North Sails NEWS
THE STORY OF ARGO: PART III
A New Adventure on the Mediterranean
Ingvar Ravelius had a dream when he was 24-years-old that he wanted to build his Opal 46, Argo, and sail around the world. 10 years later, in 1984, he had sailed across the Atlantic ocean and around the Caribbean. When he was ready to take off, he met his future wife Leena, sold everything, and sailed away, departing from Sweden then on to the Mediterranean with no plans to return.
Ingvar and Leena sailed from Gibraltar, east along the Spanish coast, then to Ibiza to visit their friends. They stayed in Ibiza a couple of weeks to pull Argo out of the water for maintenance. While Argo was on the hard, they flew home to Stockholm for a couple of weeks. After sailing for 6 months straight, flying home in just four hours felt strange for the couple. When they returned to Ibiza, they sailed east, deeper into the Mediterranean. Their adventures the following year took them to Mallorca, Menorca, Sardegna, Malta, and Greece.
One sunny day in Lavrion, Greece, Argo was docked and Ingvar was working on deck. He was sanding the varnished surfaces to get the boat to shine, taking great care of each detail.
The tender to Argo was tied to the side of the hull when Ingvar was working. He was so concentrated on his work that he did not notice that his tender had floated away, and the only thing left was the short end of the line, tied to Argo. Ingvar was frustrated that it could’ve been stolen, and was convinced that someone swam out and cut the rope.
Dismayed, Ingvar and Leena decided to pull Argo for maintenance once again and spend their winter at home in Sweden. They made friends with a fellow Swede, who was driving back to Sweden after a road trip to Greece. They joined him for the return trip back home.
Upon their return, they planned to sail through the Mediterranean and across the Atlantic Ocean down to the Caribbean.
But that plan changed soon after they came home to Sweden.
In December of 1985, shortly after they arrived in Stockholm. Leena and Ingvar found out that Leena was pregnant. They couldn’t go back to their adventure as soon as they planned. Leena stayed home in Stockholm until I, John, was born in August of 1986. Ingvar went back and forth to Argo to check up on her. In March of 1987, they returned to Greece with me as a newborn to set off once again. I was 7 months old when I saw Argo for the first time. She was on land in Olympic Marina, in Lavrion, Greece.
Ingvar had bought a new tender. He wrote with big letters on it: TENDER to ARGO and then put a lot of layers of varnish on it. My father is extremely picky and careful with all the things when it comes to the boat. The red inflatable tender is now over 34 years old and is still the Tender to Argo today, it has been with the boat as long as I have.
We sailed away through the islands of Greece and into Turkey. By my first birthday in August of 1987, we had docked in Bodrum. A man selling fruits at a market started talking to my parents about my blond hair. They told him that it was my first birthday and he gave me a watermelon as a gift, which started a tradition. Since that day, I have enjoyed watermelon on all of my birthdays.
It was on this adventure, I took my first steps, onboard Argo.