Sunday, September 30, 2007

passage to Civitavechia

Author: Isabelle
Location: underway
Day 17- we left La Spezia late last night. We started our watches at 11:00 and they have continued throughout the day today. All of the watch teams have confirmed very smooth sailing. Today we had oceanography and marine biology after lunch. After class we all rested and hung out. Some people took naps, did homework, or sat in the sun on deck. This was one of the most relaxed days yet. It was really nice to spend time with each other without so much commotion going on around us.

Sept 30 Argo Update

Argo calls in while on passage from La Spezia to Civitavecchia. Great sailing as the crew sets all sails in their passage south.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Cinqueterre hike

Author: Philip
Location: La Spezia, Italy
Awoken before sunrise, the crew quickly ate their cereal and stumbled through the empty streets of Porto Venere towards the bus station. As we neared La Spezia, our bus quickly filled with young students on their way to school, and businessmen as well. After grabbing coffee and checking the internet, we took a packed train to Manerosa, the furthest of the five small villages that comprise the Cinqueterre. Situated right on the mountainous coast, these small villages are remnants of the area's fishing culture and are now connected by a series of trails that run along the cliffs over the water. We hiked among the vines and lemon trees from one village to another as we enjoyed the insane views and cool company. After having returned and dined, we made the boat ready for passage and headed south for Rome. Arrividerci from Argo.

Sept 29 Argo Update

Phillip calls in with the details of an amazing day hiking the Chinqua Terra region just north of where Argo is moored. After arriving back abaord the crew hauled back the anchor and headed south for Civitavecchia where they wil moor to access Rome by train.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Porto Venere gets crazy

Author: Doug
Location: Porto Venere, Italy
Day 15 began after a night of cold and windy anchor watches to a breakfast of ultra massive pancakes. One shipmate even went as far as to claim that they were the biggest pancakes he'd ever seen. On shore leave, shipmates Erick and hiking expert Matt ascended Porto Venere's highest peak, stumbling upon a literal gold mine on the way up. All other shipmates drank a ridiculous amount of coffee in Italian cafes as the chefs prepared a bangers and mash dinner. The day was concluded with a night out.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Porto Venere

Author: Erick
Location: Porto Venere, Italy
Attempted confined water dives minimally successful due to inclement weather (lightning, etc.) and poor visibility. Half of open water divers completed their first dive, and all completed quizzes and equipment checks. Afternoon shore leave in Port Venere. Mid afternoon gusts caused the anchor to drag, and it could not be reset successfully. A narrow, stern to slip in the local marina was acquired and will last for at least the night. Dinner in salon, and marine biology. Dock watch tonight. Evan is a god in the galley.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

arrival in Italy

Author: Michael P.
Location: Porto Venere, Italy
Under sail, the Argo members broke down into four watch teams, each team assuming responsibility for the vessel and its crew in three hour shifts. Each shift during the course of the night throughout the afternoon presented slightly different situations and adventures. Experiencing for the first time relatively harsh conditions, Argo steadily cruised through the gulf of Genoa at around 5-7 nautical miles per hour. We sailed comfortably through the worsened weather conditions, realizing the full potential of Argo hand in hand with its able crew. We have been in three countries in a week and a half, and have felt a strong presence of the actual journey entailed in reaching a particular location. A tuna fish weighing 20 pounds was caught by Bret and will act as a delicious meal. Science classes also went underway, making this day truly fulfilling.

Sept 26 Argo Update

Michael P. calls in from Italy as the Argo crew has arrived after a great sailing passage form Nice, France. Highlights of the passage included catching a 20+ tuna, sailing in some exciting wind and seas and having a sea bird decide to joining the crew for the ride from just north of Corsica to Italy

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Monaco visit and sail to Italy

Author: Danielle
Location: underway
The day started with a train ride to Monaco to visit the Oceanographic Museum for OCE and OCB field trips, and shore time to explore Monaco. We saw lots of interesting creatures and historical pieces at the museum and flashy cars and yachts around town. The crew met up with Beaker and Dan at 1500 to make our way back to Argo for voyage prep. We prepared the sails, deck, and dinghies in good enough time for shower time. The water in the harbor is salty but refreshing. Our chefs made us delicious fried chicken and veggie meal which we enjoyed after discussing our favorite part of the boat during the squeeze. After dinner and cleanup we found out our new course of sail is to Porto Venere, Italy, and got underway and out of the harbor around 2100. Watch three took the helm and the crew enjoyed the 20 knot breeze and bright moonlight. It is nice to be sailing again. It was also nice to have Jim Stoll, his son Jason, and Travis join us.

Monday, September 24, 2007

French city on the sea

Author: Kate
Location: Villefranche, France
This morning we awoke to the picturesque scenery of Villefranche Sur Mer and enjoyed a breakfast on deck together before a quick Marine Biology class and then parting for the day to explore our surroundings. Some shipmates headed to Nice, just a short bus ride away, to find a great pedestrian area with good shopping and delicious ice cream. Others stayed closer, getting lost on the quaint winding, narrow roads of Villefranche. Those with enough ambition made the hike to a small launderette and replenished their fresh clothing stock. We reconvened back aboard Argo for an afternoon oceanography class followed by dinner. After dinner, those shipmates enrolled in Professional Skipper and Crew Training had their first class meeting and we all enjoyed a sound night's sleep.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Exploring Cannes

Author: Jenna
Location: Villefranche, France
Today the crew woke up around 7:30am for a delicious breakfast of breakfast sandwiches. We then took a quick dinghy ride over to the larger town of Cannes. Cannes was very quiet when we arrived because it is Sunday it and it was only 10:30am. There were several cafes and shops to go to. My group enjoyed a French filled lunch overlooking the yachts. Around 1pm our group headed back to Argo and we motored our way to Villefranche. Before leaving we picked up Travis Yates, a director of the program. Travis will stay with us for the next few nights. While motoring we attended basic seamanship class and a scuba class. We also showered under a high pressure hose! Dinner was sloppy joes, corn, and a salad. After cleanup we had a student leadership and development class. Overall, this was a busy yet fun-filled day!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I want to be a ____ when I grow up

Author: Mike R.
Location: Cannes
Today the crew was woken up by me around 7:30 for a quick cereal breakfast and a short dinghy ride to the mainland. Anchor watch turned out to be uneventful all night, so hopefully something chaotic occurs tonight. St. Tropez was a beautiful old city full of locals, cafes, and shopping galore. The old city was beautiful was beautiful with old architecture and thin alley ways. Four cups of coffee at a local caf got me going to cruise around town looking at the markets and the shops and gave a group of us the energy to hike up to the fort which had breathtaking views of the city. We returned to our pleasure craft at one to prepare to motor to Cannes. We arrived around 5:30 and had a great stuffed pepper meal and cake and cookies to celebrate the belated birthdays of Beaks, Simon, and Kevin. I rocked the squeeze with a question about what everyone used to want to be when they grow up and some got funny responses. A certain staff member wanted to be a boy instead of a girl (that was my favorite response). All in all a good day was had by all.

Sept 22 Argo Podcast

Mike calls in with a quick report from the Argo crew which is currently anchored in Cannes, France.

Friday, September 21, 2007

St. Tropez

Author: John
Location: St. Tropez, France
We sailed/motored in the morning and arrived in St. Tropez at approximately 1400. Boat appreciation activity was followed by a swim. We also reprovisioned and ate supper. First aid and CPR followed in the evening. Good day!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

underway to St. Tropez

Author: Ryan
Location: underway
Today was a great day at sea. I woke up to rolling seas and a 360 degree view at nothing but the Mediterranean Sea. This is the first time that's ever happened. In addition to this new ocean view, I saw not one but two whales. Once again, this was another first for me. After the morning excitement, the day moved along slowly as we got closer and closer to our destination in the south of France. One other thing to note about this particular day was the sunset. There was about one full hour and 180 degree of spectacular views. Near the end, the clouds reflected a color red that I have never seen on land. It was absolutely incredible. Well, that's it for tonight. I cannot wait to get into port and fulfill my craving for candy, good night!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

First passage

Author: Bret
Location: underway
Day six was our first passage to St. Tropez! Our trip was delayed a bit, at first leaving Tarragona they had trouble opening the bridge on the way out of the port. Motoring for a while because of the lack of wind was not very exciting, but all of a sudden when we got closer to the Gulf of Lions, we began to sail off into the chilled night.

Sept 19 Argo Update

Bret calls in from on passage to St. Tropez as Argo makes her way north from Spain where the students began their 90-day Fall Sea|mester.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Barcelona adventure!

Author: Dan W.
Location: Tarragona, Spain
The crew awoke before sunrise this morning and gobbled down bowls of cereal before hoofing it off to the train station to catch the Catalunya Express bound for Barcelona. The train ride took about an hour which some used to catch up on a few missed winks while others read or chatted. We arrived in the city at 9:00 and then divided into a few groups depending on what sights people were interested in visiting. The metro was the public transportation of choice for most and carried us far and wide in our explorations. Sights that were popular included the Sangrada Familia chapel, a fine example of Antonio Gaudi's famous architecture, as well as many of Gaudi's other works throughout the city. Some visited the Maritime Museum and most everyone wandered down The Ramblas; a lively area of the city known for street performers and open air markets. The day went by quickly and before we knew it the time had come to depart for home. All were back aboard Argo by dinner time filled with stories from their urban adventure. After dinner the crew met for passage planning and preparation and then enjoyed a special presentation from MTE class- the "Around Cape Horn" video, narrated by renowned seafarer and father of sail training Irving Johnson. After the video the crew slept well after their long day of explorations.

Monday, September 17, 2007

First Sail

Author: Zoe
Location: Tarragona, Spain
Today was day four of the journey. The day started with our splitting up into four watch teams, each of which was led by one staff member. Each group was shown and taught the names of the sails and lines, which was followed by reviewing safety and survival techniques in an abandoned ship drill. After lunch we set sail for the first time for the afternoon. While out on the water, we practiced a few different maneuvers with our watch groups, and also had a man overboard drill. It was a beautiful day and everyone had a good and exciting afternoon finally setting sail for the first time aboard Argo.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Day Three

Author: Mani
Location: Tarragona, Spain
Day 2 began with a fantastic meal of French toast. After a quick clean up we had our first oceanography and marine bio classes. PADI videos followed for all 17 new divers. A few folks left for lunch while about half stayed to enjoy sandwiches and leftover French toast. Today's the start of a big festival in Tarragona and a good number of folks went to explore town and see the human towers or head to the beach. By five, everyone was back to shower, eat, clean, and prep for the first night out. We're all looking forward to our first sail scheduled for tomorrow.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Day Two

Author: Simon
Location: Tarragona, Spain
Today began the Oceanmester of Fall 07. The morning had us meeting in the salon to discuss the policies and agreements of the program. Following lunch the students were sent off on a scavenger hunt of Tarragona to see many of the Roman ruins and gothic architecture. Some found the time to visit the beach for a swim while others settled into their new home aboard. Tonight we will have formal introductions to the intricacies of the vessel.