Location: Underway to Singapore in the South China Sea
Farewells are never easy. I remember when I was a shipmate how saying goodbye to life aboard Argo felt like it took days. There are so many small things that may not seem like much to the outside world but make us cherish our moments onboard. It may be minuscule, like striking the anchor ball for the last time, cooking dinner for the crew one final time, or enjoying the stars on bow watch for one last night passage. Over the past 36 days, we have mastered the art of flaking 4 shots worth of chain. Although one may sit in the anchor locker for 20 minutes making sure the chain lays in neat rows as the hydraulics slowly raise the anchor from the muddy bottom causing your arms to be covered in mud, you think, “when will I ever get the chance to arrange 360 feet of chain that hold a 130-ton boat securely in place again?” Our day of lasts began bright and early this morning with our typical 7:30 breakfast, which was followed by an Oceanography class and then a Basic Seamanship class. Once everyone’s brains had wrapped around the concepts of marine management and three-point fixes, we prepared the boat for one final passage. In the late morning drizzle, we removed sail covers, stored dive tanks, and secured the dinghies, all the while catching our last glimpses of Malaysia, a place of stunning diving, diverse cultures, and amazing people. As the sun began to shine after lunch, a final backflip into the local saltwater was a necessity prior to departure. With the hydraulics in motion, we raised anchor one last time this summer and began our passage to Singapore. With more OCE classes in the afternoon, shipmates had the opportunity to present their research projects they have been very diligently been working on while diving over the past few weeks. The day came to a close with deliciously spicy stuffed green peppers and a beautiful sunset as Argo continued to make her way south along the coast towards the bustling city of Singapore.