"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines.

Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

From the Captain: The Portent of Dolphins

>> Friday, February 4, 2011

Well now it all starts again. Harvey Gamage is as ready as we are able to make her. The crew is prepared and excited.
                  Students arrive on another lovely day in "America's Paradise," St Thomas USVI. Just how does a crew get a ship ready for this kind of thing? Well, provisioning starts with Lizzie Loomis (the cook) ordering a huge amount of staple foods from a local restaurant supplier; peanut butter, pasta, vinegar, bacon, flour, 30 Dozen eggs, coffee, chicken, dish soap, cereal, oats, broccoli… imagine you have to put out 3 meals for 30 crew every day! You get the idea.
                  Meanwhile the ship’s crew paints, cleans, studies the curriculum, repairs, tries to purchase all the things the ship may need down island.  The 1st mate (Mr. Burke) and I walk around deck with lists and wonder what we have forgotten and will have to make do without later on. No problem, that is a Schooner sailor’s job.
                  The Educators J. Pettrillo, E. Southworth, and J.Allen, run around the island getting supplies of their own. They refine their curriculum, brief the ship’s crew on the students and on top of their own work they help get the ship ready.
                  I did say, Dolphins. At our anchorage under the lee of Hassle Island there were 2 dolphins swimming around the ship as we up anchor and make our way to the rendezvous with our students—they follow us, which seems a little strange but I like it. Then they stay around the ship, swimming lazy circles and never straying far. The students arrive in groups and singles over hours, yet still there are the dolphins. Now let me say that I have never seen dolphins stay around Lindberg bay for any great length of time.
                  After we get the new crew (students) settled we normally have a first swim call off the ship to get them salty and refresh them after a long day of travel.
                  The Dolphins stay around.
In fact they are within feet of us as we swim and share the bay with them. We get underway and move back to our anchorage, and they go with us. They stay through supper and cleanup and evening introductions slapping the water as if to say “hey we’re still here.”
                  This morning I haven’t seen them but I get the point. There are many sailors legends about dolphins; that they carry the souls of passed sailors, or rescue shipwrecked seamen, or point they way home…
                  You can think what you want. I see them as a very good omen for our voyage.
Fair winds, Captain Flansburg


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