I was trying to think of what has happened since I last wrote, and then I was like duh, the shipmates arrived!We spent the morning they arrived getting the boat ready, really just doing some light cleaning here and there because she was already in pretty good shape.They all (minus two who were flying in later) arrived around 1 oclock on the ferry with Jim and were shuttled by dinghy to the boat.Chantale and I had gone ashore earlier and gotten our big tupperwares filled with local Thai food, and when everyone was onboard we had our first lunch on deck.It was really, really hot out and I know some people were slightly discouraged by this, but we told them it was unusually hot and it will get better (which I hope it will because my baby feet can’t take the hot deck).
After a quick cleanup we had a paperwork meeting, and then split into groups to rotate around the boat for an orientation to different parts.Afterwards I led the group in the finer points of the salt water shower, and then had dinner on deck, cleanup, etc.Before bed was a pretty long meeting about the code of conduct onboard and then everyone pretty much passed out.I woke up around six this morning and was a little discombobulated because somebody else was cooking breakfast.I don’t think in seven summers of ActionQuest (and 5 months on Tabor Boy) I’ve ever not had a role in breakfast, usually at least just making sure the proper people are up at the right time and know what they are doing.But because Chantale was the head chef today everything was under control.
temple at the monastery
I think things will change tomorrow, when we have two student chefs and I need to check up on timing, etc. every now and then, but it was such a novel idea this morning and threw me off a little…not in a bad way though necessarily.After cleanup we all went ashore to have a tour of the local monastery, a sort of unique one here because the nuns and monks are completely self sufficient- they build their own buildings, grow their own food, etc.The nuns that gave us the tour were the nicest people ever, and spoke really clear English and wanted us to learn all about their life but not in a pushy way.We walked all around the monastery and saw some really beautiful temples and views, and I didn’t feel that bad about taking pictures all the time because one of then nuns was following us around with a papparazi style camera, taking just as many pictures of us.
At one point a nun gave us a very moving speech about how we are all the same, Americans/Thai, rich/poor, male/female, etc. because we all inhale and exhale, get old, and die.She was a little more eloquent than that, but the whole thing kind of made us all pause and think, especially because one of the main thoughts running through my head that morning was “it’s grilled cheese day!”At the end of the tour we all got to meet the “Grand Master” (or some title like that) of the monastery, a guy who is apparently 83 years old and basically started the place.A nun translated a few things for us, and then there was a photo session.I took that opportunity to get some pictures of the monastery’s dogs, who were quite friendly and appeared to be pretty well taken care of.Next it was back to the boat for lunch (grilled cheese!) and cleanup, and then we all went ashore again to the marine science center.
see Argo at anchor in the distance?
It was closed on mondays but because we were such a big group they opened it just for us.It was a surprisingly fancy place, considering the rest of the island, and was really neat.They had a sort of open tank that you could stick your hands in and pick up some sea creatures.I declined this opportunity mostly, although I did touch a sea cucumber and a starfish.We had a bit of free time on shore before the dinghy pickup so I got a few things that I had been wanting for the boat, mainly a mirror for the bathroom so I can see my contacts when I put them in in the morning.After showers and a nice dinner and cleanup they all had their first sailing class and now people are just hanging out before bed.
Yesterday was our first motor on Argo.
We woke up just before six and were underway by .We had a pretty relaxed motor for ten hours to Ko Samet, where we are now.I spent some time reviewing the CPR course I was to teach, read some of my book, and otherwise just hung out on deck.When we arrived it was quick shower time and then dinner, and then I taught CPR for two hours before bed.It was a pretty relaxed day.This morning I went ashore to get park passes for everybody, as apparently the island is a national park and you have to have them to go ashore.It was a bit of an interesting time trying to get the idea of 24 people on a boat across to a group of park officers that were there, but eventually they got it and one of them even walked down to the beach with me to see this boat thing that I was talking about.
this nun is 23
This island is way more touristy than Ko Sichang, with lots of beachy souvenir shops, a 7-11, and a restaurant on the beach that calls itself “Reggae Pub” and has a huge picture of Bob Marley’s Legend CD displayed prominently.But it is nice to have reliable internet connection, so I can let everyone know that yes, we are aware of the political issues here right now, yes, we are fine, and no, we are not planning on changing anything as of now.There is no violence and no ill will towards us so far.So don’t worry Mom!!
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