Location: Ko Samui, Thailand

Awaking this morning was more exciting than most days underway. When I came on deck Ko Samui was in sight off in the distance, a mile or two away. After navigating through multiple fishing lines, we moved in close to shore, searching for an appropriate anchorage. Having land nearby and working for several hours doing a ‘boat appreciation’ is always difficult after several day passages. Today, however, was especially tough, at least for me. It was as though a weakness epidemic had spread through the shipmates, the sun was blisteringly hot, and due to everyone’s movie showings last night in our bunks, no one slept the recommended eight hours. Spoiler alert, we did prevail, and Argo looks immaculate. The first step of a boat appreciation is undoubtedly to put up the tarps, especially on a sunny day like today. After shade covers most of the deck, groups are split up to work down below, where people are taking inventory of food, cleaning out the fridge and freezer, and sponging and mopping dirty surfaces. On deck, the hull is washed with salt away, the floor of the deck is scrubbed in order to rid the dirt from our days on shore, and finally, metal surfaces are polished.

At the beginning of this trip, I wasn’t familiar with Argo, and cleaning up after every meal felt like a chore. Now, Argo is my home, it is our home, and I feel a necessity to keep her looking good, really good. Once in a zone with music playing in the background, usually sharing stories with whoever is around, the hours fly by, and boat appreciation has come to an end. It is quite rewarding to see such fast results on a 112-foot boat. On a freshly cleaned Argo, Laurie prepared a lab for us in OCE in which we had to act as fishermen, scientists, and lobbyists, all in pursuit of the elusive kidney and soybean fish, and then we had a quick SLD class with Jack. With an hour or so to chill out and shower, I was getting antsy from the smell of the kitchen. It was Laurie’s Korean BBQ night, and the food exceeded my expectations – delicious beef, chicken, and tofu in addition to homemade kimchi. We’re all looking forward to the next couple of days onshore, hopefully, enough time to see a water buffalo fight (apparently that is a thing here).