale
Location: Bandos Resort, Maldives

We got back into classes this morning with a nautical science class on tides followed by a marine science class where we talked about dangerous marine animals and what not to touch underwater. We had a guest today, Guy Stevens, a marine biologist who works at a local resort and has been studying manta rays in the Maldives for the last 5 years. He arrived right at lunch time and as soon as he arrived we raised anchor to move to the West side of the atoll, where mantas are quite abundant at this time of year. We had Keely, Tommy and Andrea up in the rig watching for reefs during our motor over, and didn't have any problems spotting shallow areas, which were bright turquoise in the midday sun. We arrived at Rasfari island around 3pm and several of us went snorkeling and swimming in the shallow clear water by the island. Guy gave us a talk on manta rays and his research in the Maldives and tomorrow we'll jump in the water and hopefully dive with the mantas!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

BA and an outing

Author: Abbey
Location: Bandos Resort, Maldives

Today began well. Breakfast did indeed break the fast and a flurry of activities erupted afterwards. After cleanup we dove into boat appreciation with gusto rarely seen before on the face of this wide earth. Then, with Argo sparkling, some us went to the small resort island near which we are anchored. I was among them and after we ate we wandered about on our own accord, while those still onboard presumably did whatever they did. A few hours later we took turns sailing small catamarans. It was most enjoyable, and after that it was back to Argo to get ready for a night out. Laughter was the theme of the outing. It has been a most enjoyable Valentine's Day. Faithfully yours, Abbey.
P.S. for those curious: my monkey bite has cleared up well.


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Feb 13 Argo Update

The latest update from Argo paints the picture of the tropical beauty that surrounds the crew. Crystal clear waters, tropical fish, beautiful coral reef and the odd military training exercise abound in the stunningly beautiful waters surrounding the twenty six atolls that make up the Maldives. The promise of two chartered sailing catamarans should provide lots of fun and make for a great sail training opportunity on Wednesday.


Monday, February 12, 2007

cruising the Maldives

Author: Boomer
Location: Maldives

Today was a great day of cruising and swimming. We started off motoring North in search of a good anchorage. With two crew members up the foremast to spot reefs, we slipped our way through the atoll choosing among a string of beautiful spots to drop the hook. We found our spot, settled in, and then went for a much needed swim. After an hour or so we were approached by the military who stated that we needed to relocate due to some exercises that were about to take place. Ok, so we moved. We called our agent for some local knowledge and following his advice we ended up at Budabados off the Bandos Island Resort. We settled in and then had "tea time" to celebrate Eliot's birthday and apparently the Queen. The day ended with a Marine Biology exam and delicious lasagna.

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Feb 12a Argo Update

One Argo's resident Marine Biologist, Mike Cucknell checks in and give us the highlights on the crew's first day in the capital of the Maldives, Male. For the first time since leaving SE Asia the crew has been able to post written logs and photos. Please surf over the the Sea|mester website www.seamester.com to view the new posts in addition to the crew's first edition of the student news letter The Telltale.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

arriving in the Maldives

Author: Mike C.
Location: Maldives

We arrived at Male atoll in the Maldives early this morning as the sun was rising over the horizon. The tall buildings came into view first in place of the glowing lights which we had been following for most of the night. After clearing with customs and immigration, the crew went into Male town to explore land and stretch their legs. This evening we have anchored in a nice protected anchorage surrounded by a barrier reef. It's been a tiring day and the crew are eager to cruise the many atolls.

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Feb 12 Argo Update

The crew of Argo checks in from only 70 miles outside of making landfall in the Maldives! For a bit of fun the crew has put together a game of "name that sound" to try to bring us a step closer to knowing what life on passage is like. Listen in to see if you can identify the sounds of life at sea.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

port side is red, the ocean is blue, now we're official IYT crew!

Author: Charlie
Location: underway

Clearly we all have good karma since we've been blessed with yet another insanely sunshiny day. Night and day have become irrelevant by now- everyone's living watch to watch, coffee to coffee, granola bar to granola bar. But even though we're all in the passage groove now, and with every watch teams get to know each other a little better, the thought of arrival in the Maldives has got everyone a little giddy. There is, after all, so many granola bars and clean clothes you can bring onboard. More good news of the day- all shipmates passed the basic seamanship IYT crew exam. So I guess we're officially a crew now! Everyone's dealing with the bucket loss quite beautifully, showers again today with the hose (but not the big guns today, the smaller plastic one). But we've got our fingers crossed for a big, posh bucket store in the Maldives!

p.s. Argo arrived safely in the Maldives the morning of February 12. Stay tuned later this week for updates as we cruise these beautiful islands.

Feb 11 Argo Update

Evan reports on the great sailing conditions that resulted in almost 200 nautical miles passing under Argo's keel during the past 24 hours. We find out that the last shower bucket managed to make it's way to Davey Jones' locker. The good news is that showering with the deck fire hose turns out to be a good experience and a very effective method of keeping clean!


Friday, February 9, 2007

southwest of Sri Lanka

Author: Evan
Location: underway

Routine day, beautiful weather as usual Not a lot of wind this afternoon but we still seem to be making our way on a strong current at around nine knots. We're only a couple days out of the Maldives and besides our yearning for some more fresh fruit and vegetables it seems as though we could go on indefinitely. Our excitement for the day stemmed at the loss of our one remaining bucket. This meant fire hose showers on deck at 1500. But I think they were enjoyed by all. One sunset closer to Male

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Feb 9 Argo Update

Captain Boomer and Skipper of the Day Brittany give us a brief update on the day's progress. Additionally, we are also given a detailed description of this Spring's 90-Day voyage-to-date and what it is like to be a part of the Seamester crew aboard S/Y Argo as she crosses the Indian Ocean on her way the Maldives and eventually Greece.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

south of Sri Lanka

Author: Brittany
Location: underway

Today, as everyday is aboard Argo, was absolutely beautiful. In the morning Mike and Kevin caught a barracuda, which unfortunately we couldn't eat. We enjoyed a lunch of tuna melts and continued our westward course on a beam reach. Watch team three put the mainsail back up last night, and two and three raised the jib and flying jib this morning as the winds picked up. We've made good speed today, cruising along at around nine knots. We've almost passed Sri Lanka and expect two or three more days until the Maldives. The Telltale finished being compiled today and we all got a good kick out of the pictures and articles. Hopefully soon everyone will be able to see at home!

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Hmmm now just where is Argo?

As we all enjoy the almost daily audio updates for the spring Sea|mester crew aboard S/Y Argo we wanted to let you know that work is being done on a position-updating chart for our website www.seamester.com To help answer the question "where are they now?" we have this image created by a dedicated relative who is following along with the voyage using Google Earth on their home PC.

Feb 8 Argo Update

Jay checks in and reports of a Marine Biology lecture, a dolphin encounter and a quick stop for a mid-ocean swim. 590 nautical miles to go to the Maldives.


Wednesday, February 7, 2007

middle of the Indian Ocean

Author: Jay
Location: underway

Another amazing day aboard Argo 1200 miles into our first epic crossing and with 4200 meters of water beneath the keel, we decided to stop and go for a swim. This was made possible by the fact that there is very little wind, and with very little wind the sun's heat is unrelenting. With a keen eye for sharks posted we were into the crystal clear ocean, for what I am sure will be one of my most memorable swims. As the sun goes down on yet another day, everyone is looking forward to the ever closer Maldives.

Flickr Photos from Today

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Feb 7 Argo Update

Tom L. checks in and gives us the update after a slower day of sailing that included two lectures and unfortunately no luck in the fishing department. Argo is a bit over half way to the Maldives, they have around 750 nautical miles to sail before they reach Male.


Tuesday, February 6, 2007

southeast of Sri Lanka

Author: Tom
Location: underway

Today wasn't much different from the rest of the days in the Indian Ocean. Beautiful weather and a good breeze. Nothing really noteworthy happened. No bites on the fishing lines. All in all it was another day of peaceful sailing. Hopefully the rest of our passage continues like this.

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Feb 6 Argo Update

Anna fills us in on a very good day of sailing as Argo continues en route to the Maldives. The group had a scheduling meeting to coordinate and plan for the the upcoming weeks academics and continued to enjoy some very favorable sailing conditions.


Monday, February 5, 2007

day five at sea

Author: Anna
Location: underway

Today was another nice and relaxing day at sea. Everyone has settled into their watch rhythms and is enjoying passage life. Unfortunately we didn't catch any fish today, but we did see some dolphins after dinner. Our two classes in the afternoon were marine biology and professional skipper and crew training, where the students began their formal navigation training. After a delicious dinner of rice and beans cooked by Jill and Brittany, watch team three took the deck just before a beautiful sunset. We've spent the last three hours enjoying the beautiful sailing and discussing such important matters as American Idol, childhood tv shows, and whether the light we saw shooting across the sky was a UFO or a spaceship.

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Feb 5 Argo Update

Skipper of the day, GiGi checks in and updates us on the happening aboard Argo. Two Oceanography lectures, one nautical science lecture, catching a barracuda, loosing one of the buckets and some sunrise/sunsets all listed as the highlights of the day. Argo continues to make good time on her passage across the Eastern Indian Ocean in route to the Maldives. Check out the profiles of her crew at www.seamester.com


Sunday, February 4, 2007

no land in sight

Author: Gigi
Location: underway

Today was beautiful as normal, not a cloud in the sky, and the starts sparkled for miles. We did have some problems, namely we lost one of the last two buckets. This means that all 25 people have to start showering with one bucket! (I hope we don't smell too bad when we arrive in the Maldives). However we did catch a barracuda, although it cost us 3 lures in the process. Overall it was another amazing day without time and date as we sail (with all six sails) across the Indian Ocean.





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Feb 4 Argo Update

Eliot checks in and gives us an update on a great day of sailing. Argo is now past the Andaman Islands and heading due west towards the Maldives. The wind and seas have been very favorable and the boat has been cruising up to 11kts at times.


Saturday, February 3, 2007

into the Indian Ocean with breakneck speeds

Author: Eliot
Location: underway

After a night dodging tankers at the northern end of the Malacca Straits we made it out into the Indian Ocean through the Great Channel. The swells subsided a little bit but the wind has been blowing steadily and this afternoon we had all six sails up for the first time this trip. Will all that canvas and favorable winds and seas we've been racing along at a steady ten knots and even set a new calm weather speed record for Argo with an impressive 11.2 knots. We had two classes after lunch but mostly everyone is just settling into the comforting routine of watch. With another 170 miles under our belts as of this morning, it will be great to see how many we've raced through in the past twenty four hours.





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Feb 3 Argo Update

Argo checks in after their second day at sea. They are making 9kts and have managed to catch a fish or two for lunch in addition to having two academic lectures.


Friday, February 2, 2007

Fish!!!

Author: Mike M.
Location: underway

Day two and with the rising sun came bigger swells. All day finding steady ground that was much more challenging than originally thought. It's great fun though and feeling the boat drop suddenly into the trough of a big swell seems to make everyone wide eyed with huge smiles. A first for Argo today as well, her first fish was caught around eleven in the morning. Cooked in garlic and butter by our own two chefs of the day, we enjoyed fresh fish with our tuna sandwiches for lunch. Well fed, well studied, and well tossed by the sea, we get ready for another eight days of open ocean adventure.






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Feb 2 Argo Update

Argo checks in at the end of their first day on passage to the Maldives. Favorable winds and seas made their first day a very good one for putting some miles behind them as they sail west.


Thursday, February 1, 2007

start of a long journey

Author: Arron
Location: underway

Well here we go! Time to find out what we are made of. It's a day that's been marked on a calendar. Finally we start our journey. What will we find? Open ocean and possibly a pirate or two? Some might ask "who wants to spend 10-12 days in the big Indian Ocean with no land" well it takes a true crew, a crew who loves the ocean, excitement, adventure, and possibly a big storm. So now I must say to all my dear friends, good night and good luck for we will surely see you in a few ;-)




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Feb 1 Argo Update

Argo checks in on the eve of their passage to The Maldives. The Student Skipper of the Day, Keelin gives us a brief run down on the days activities and the islands that surround them.