Friday, December 12, 2008

Hasta Luego!

Author: Kirsty Nash
Location: Phuket
Today was a bittersweet moment for all aboard Argo; everyone is excited about going home and seeing family, but there was a feeling of sadness about parting from newly made friends, who by this stage of living in such close confines, feel very much like family. It has been a momentous trip, from the opening night barbeque 4,585 miles ago, way back in Cairns, to the surfing in Bali, the orangutans in Borneo, the kings cup in Phuket, and now to our last day and night aboard our floating home. I wish you could all see Argo right now, she shines, the gunnels are polished, the doorades gleam, the galley is spotless. It has been a long day of tidying, cleaning and packing but once the hard work was complete we headed out for a night of Thai food and hospitality. There is not much more to say, your child, sibling, friend will. I'm sure they will regale you with stories on their return. But for my part I would like to say thank you to everyone aboard for a great 90 days and for all the experiences we have shared.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Day of Lasts

Author: Court Noyes
Location: Phuket
Today was a day of lasts. It was the last passage, last anchor raise, last sail raise, last anchor watch, and the last sail flake. It was a final hurrah, a day a lasts, but also a day to celebrate. For we, the crew of Argo, had sailed Argo 4,585 miles from Cairns to Phuket. The day started at 0520 when I went to wake everybody up. The crew staggered out of their bunks and into passage mode and raised the sails. Later in the day I remember packing my bag and realizing that everything did not get into two duffel bags. I looked at them and realized they were mostly full of gifts. But then I realized that the real gift should be the experiences and the stories that you will tell. Argo is a sea going vessel, and we are proud of her tenacity. I packed up today with the song "I'm leaving on a jet plane" in my head, never truly understanding why. I finally realized that this trip was coming to an end, and it made my heart turn over in awe and incomprehension. To put into words the love that we all felt for one another may seem impossible, but suffice it to say that each and every one of us will want to relive the good times. Simon had a few more words for the crew as he introduced the closing program, a tradition aboard Argo which happens on the penultimate night. Looking back on this day, at a final passage day which truly embodies the essence of Sea|mester, I am again filled with emotions that range from bliss to sadness. I know that this has been the time of my life. I hope that the crew shall not forget the connection we all have ingrained in our callused and wind swept hands. For the crew that is now sleeping below deck is the real team that no one can pull apart, no matter the distance. For we are a team of sailors, shipmates, cabin mates, friends, and racers. We are proud to say that we are the crew of Argo, Fall 2008. Get Some.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Swimming in the Similans

Author: Melissa Phillips
Location: Similan Islands
When we arrived at the anchorage we couldn't believe our eyes. Fish swam up to the boat and turtles played nearby. The water was so clear you could see fish 50 feet deep. After breakfast the PSCT student took their retakes while everyone cleaned their bunks. The time to go home was getting closer. At the beach we played in the sand and snorkeled.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

This is it

Author: Jack Pincus
Location: Similan Islands
We spent the day living it up as children of paradise. Our schoolwork was all but finished, and all we had to worry about was getting ourselves to the next dive site. We motored away from Donald Duck bay to a different dive site where we had planned to spend the night only to discover that there was no mooring ball and the depth was far too deep for us to anchor. Still, the divers suited up and got in while Argo idled by with the non divers lazing away with their books or just daydreaming. From there we headed out to a new mooring ball at a new bay where the water was still clear enough for us to see the hundreds of fish between us and the bottom 60 feet away. This is the essence of Sea|mester.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sailing to the Island of the Sail

Author: Torsten Reischmann
Location: Similan Islands
Concluding our night passage from Phuket to the Similan Island we finally arrived at the Island of the Sail in the early morning. The island got its name from a very large rock looking like a sail (though some see Donald Duck instead). We spend the day diving, snorkeling, and exploring the Island, especially the amazing rock formation and perfectly white beaches. After days of anchor watch every night and the overnight passage we tried to start some early sleep - some very early, some after a last night dive - to be well prepared for the next busy day.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Celebrate

Author: Chris Uyeda
Location: Phuket
Yesterday, Beau, being the punctual young man that he is, wrote his blog at 6pm. My official "blog shift" started at 12am, which means that everything that happened from 6pm to 12am fell into a mysterious black hole of undocumented time. Normally, this would not be a problem as shipmates are typically sleeping but as it turns out one of the more amazing events of this trip occurred after 6pm last night. So, although technically the event falls outside the jurisdiction of my blog, the epic nature of the event compels me to expound on what happened. As you know yesterday was the final day of the Kings Cup Regatta. As part of the culmination there was a final ceremony. To briefly summarize, it was incredible. First, the prizes for the overall placing (Argo took 2nd in her division) were awarded by an emissary of the King. The emissary is considered to act directly for the King and is a man of such respect that many Thai people do not look him directly in the eye. Following the awards there was a closing celebration at the Kata Beach Resort which included a live band, a pool, hundreds of happy sailors, and lots and lots of free delicious food. We danced, we feasted, we shook hands, we feasted some more. It was a night of revelry that I am not sure has a parallel among other competitive sports. People that were at each others throats just hours ago were mingling, smiling and dancing as if in a tribe. Before last night I didn't know much about yachtsmen, regattas, or competitive sailing. Now I know these are people who know how to celebrate.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Back Aboard!

Author: Beau Silver
Location: Phuket
I wake up at 6 to meet Simon, Chris and Kevin to pick me up from the beach to go racing. It was a very successful day, I did not injure myself further and I did not get wet upon getting aboard. We raced today. It was magnificent! The wind was howling and we were flying past the competition. This has been a great day, I don't think I have smiled so much in my life!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Silolona and Awards

Author: Abbey Stern
Location: Phuket
Today was glorious. We didn't finish first in the race, but we didn't come in last either! As always, racing Argo was very fun. After that, though, we were able to got to the day's award ceremony. Good food and a lot of people. We got to see our friends from Silolona, the beautiful Indonesian vessel across the bay. Then after the ceremony we were able to go to Silolona! The gorgeous boat again welcomed us with music. This time, the best drummer in all of Indonesia who played at the award ceremony played for us on the boat. The man inspired awe, to say the least. All in all, it was one of the best Sea|mester days I can recall.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Puff On

Author: Xander Stewart
Location: Phuket
Today was good. It got on a boat that was real fine. It was nicer then my double wide in the woods. We love 'taters on Argo. We lost the race and I was sad. What up Pop, Adelaide, Mom, Jethro, Fat-Bak, and my other peeps. Shout out to the great state of Louisiana. Whoo-weee!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Kings Cup Day Two

Author: Simon Koch
Location: Phuket
Today was day two of the Kings Cup Regatta. Argo scored highly with a first place yesterday so the bar had been set high. Wind conditions varied from 0-20 knots all over the figure 8 shaped course. Argo and her crew performed flawlessly ending the day with another first. Later the crew was invited aboard a very unique Phinisi schooner from Indonesia that was built specifically for luxury charter. Patti, the owner was extremely kind and showed us around and explained the myth of Silolona, the Indonesian prince who sailed to the sun and created the stars. Patti named her schooner after this myth. The Indonesian crew entertained us and Argo's crew danced and sang along until it was time for dinner.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Total Domination

Author: Molly Ashkenas
Location: Phuket
Today I woke up early, excited for our first race in the Kings Cup. I came on deck early, at 6:15am to find Xander in his racing shirt and gloves, inspecting the mainsheet and pacing around the cockpit. Although, we weren't all as antsy as Xander, the group's energy was definitely high. As the gusty winds blew our breakfast cereal all over the deck, we could tell it was going to be a good race (and it was). The course was long - about 30 miles, 4 hours, - and around a bunch of islands. From the starting line we pulled in front of our competition, gained ground, and then completely lost them in our bubbly wake. Winds were strong - at points we were flying at almost 11 knots with all 6 sails full. We ended up beasting the competition by 30 minutes, whooeee! Now we get to pretend to study for finals while praying for more wind tomorrow.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Kings Cup Practice Race

Author: Thomas Belk
Location: Phuket
Today we started out with pancakes for breakfast then attended classes of OCE and SLD. Finally it was time for the practice race. All of Argo's inhabitants put on white T's and their PFDs then did a practice race in classic class. It turns out that we were the only boat in our class so we had no competition. After a some fun sailing, we called it a day and headed back to our anchorage