Global: Session 1 - Odysseus: Mediterranean
Posted: Sat, Jul 9, 2011
Today is our last day on our amazing voyage. Today started with a massive boat appreciation operation to thank Argo for all 750 miles of incredible adventure she has given us. With lines coiled, decks scrubbed and cabins meticulously checked and squared away, we rushed to the deck, readying fenders and mooring lines to secure our docking in nice. After our final squeeze question, and a beautiful photo presentation and slideshow by our resident Welsh marine conservationist crew-mate Laurie, we all dressed and showered for a fancy final diner at a nearby Harbour-Side restaurant. Our fine friend Jim returned in the midst of dinner, giving and receiving beaming smiles from all. Once returning to Argo, we received our test results for our Yacht crewmen and VHF radio certifications, as well as squaring away any other miscellaneous things before rising bright and early tomorrow for our tearful flight home. It certainly has been a wonderful trip, and all of our memories will not be forgotten anytime soon.
Posted: Fri, Jul 8, 2011
oooooohh fishy fishy fishy…
Today was a long but great day. We woke up at seven thirty with toad in the hole, and cinnamon bread circles. We started our walk up toward the old part of Monte Carlo, which lead us through a pretty garden. Once up in the city we looked for a museum, found it, then killed some time walking through another garden, with beautiful statues and fountains. Also we went to a caf and got our second breakfast of the day. The Maritime Museum of Monaco was worth the seven Euros and should be seen by anyone who goes to Monaco. You walk in to see a giant octopus hanging from the ceiling, and it just gets better from then on. To the left is a room of fossils and sculpture of animals found around Monte Carlo, to the right is where they have governmental meetings. The room was beautiful and full of paintings of octopus for the octopus exhibit. Down stairs was a small but really cool aquarium filled with all animals of the sea. We saw Nemo, or several Nemos, seahorses, and all sorts of other fish ranging in a variety of colors and sizes. On the third floor of this incredible museum was the Prince of Monaco’s wedding tuxedo and the princesses wedding gown. The room to the left was full of model sail boats and to the right skeletons of Whales and giant fish. The museum was full of tons of things, most of which had nothing to do with each other. We sailed out of Monaco to a random bay to take our crew mans test which took some of us a second try to pass. The old city of Monte Carlo was a great place to end our trip.
Posted: Thu, Jul 7, 2011
So you say its your birthday… Comrade
The Motherland calls, we answer. We shall never question the orders of our superiors. If the command cries that we shall sail to Monaco we are obliged to answer the call for Mother Russia. That is exactly the order from last night. Comrade watch teams manned the nuclear submarine Argo all night through the cold depths, 3 hours on 6 hours off. We must all do our part to please Soviet Command. The Mediterranean belonged to the Motherland that night. Argo silently arrived in the capitalist port of Monte Carlo at approximately 0900, sun shining through the periscope. The corrupt port authority cowards had us wait in anchor until 1400 to dock, they will pay for their crime against the glorious Argo. The port authority pilot boats swarmed around us like annoying capitalist flies, intimidated by our size and pride. It was a glorious victory for Russia and the sailors aboard Argo. We then successfully invaded the port and had our fill of fine Imperialist food and purchasing of their fine goods. The Monte Carlo Casino was left untouched; we have no use for capitalist currency. After glorious showers, a reward for our comrades, we returned to Argo, the pride of the Soviet navy. Two comrade sailors shared the same birthday (July 7), obviously calling for a celebration. Comrade chef Mike Oleg O’keef prepared a meal far superior than our western rivals. British defector Chloe McLain prepared chocolate cake. The roast was such that would make Stalin crave. Desert shortly followed, admittedly a western treat but we did not think about the capitalist dessert as toxic, at least not tonight. Every comrade sailor and captain then returned to bunks on the prestigious Argo, the finest nuclear submarine the world has ever seen traverse the deep. Long live Lenin’s Russia!
[Chief Political Officer Matt Dmitri Giannotti ending dispatch] If in threat of retrieval by allied forces destroy immediately
Posted: Wed, Jul 6, 2011
They Grow Up So Fast
Wow. I feel like I’ve made a full circle. And I guess if you look at our job wheel I have. We’re all back at the jobs we started with, making this our 15th job, and some how our 17th day of the trip. I can’t believe how time has flown. Today felt like a ridiculous blur, further adding to the feeling of the quickly passing days. (Honestly I’m getting anxiety thinking of saying goodbye to Argo and all of the wonderful people I’ve met.) We’re currently underway heading from Portofino to Monaco so I don’t have a willing 13 others to help me think of things to say. At 6AM Watch Team 2 was up and ready to get Argo moving towards Portofino. They took off sail covers, raised the anchors, and hoist sails. (I’m not entirely sure what was going on because I was asleep but it sounds like it was a busy two hours). Around 9:45 I, along with the rest of watch team 1, was woken up to start my watch. We lowered the sails as Argo gracefully pulled into the beautiful Portofino. I think everyone was still groggy at this point, seeing as how we were all still in PJs and rocking the bed head, but we got all of the lines coiled and learned that Portofino would be a quick stop on our way to Monaco. At 11:30 everyone was cleaned up and looking more presentable, so we loaded on to dingys and ventured towards shore. There were many little shops and interesting things to check out. The girls split off to go shopping and eat, while the boys romped around. We had a great lunch on shore and found some delicious Gelato, finishing it all with a walk around the main harbor area. After a few hours of exploring the little town, we all jumped back on to the dingys toward Argo and the idea of an 18 hour sail toward Monaco. We’ve now been underway for 5 hours. And after singing along to some Disney Pop everything has wound down. While some are sleeping and some watching the sunset, I’m left here to reflect on what an incredible trip this has been.
Posted: Tue, Jul 5, 2011
And so we walked…
The day started with wake-ups at 6:45 or 6:54, whatever. We had a huge awesome breakfast to wake us up and provide us with lots of energy for walk time with Mike through the Cinque Terre… or hell time with Mike as we like to call it. Cinque Terre means Five Lands and is five small towns spread out along an impressive shoreline of steep mountains rising out of the sea. We boarded a ferry that took us along the Cinque Terre trail then had some time on shore after getting off of the ferry at Monterosso al Mare. From there we proceed to a light stroll toward Vernazza… yeah right! The walk was very rewarding, the scenarios and points of view were one better than the other. Once in Vernazza we had a walk around town and then lunch, right after lunch our group made street music which was really funny. We continued on to Corniglia, another steep trek. Sadly the trail to Manarola was closed due to over flooding the night before. But the trail did not end there… we found an alternative trail that led to Manarola and we were separated in two groups; people who wanted to continue walking/ running … and people who didn’t. Before we left to Manaroal we stayed sometime on Vernazza to walk… or get Gelato. The group that didn’t want to continue took a train to Manarola; luckily our timing was so perfect that we ran into the other group at the exit of the train station. Finally we took the last path to Riomaggiore along the Way of Love’ footpath, which was a gentle stroll along the bottom of the cliffs, decorated with padlocks sealed by lovers. There we took a ferry back to Porto Vernere with everyone exhausted but having had a great time.