Saturday, April 12, 2008

Final Day of the Program

Author: George
Location: Papeete, Tahiti
Today we found ourselves on the dock in Papeete. After the usual breakfast we broke up into a series of teams, which corresponded to different parts of the boat and began our last and greatest BA (Boat Appreciation). We worked until 5, stopping only briefly for lunch and Agro looks great as a result. Its good to see her looking so good after nearly 7,000 miles of travel. After a final 5 o'clock squeeze we headed down the street for well deserved pizza and beers and a local restaraunt and brewery called Les Trois Brasseurs, where we saw off the first shipmates to leave. The BA was a fitting way to end a great trip and it will be sad to see everyone leave for the airport tomorrow.

Friday, April 11, 2008

day 88

Author: Anna
Location: Papeete, Tahiti
Today was another free day to explore Tahiti, however many chose to spent their last day on Argo finishing up yachtmaster exams, packing, and cleaning. A few intrepid shipmates took surfing lessons, while others walked to the local market. Tonight is our last dinner onboard and will end with our closing program.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

a day in the life

Author: Julia
Location: Papeete, Tahiti
The crew of Argo rose early this morning in order to make ferries to Moorea. The crew explored land and realized everything costs a little bit more than they expected. Some stayed onboard and helped staff with maintenance to keep Argo looking and feeling happy. A dinner of Alfredo pasta filled the crew in preparation for an evening of presentations. Time is quickly getting away from us here in Tahiti as the final days pass by!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

final landfall

Author: Nathan D.
Location: Papeete, Tahiti
The lights of Tahiti were visible ahead through the dark early hours of the morning. We struck sails to slow our approach, waiting for daybreak. One of the more memorable sunrises announced our final day sailing at daybreak. Delicate piles of clouds light orange and pink and shades of green blue filled the sky behind us. A double rainbow arched across the sky to our starboard and a lightning storm filled the sky ahead, clearing before us as we entered Papeete. We couldn't have imagined a more spectacular start to our final day underway. We struck the remaining sails, flaked them with care knowing that it was the last time we would and that they would sit how we left them until the next program. We motored in under bare poles and anchored stern-to a dock that borders a city waterfront. As the day went on lots of kids would jump in the water and swim near us. Everyone had a great day of boat appreciation in the morning and free time to see the city in the afternoon. We enjoyed one of our last dinners together on deck after a rainstorm had cleared, watching the sun set behind the cloudy white peaks of Moorea across the water.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

last passage

Author: Becky
Location: underway
Today marked the last full day of passage for this journey. We had a beautiful day of sailing, and actually had to try to slow down in order to have a daylight arrival in Tahiti. After staying up until the wee hours drawing sea creatures, our Marine Biology logbooks were finally turned in, marking the completion of the course. The science classes were combined, and we all watched "Air Jaws," a documentary about great white sharks. After class we saw the flukes of some whales off our port bow, and not too long after we heard Teddy cry "Land ho!" As our approach to Tahiti continued into the night, a storm surrounded us and filled the night sky with lightening. It was a little reminder that we're not there yet, and we still have to be on top of our game to arrive in Tahiti safely in the morning.

Apr 8 Argo Update

Sammy calls in from Argo on her passage from the Tuamotus Islands to Papeete Tahaiti.

Monday, April 7, 2008

the first day of our last passage

Author: Sami
Location: underway
We began our day at 6:00 am. We pulled up our anchor and began motoring our way out of the Ahe Atoll. At 9:00 we began our watch team schedule. It was the official beginning to our last passage. At 13:00 we had PSCT in which we began watching a surf movie called "Step into Liquid." The movie was not so much about surfing as a sport, but more about the lifestyle of surfing. The message was to find your passion and to have fun and enjoy life. After PSCT there was an OCE/OCB class where we took out the charts from our passages and looked at all the oceanographic features of the places we have been over the last 84 days. For dinner, Dan and Leah made a delicious tortilla soup. We continued our watch team schedule through the night and are looking forward to get to Tahiti in a couple days.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

atolls and boom swinging

Author: Alexi
Location: Ahe Atoll, Tuamotu's
Today was a beautiful Sunday with a scorching sun. As some of the shipmates and I walked through the small village, we couldn't help but notice the utter silence that surrounded us. When we neared the church the sound of singing reached us and slowly we began to see signs of life- a few small boys playing soccer, an elderly grandfather with his young granddaughter, and mothers carrying babies. It was hard to believe that we were seeing this sight that you really only read about in books or see in movies. We continued to wander around the atoll, playing in the tide pools and snorkeling in lagoons. The afternoon was topped off with the rigging of the boom swing, and many joyous jumps and leaps of faith. To end this beautiful day, half of the crew is participating in a night dive in hopes of seeing some legendary French Polynesian sharks.

Apr 6 Argo Update

Matt checks in from the Tuamotus Islands as the crew prepares for their final passage to the island of Papeete.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

another day in paradise

Author: Matt
Location: Ahe atoll, Tuamotu's
Today marked our second day in the beautiful Ahe Atoll and Argo's crew took full advantage of the warm sun and blue waters of this pristine location. Some shipmates chose to explore the surrounding islands while meeting some colorful locals. Others rigged up wind-surfing boards and cruised around the lagoon. The divemaster candidates continued their training by leading a dive of other shipmates. At night, half of the crew made their night dive. The night concluded with us dropping fish heads overboard, which were leftover from dinner, in an attempt to get a closer look at the sharks inhabiting the lagoon.

Friday, April 4, 2008

visiting Bernard's home

Author: Boomer
Location: Ahe Atoll, Tuamotu's
Today we arrived at the Ahe Atoll where Bernard Mottisier, the legendary sailor and environmentalist, lived in the 70's. After navigating through the tricky pass we had to weave between coral bommies on our way to the village and anchorage. The Ahe Atoll is truly spectacular with its electric blue water and hospitable locals. Its truly a paradise here on Earth.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

quiet as a library

Author: Nathan A.
Location: underway
Charts littered the salon and galley as we all took the MTE final. Watch team one kept a vigilant watch on deck for the last 70 miles to the Tuamotu's. Argo wasn't going to be stopped, making 10 knots, the crew had to take down sails, which only slowed her to seven knots. Reading our waypoint at 2300 hours, watch team two set up to be hove to for the night. As we stood watch it became even more evident that our time aboard was nearing an end, realizing that we would only prepare Argo for one last sail.

Apr 3 Argo Update

Argo continues southwest, Nathan fills us in on the days events which included some fun sailing and the crew's navigation exams.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

MTE final prep

Author: Dani
Location: underway
Today was a jam packed day on passage. The MTE final is tomorrow and we are studying hard. Charts, plotters, dividers, and navigation books have been out in abundance. We are all studying and re-doing practice fun in a last effort to gain the knowledge necessary to do well on the exam. On top of exam prep we had oceanography and PSCT class this afternoon. With only ten days left, our trip is quickly coming to a close and we are working frantically to finish everything in a good way. Soon to be on horizon are the Tuamotu's.

Apr 2 Argo Update

Dani calls in on day 79 of the Spring 09 global Sea|mester. Argo continues from the Marquesas to the Tuamotus.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

back at sea!

Author: Dan
Location: underway
Today was a marvelous beginning to our passage between the Marquesas and the Tuamotus, fair winds have kept us sailing on a reach since our departure last evening. Although the Marquesas were quite spectacular, it is excellent to be back at sea, riding the tradewinds towards our next destination. Students enjoyed a review in preparation for the Basic Seamanship final in a few days and many spent the afternoon brushing up on chartwork and navigation. Oceanography students met this afternoon as well, taking advantage of the time underway to work on literature reviews. A few April Fool's Day pranks were interspersed throughout the day, which gave everyone a good laugh. We are back in watch teams now and looking forward to a brilliant evening of sailing.

Apr 1 Argo Update

Dan calls in from Argo which is now en route to the Tuamotus.