"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

>> 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!



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