"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

Captain Caroline 10/6

>> Friday, October 7, 2011

6 October 2011- 0900 80nm from Charleston Light

Wind NE’ly 12 kts, clear skies, good visibility

Sailing under all plain sail, starboard broad reach, 6 kts

This morning finds Harvey Gamage a hive of activity. The weather is beautiful, the main salon is filled with teachers preparing classes and blog entries, students filling out logbooks for the hour, and breakfast cleanup teams. I hear the deck watch preparing for wash down, and students “navi-guessing” in the chart room.

We shut down as soon as the Nansemond River joined the James River, at the site of the historic Civil War battle of the ironsides Monitor & Merrimac. Since, we’ve sailed at speeds ranging from 1.5kts to 9.6kts, and made fine passage- with the wind on our port quarter for much of it. I expect to be alongside in Charleston by tomorrow early afternoon. Hopefully, we’ll only fire up the engine to maneuver alongside. The forecast looks promising for this, and the students have been practicing their lines and sail handling skills.

If it hasn’t made it to the web site, I’d like to share again my pride, love, and appreciation for my hometown, family, and friends. Again, they came through to create a fun and memorable experience for the group. They won’t forget it, and loved every minute of it. What a great opportunity to recharge the ship and its company after a challenging passage south.

As for this passage… it’s the reason we all signed up for this. We had a pin chase testing the skills and knowledge of the student crew. We’ve had epic sunsets and sunrises. WE’VE CAUGHT TWO FISH!!!!!!!!!!! (Fishing credit to Matt Poutsiaka). Delicious tunnies. Last night, all hands took five minutes time out to listen to the ship, and then wrote about it… if we’re tech-savvy enough, you can listen as well, and read their reflections. In the last hour before dawn, we were again joined by dolphins- mostly unseen but announcing their presence loudly.

The ship’s company is coming together as a solid crew. All hands are meeting and exceeding the challenges before them, and looking forward to conquering the next set. We’re beefing up on skills for the next big offshore push in a week or so- the 1,200 nautical mile slog to windward. We’ll take these days as the gift they are, enjoy our next couple of ports, and then buckle down to the business of sailors again.

Fair Winds,

Captain Caroline Smith


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