Location: Singapore

The inhabitants of Argo arose this morning to smell of sizzling sausages, which became the lynchpin of some bodacious breakfast burritos prepared by our head chef JJ. After eating, we went below deck and were introduced to the science classes on the boat. Our professors Carolyn and Kimi shared their class expectations and an overview of what we have in store this semester for marine biology and oceanography. There are a number of papers and other assignments that we will have to complete, primarily using the ship’s library to do research. Overall the classes sounded very interesting, especially because all we have to do to see the real-world application is look out the porthole. We also got to see some of the science equipment that we will get to use, from microscopes to dissection kits there will be no shortage of new things to learn about and observe with the arsenal of scientific instruments neatly stored behind one of the benches in the galley. After hearing about the sciences, Nick and Bryant took the stage to tell us about our basic seamanship class. A class that will be impossible to hide from, not only because they know all the hiding spots on the boat but also because in order to make it to South Africa, we will have to learn a least a little about sailing this thing! After a morning of listening to academic talks, everyone was getting antsy to prepare the boat for its first passage, a really long haul from the end of the main dock all the way to the gas dock (about 300 meters). Everyone worked together with what looked like time tested synergy to secure the deck and do all sorts of tasks that none of us had done before. With the boat finally prepped, everyone was eager to move even just a little to the gas dock. Captain Kris masterfully guided the boat through the cramped marina to the gas dock, which allowed us to filler up with a mere 5,000 liters of diesel. After a busy day chock-full of learning and experiencing new things, dinner tasted that much better. We now eagerly await the arrival of guest speakers from one of the neighboring boats in the marina, who just arrived here from Cape Town and are testing new equipment for taking water samples across the Indian Ocean. We cant wait to hear from other scientists who just completed our voyage but in reverse.