Location: Pulau Payar, Malaysia
Day 62. Less than 30 days. It is hard to imagine that we are 2/3 of the way done with this trip. It’s funny to me. We can’t wait for our own anchor watches in the middle of the night to be over, yet wish the clock would stop as we sail around these magnificent Islands of Malaysia. After days like today, it is hard to imagine that you would rather be anywhere else in the world. Today was a day for the records. On this sunny, beautiful day in the paradise of Palau Payar, we swam with sharks. Well, technically, we snorkeled and swam with them as they were feeding at the Marine Park, but that is even more awe-inspiring. The sharks, fish, and other sea creatures swim into the sandy beach area to feed every day at around 1 pm and then leave again to swim out to the ocean depths. It is truly magical to see the sea life around you, and some were lucky enough to see a huge barracuda hanging out on the edge of the reef, past the sandy feeding area.
The day included diving as well, enabling students to tackle some of the advanced diving skills and identify sea life. To be able to relax aboard the ship or enjoy the sandy shores is truly a treat, and for those adventurous enough, there was a hike around the small island where you could get some great photos. Beau and Melissa found an intertube while checking out a nearby beach to the enjoyment of all. The black rubber inflatable is now lashed securely in the dinghy, sure to come out again. The day was your own, and as some relaxed in the sun, others chose to spend the afternoon hitting the books on deck, studying for the feared Professional Skipper and Crew Training (PSCT) Meteorology Exam. The PSCT students took the exam after dinner. When it concluded, the entire crew gathered for a meeting to discuss the next great adventure: sailing 20 nautical miles in total command of the vessel to our next destination, on our own without the staff. To wind things down, there was another activity. James, who is going for his Divemaster certification, decided to head up a night snorkel, much to the excitement of all. Anyone who wanted to could grab a partner and go snorkeling in the sparkling luminescent water in the moonlight before calling it a day. When it was all over, it was just a standard day aboard Argo. Another day. Just another moment to remember in paradise, and yet, it is another chance of a lifetime to be thankful for.