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Safety first!

Sep 20, 2013


Location: Lowe Isles, Australia
Author: Laurie Chong
Day 6 of Argos voyage started early for the staff, as they roused at 0530 to haul anchor with the help of the Anchor watch team and move Argo back to Cairns to pick up more fuel for the dinghies. While we waited, we commenced passage preparations and got Argo ready to make way, securing the cabins and unfurling the sails. On our way away from Cairns for the second time, we set three sails, the forward staysail, the main staysail, and the main sail. A shout out to the ladies of Argo who worked hard together to sweat and tail to raise the mainsail. On the topic of rescues, today we went through the three safety drills we will be practicing throughout the semester, Fire, Man Overboard, and Abandon Ship. Emergency pumps and fire hoses were pulled out and we also deployed the dinghy to go rescue Carolyn (the role of Carolyn was played by a life ring). After lunch, Sam taught the first MTE course up on deck, discussing the parts of a sail, the points of sail, and concluded with setting the jib sail. After taking the sails down for the day, and covering them with their covers for the next few days, a little while later we arrived at the Low Isles. As we were anchoring, we were greeted by a few black-tipped reef sharks, some spade fish, a turtle, and a dolphin sighting. A good omen for good diving indeed. Several rounds of gainers and backflips off the bowsprit later, we sat down for squeeze where I asked everyone to share a story of a situation that could have ended badly, but didn’t; an idea that popped into my head after all the safety drills. We learned a lot about each other this evening; more than entertaining stories. Each person is a product of their experiences in life, and learning about their experiences helps us to understand one another better and become closer as a crew. The cooks of the day served up a delicious lamb chop dinner, and asked the rest of their shipmates to thank the staff for a great first week of program by allowing them to go through the dinner line first. So sweet of them! Looks to be an awesome end to week 1 with some great dives in the morning. Ta ta for now!