"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

>> Monday, September 26, 2011

The time I have spent on Ocean so far is time that I would not trade for anything else. I am having so much fun that I wish that this could last forever. The Harvey Gamage is an awesome boat, the crew and are some of the nicest and funniest people I have ever met. I have not stopped laughing and there is not one dull moment with this group.

Within the first night of being on the ship, I knew that the food was going to be good. Our cook Andy is spectacular in the galley, and super nice. He has made everything, from popcorn shrimp, to hamburgers, to r

oast beef, and so much of it that we all fill up. I have had seconds at every meal so far -- it’s just that good. I am amazed that he is able to cook so much, in the small space he has. Every dinner we have had fresh baked bread that he made from scratch, and I just cannot get enough of it! I am so glad that he is our cook because I thought I would end up losing weight on this trip, but instead, I think I will come off Ocean weighing even more!

Two nights ago was our first night watch, and it was a blast! We had the graveyard watch from twelve in the morning to four in the morning, and it was some of the best fun I have spent that early in a day. We all love to have a good time, and when we are together, it is nothing but laughter. However watch is a serious time, so even during the fun, we have to be serious. While on Bow watch, I have to take note of boats, buoy’s, and other objects that come are around our ship so we don’t run into anything. Bow watch is nice too because that’s the time that I get to be with my thoughts, the rolling sea, and the open air. It is calming and relaxing. My favorite part of watch is the helm, which I have done twice. I still have not quite figured out Gamage because she is tricky to steer, but I love knowing the fact that I am controlling a 130 foot schooner on the Atlantic. It takes my breath away every time. While controlling the helm at night, it was a whole different experience. I had to rely on my bow watchers, charts, and a compass. This sort of navigation is completely new to me, but I am learning, and figuring it out.

This trip is testing my limits, and pushing me to do my best, but every second of it is an unforgettable journey. I am excited to continue sailing, and see what the ocean has in store for us, and continue on the journey of a lifetime.

-Ryan Saunders


We set sail from Buzzards Bay first thing on the Saturday morning and sailed for nearly 24 hours—completing our first over night passage to Mystic, Connecticut. It was exciting, tiresome, rolling, and awakening throughout the hours of darkness. Only the red glow of the compass and the distant lights of the shore lines to assure our existence in the civilized world. Bow watch was alert to any changes in the passing sounds and lights, boat checks were circulating the decks and down below, and the helm was true and bold on our course. We were alive with the sea—the excitement only able to be cloaked by the darkness around us.

We arrived in Mystic early Sunday Morning and felt that we had possibly been on a time machine that took us back to the turn of the 20th century. People dressed in odd attire, steam powered vehicles, iron hulled square rigged ships, and the Harvey Gamage seemingly appropriate in this scene.

We set off in this new found living museum of the maritime past and went aboard enormous whaling ships from the late 1800's, saw the reproduction of the Amistad, and were boarded by a fellow dressed in slops named Josiah. He told us tales from his life about sailing the outer limits of the North Sea, running schooners aground in the Caribbean, and seeing the “capital of the world,” London England.

On our Second day in this place that time forgot we had history classes in the town square, darted the iron (threw whaling harpoons), learned sea shanties, sang our own songs on the dock, and were entertained by a private showing at the planetarium—our first exposure to celestreal navagation. There has been many other small adventures throughout our days, but for now we will say farewell to Mystic Seaport and head further South to the Chesapeake Bay to learn about estuarine ecology, oyster fishing, and many more lessons that only the open ocean can teach us.


>> Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It is Ocean Classroom 2011’s second day aboard the Harvey Gamage, our home for the next two months. Three days ago, we arrived at Eagle Pond in Wilmot, NH for some group bonding, but it seems like this group has been together forever. Upon arrival, we divided into watches. A watch for those not familiar with the term is a group of people aboard a ship who look out for the ship. All three watches rotate through four hour shifts, with one two hour watch so that a watch will not be on watch at the same time every day. In addition, we made a trip to Proctor to visit the bookstore and Assembly, as well as to say final good byes to our friends.

When we arrived at the docks yesterday, I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be, though I was nervous. The weather was no match for the excitement of the day as we brought our gear aboard and put on our foul weather gear for the first time. After showing our families around the ship, final hugs and handshakes were exchanged, and the Harvey Gamage made its way farther down Gloucester Harbor. Within five minutes of embarking, nearly everyone had a task, whether it was being roving fenders (making sure the ship doesn’t hit dock posts), or stowing mooring lines. After setting anchor, we unpacked and ate dinner. A little bit about unpacking: my duffle bag is huge and was FULL of gear. To give you an idea of size, if I curled my 5’ 8” self up into the fetal position, I would fit in my bag. When I first saw my cabin, which is in Midships, I had no idea how on Earth I would fit all of my gear without hogging space that should go to my bunkmate. Luckily, we both fit all our gear with a little space left over. Dinner was excellent! Ratatouille and popcorn shrimp with AMAZING cinnamon raisin bread. We broke into watches and learned how to pump bilges, use the head aka bathrooms (which is way more complicated than you think!), palm, and sweat. We also stood our first watch, anchor watch. On a ship someone is always awake doing boat checks in case something happens. I really enjoyed watch, though I felt bad for dropping into the foc’sle at 0030 (12:30 AM) while people were sleeping.

Today has been a great day, starting with waffles and sausages, breakfast of champions. Though few things can compare to Edna waffles, these were pretty good! We are exploring Gloucester today. We did a mock fish auction, visited tide pools, and even soaked one of the educators during a port report. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead in our voyage!



First day of Proctor Ocean Classroom

September 21, 2011

The final anchor watch enjoyed the first sunrise upon the Gamage and prepared for our first full day of Proctor Ocean Classroom. And after a wonderful breakfast we began our ship duties.

All hands were busy washing dishes, raising flags, polishing brass, and scrubbing decks. All were glad to partake and most got wet.

Following our chores we made way for shore. The First stop was a mock fish auction at the Gloucester Seafood Display Auction. The Student were able to view fishing vessels unloading their catch, talk to some of the fishermen, and participate in a mock auction. They placed bids on several species of fish and learned not only the physical process of an auction, but also what determines the prices of fish on a daily basis.

Following the fish auction and a wonderful lunch made by the students in a park, the education staff put on a "port report" presentation on the history of Gloucester in regards to the fishing, schooners, and art of the area. There was lots of laughing throughout, especially when an educator said "those storms can come out of anywhere" and was hit with 23 student water bottles.

After a stop at the Gloucester Fisherman's Memorial to honor the courageous fishermen, we held the marine science class on the beach and investigated tide pools.

We are just finishing up some library time and then to literature class on the shore before heading home to Harvey Gamage for another hot meal. We will be setting sail soon and all are very excited.


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