By AZ CSO Marek

June 17-19, 2024 —The Chief Science Officers Arizona Leadership Council trip to Seal Beach, CA to see the sailboat RSV Argo was a great experience that helped us learn, but mostly enjoy, the science of sailboats and marine biology.

We arrived first at Douglas Thorpe’s quarters, where he gave us tips, tricks, and an introduction to sailboats. Afterwards, we had fun at the beach and saw the hotel we would be staying at that night.


The next day, we headed over to Douglas’ place and met Dr. Ben, who showed us around his little aquarium. He taught us about animals he had in his ocean-filled tubs and explained to us the risky conditions the ocean is currently in.

Next, we explored two of Douglas’s ships, which included the RSV Argo, which he and a team built from scratch. We had a discussion with him about safety and how to survive living on a ship. That night, we were able to stay aboard both ships! The girls slept on the RSV Argo while us boys spent the night on the smaller boat (we tried to trade boats but with the girls, but to no avail).

We even met the famous Christian Harrell, who is testing out kites as a greater source of energy to pull a sailboat than the infamous sails people typically use. He was especially nice and even let us fly some of his kites! After another full day, we slept soundly in our tiny beds inside the two sailboats, anticipating the next day’s adventure on Seal Beach.

We woke up to the nice, cool air in the populated Huntington Harbor. We started packing and heading towards the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center of Orange County to explore their amazing nursing animals. It was an adorable sight to see the staff tending to the animals. Then, we headed straight to the beach where we played with our newly purchased Boogie Board!

            For the CSO AZ Leadership Council (AZLC), this trip was so fun—like a science excursion AND a vacation—because we were able to participate in so many great activities while in California. We were able to learn, play games on boats and beaches, and explore the science of kites and sailing.

This trip made me become better friends with people from the AZLC and I am so glad that I was able to go. I am already excited for the next big CSO learning experience!

To learn more about the sailboat RSV Argo, visit the SciTech Institute website page: