"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

Shipboard Life--Student Writing

>> Monday, March 7, 2011

Author: Emily Wallace
March 6, 2011

If you were to ask your average passer by what the role of movement plays in their day to day life, definitions would vary immensely.  Not a single one of those definitions would compare to that of a sailor.

I have always thought of life as a sort of lyrical dance, or movement.  I, my feelings, people, places, and things move.  After signing aboard the Harvey Gamage, my personal perception and definition of movement was stretched, skewed.  Executed through every emotion the human condition could allow or possibly conjure.

Each morning underway, I arise, or on some occasions (quite more often than not) I am propelled out of my rack.  My eyes open to find all of my belongings adrift.  Books flung from places unknown and I could swear I had stowed them adequately.  Getting dressed is a process land people take for granted, a process I once took for granted.  With each roll from starboard (right) to port (left) an arm and a leg make their way through a sleeve of a pant leg.  To another this process of getting dressed could seem as though I’ve never dressed before.  In some cases as if I were doing some sort of jig.  On a ship each movement is magnified.  Steps are added to the most simple of tasks.  A sailor’s movement requires a finesse that only develops with each passage.
Once dressed, I make my way up the ladder swiftly.  Still awakening from a dream state I stumble with each step eyes squinted attempting to find an object to ground me.  As if just preparing for the journey from bunk to deck didn’t ignite enough frustrations, simple tasks such as eating becomes a competitions between you and your food.  The contents of my mug meets my lips before they’ve even had a chance to separate.  Each motion of the fork to plate, back to my mouth leaves a potential for disaster.
Now one month in, my sea legs growing strong, I have begun to move with the sea.  I have begun to move through life in a fashion only known to those aboard a ship at sea.  Life in motion unyielding to your wants, perhaps needs opens your eyes, forcing you to realize each movement matters regardless of how minuscule it may be. 

Author:  Sam Moskowitz
March 6, 2011
Title: A Day in the Life of a Student
The typical day at anchor for a student starts with a wake up at 0700.  At about 0715 all students will “muster” midships (gather at the half way point between the bow and stern).  The head educator, Johnny, will lay out the plans for the day.  Then Captain Flansburg will give announcements.  After his morning talk, the watches will start their chores; deck wash, brass, and soles and bowls (which watch does what will depend on our watch rotation).  We usually finish with our chores by between 0745 and 0750.  At 0800, 8 bells are rung signaling the flags to go up after flags.  After flags, the three bells are rung to signal the on coming watch to eat breakfast.  After the first watch gets through the line, the other two watches can eat and then, last but not least, the crew goes through.  Depending on what we are doing that day, the educators will make up a packing list.  After everybody is packed and the small boats are launched, boat runs will start.  Often times, we will buy lunch on our outing.  But if we are scheduled to be at a place when where we will not be able to buy a lunch for ourselves, we will make ourselves a PB & J to go.  We usually get back to the boat around 1700 (5:00 pm).  Just enough time to discuss the day’s events and set up for dinner.  After dinner, we might have a class or a study hall until lights out, which is at 22:00.  At this time anchor watches commence until 0700 the next morning.  Then the cycle starts again.


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