Location: Koh Mak, Thailand
If you think about it, Argo is a floating classroom, in every possible way. From the moment a shipmate or staff member steps on board, there is constantly something new to learn. You learn how to breathe underwater, how food is secured on the stove as Argo crashes through the waves of the Gulf of Thailand, how to relate Oceanography projects to the world around us and much more. This constant learning process keeps life not only interesting but also makes it virtually impossible for Argo and her crew to experience a typical day. For example just a few days ago we weren't learning how to sway with Argo but how to rock to the movement of an elephant as it tried to dunk you in a local stream of Koh Chang. Yesterday, the Open Water divers were learning how to flood their masks and control their buoyancy at deeper depths.
Today's learning experience not only involved a new location but also new opportunities for many. The morning started out with a very filling bowl of oatmeal and the final dive for the Open Water students. While three shipmates enjoyed the local salt water of Koh Rang, everyone else enjoyed the fresh water shower compliments of Thai monsoon season. By 9:30 everyone was back aboard, the dinghy was hung and the anchor was secure in its pocket. We then began our wet journey to Koh Mak, a nearby island famous for its beaches. Through the rain and rock of the waves we motored to a protective harbor, where Argo became the only boat in the vicinity on the hook. After a deliciously warming lunch of grilled cheese and tomato soup, the majority of the crew headed to shore in order to enjoy an afternoon of Thai culture barely touched by the world of tourism. Back aboard by 16:30, everyone chipped in to prepare the boat for tomorrow's departure. The day ended with a peaceful evening in the salon as students took dive quizzes, worked on their Oceanography homework and completed Knowledge Reviews for Advanced dives that will be occurring in Koh Tao. It is almost guaranteed that no other day in our remaining 30 days of this 40 day adventure will be similar to this one. Although everyone has quickly come to learn about life in Argo's classroom, the learning process out here never ends as we continue our voyage south to new places and new cultures.