ActionQuest

Global: Session 3 - Odysseus: Mediterranean

Posted: Thu, Aug 16, 2012

A Day in Rome

Location: Civitavecchia, Italy
Author: Justin Gambaccini
This morning was a very slow start, as if our adventure was a giant boulder that took much effort to push over a steep hill. Once this boulder got rolling it was nonstop to its termination back at Argo. Sleeping in our bunks we were all supposed to wake up at 5:30, but it wasn’t until 6:00 that everyone was actually awake. We ate cereal for breakfast in order to catch a train at 7:00 from Civitavecchia to Rome. The train ride took about an hour and fifteen minutes. Many slept in the very unfitting chairs, which resulted in neck pain after. Crewman Dave thought it humorous to take pictures of all the loosely hung head among limp necks. We got to the station and quickly started our journey through Roma. Our first stop was the coliseum; having amazing history it was interesting to the whole group. Next stop was the Palatino, connected to it was the ruins of the Roman Senate and Forum. Then we stopped at Caesars tomb. After that we stopped on the outside of Mussolini Birthday Cake; a giant facade building with some exhibits inside. Then we stopped for lunch. Three others and I went on an expedition to find the best Gelato. Next up was the Vatican. The Vatican was beautiful and rich with history, even the catacombs were open. Then it was back to Rome to see the Trevi Fountain and just take a break at the Spanish steps. Now as I write we finish our jobs around Argo and prepare for bed, for tomorrow we do Boat Appreciation and then its shore time!

Posted: Wed, Aug 15, 2012

Last sail and BA

Location: Civitavecchia, Italy
Author: Sammy
This morning we all gathered in the cockpit to eat homemade spice bread, and then we quickly picked up anchor to head back to our starting place, where we were a long but amazing 18 days ago in Civitavecchia. Everyone chipped in to raise the sails and hoped that the wind would eventually pick up for our last sail of the trip. At first there was not much wind at all, but luckily towards the end it started picking up and we were going at a speed of five knots. It was quite exciting to finally have the engine turned off and to have a very peaceful sail. As we got closer and closer to Civitavecchia, we started recognizing some areas that we saw while underway on our first sail of the trip. I think this made us realize how fast it flew by. We also said goodbye to one of our shipmates because he was leaving a bit early for another sailing expedition; which really made us realize that this trip will be over very very soon. After docking in Civitavecchia, it was time to give back to Argo and do a Boat Appreciation (or BA). This is when groups are chosen to do a few certain jobs to make Argo look prettier, and to get things tidied up for the next group of kids coming onto the boat. We successfully put the tarp up, put all the sail covers on, cleaned the entire deck, cleaned the hull, cleaned the galley and cleaned the saloon. Fortunately, no one fell into the water this time cleaning the side of the boat. All of us equally worked hard and we were hoping that this BA day would be effective enough that we would have more shore time in Rome. I would say we deserved it. After all of this was completed, we mustered in the cockpit for dinner, which tonight was spag bowl. Tonight we will have one of our final squeeze questions of the trip, and probably all hang out together and talk about the memories that were made. We’re not sad yet though, because we have an early morning wake up to take the train to Rome, which is one of the most exciting places we will go to on the trip. We have an optional choice to visit the Vatican City, which I hope will be a short line to get into. Never the less, Rome will be an amazing place to explore and we’re all psyched.

Posted: Tue, Aug 14, 2012

A day of hiking and pastry

Location: Porto Ercole, Italy
Author: Bernadette
For some of us this day started pretty early. We woke up at 5:30- the last anchor watch was still on- and got ready to hike up Mount Mar di Capanna, an over 1000 foot tall mountain on Elba. Our goal was it to reach the giant cross on the summit. The hike began as a nice little walk around the island but soon transformed into a climb up the rocky path of the mountain. More than one stone fell, we slid and slipped, but we eventually made it there without any injuries (except for Ryan’s self esteem maybe, as he was complaining more than the girls did). Even though all of us were soaked in sweat we could still enjoy the amazing view over the ocean and the island. After locating Argo we started an echo screaming contest; which probably ended in waking up half the Island at 8 am. We treated ourselves for the workout with Nutella and Cream Croissants. Back on Argo we got another breakfast and jumped into the refreshingly chilly sea, just in time for Watchteam 2 to take charge of the boat and motor us out of Elba and in the direction of the mainland. Meanwhile, Watch team 1 had the chance to catch up with some sleep. Others helped and watched Becca cook her delicious vegetarian lunch: home made Hummus for everyone. The funny parts about the cooking were her dance performances and her singing skills that are hard to describe. After lunch and a swop of watch teams some brave students took their ICC Exam with Faloon while others continued napping happily in the sun. Around 3 pm we got called up back on deck to take a look at the shipwreck of the Costa Concordia. It was oddly funny seeing a ship that size lying flat sided in the water in front of a beautiful old fishing port, having sailing boats and motor yachts going around it. As there was not enough wind to sail we would fall into the motor rather than a sailing yacht category, but it was still nice to watch the coast of the Italian islands go by. Watchteam 2 got us safely past numerous fishing traps and boat traffic into Porto Ercole, a little port just up the Italian coast. We enjoyed some shore time there and stuffed ourselves with Gelato and pastry- again. After being ferried back to Argo we set the anchor and had some honey mustard chicken that managed to even tempt some of the vegetarians- sadly without any major success. After finishing cleanups we will have time for a quick sea shower and then start to do a Lifeworks forum with Jim. It is an odd feeling knowing that tomorrow morning we will do our last passage on this trip: 30 sea miles south along the coast until Civitavecchia. We are all exited to see Rome but sad at the same time as our time together has almost come to an end.

Posted: Mon, Aug 13, 2012

A day in Elba

Location: Elba
Author: Henry
Today the hard working crew got some well-deserved rest. We were woken up at 7:40. At 8:00 everyone was up on deck and ready for breakfast. Scrambled eggs and hash browns were consumed. Once breakfast and clean up was finished we had our last sailing lesson before our ICC exam. Faloon, our enthusiastic teacher, had organized a game of Jeopardy to test our extensive knowledge of sailing. Naturally we excelled and had a good time. We were then given the opportunity to visit the small town of Elba. Upon arrival we realized that most of the restaurants and all the shops were closed, we then realized that it was 10:40. So we walked around and discovered the quaint town of Elba. With it’s many cafes and small restaurants Elba comes across as a very peaceful town, where life is slow and relaxed. When the clock struck noon, we walked towards the closest restaurant and tried some of the local specialties. I had a Calzone con fungi accompanied by a coca cola. It was delicious. After lunch we were ferried back to the boat on the dinghies. When we got back, it was shower time. We got the chance to do some insane back flips off the bow of the boat, while insisting it was necessary for showering. Straight after showering we watched a film about Irving Johnson. In the film he was describing his crossing of the North Sea, the Atlantic, around cape horn and finally arriving in Chile. He was one of the most famous sailors of all time. Today also happens to be one of our shipmates birthdays, Andrew Kurtz. We were treated to a cake made of cookie dough and brownies iced with Nutella. I don’t think I’ll be able to stand up after writing this because of all the chocolate I ingested. Tomorrow we hope to visit the wreck of the Costa Concordia. We are all very excited.

Posted: Sat, Aug 11, 2012

Cinque Terre

Location: Porto Venere
Author: Katie
The crew of Argo got an early start this morning as we woke up at 5:30 to a beautiful sunrise and many cranky shipmates. After a quick cereal breakfast and packing of sandwiches for lunch, we all put on our hiking shoes and prepared to catch the 6:45 bus to the train which would deliver us at the beautiful, mountainous area called Cinque Terra. The Morning was breezy and the air was chilly but the day quickly heated up throughout the first leg of the hike, which consisted of many steep stairwells but beautiful views that made it all worth it. The first town of Monterrosso was quaint and very pretty with its harbor dotted with small boats and shops. The next leg of the hike was a breeze compared to the first, as it was longer, but immensely flatter and more enjoyable. The second town of Vernazzo was just like the first, beautiful and small, the perfect place to grab a refreshing Gelato and some much needed cold water. Unfortunately, the next leg of our journey was closed off so we hopped on a train to Marmarola where we had a few minutes to peek around the shops before getting back on the trails. We walked through the tunnel of love on the way to the next town and finished our last leg of the long but amazing hike. We were then given the option to look around in the town of Riomaggiore, or go jumping off of rock formations into the warm, and inviting waters of the Mediterranean. Some people, including myself chose the swimming as it was a hot and sweaty day but some people also including myself forgot bathing suits so we dove in fully clothed. Then optional shore time was offered until 7:30 when everyone came together for dinner and squeeze. Tomorrow is another early wake up day for watch team one who will get us started for our all day sail to Elba.

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