"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


>> Tuesday, May 22, 2012

By Claire, Elizabeth, and Libby

Day by day
Bay by bay
Red skies at twilight
Dawn comes on so bright

We’re just here
No land near

Got dirty feet
And dirty hair
But that’s okay
We just don’t care
Long as we keep sailing on

Down to sea, snorkeling
Mahima’s class and I got swass
Oh- A watch broke something again

Port to port
Place to place
Well remember every face

Into port
Muster all
Look around for something tall
‘cause you know well hike it soon

4 am, harness on
Deck is dank
We wait for dawn

Helms to lee
Swim call for me
In the middle of the sea
Mr. Bailey
Don’t yell at me
I didn’t mean to jump over the sheets

Got to fear
No land near

Go to Mr. Grumpy
Celestial G
Staring straight back at me
I just don’t want to eat beans any more

Smelly bunk when you go to sleep
No one knows quite where it leaks

Morning forward, 15 minutes
Look around for whose not with it
Doug and Jackson get your butts on deck

Got no fear
No land near

Nav-Sea class
It’s time to nap
Sunglasses on
Cheap seat in the back
Better hope you won’t be shooting noon

Passion fruit
Sea cats blend
It was hard to believe
The tropics would end

Down to deck
Jibs are backed
Gonna gybe
Or is that tack?
Helmsman, you better get on course

Down the hatch
Don’t look right
Even though its day
It’s dark as night
No there not two people in that bunk

We’re just here
Got no fear

Good for boats and good for hikes
Cap’s magic shoes are good for life
They don’t make jellies like this anymore

The horticulture’s seen better days
Caribbean sun has faded away

Constellations in the sky
Orion’s belt and Gemini
Through wind and wave they guide us by

Glitter glows in our wake
Bioluminescence, you take the cake

We’re just here
No land near

Beam reach and blue ski
Knots to tie and things to try
Man, these four months sure slipped by

Good friends are hard to find- they don’t come around all the time
Miss Hughes when you left
We know your thought
Our trip was the best
Calabash, we miss you too

To the crew, kudos to you
It’s amazing the things you’ve brought us through
Just so you know, we love you to

Walk away it’s hard to say
When I’ll see you again someday
Day by day           
Bay to bay
Red skies at twilight
Dawn comes on so bright

Now we’re here
We got no tears.



The last time I saw my Grandfather before he died, he took me to Newport, Oregon- to the sea, where I could explore the beach and check out the marine museum. I’d told him that I was interested in the ocean, so he wanted to leave me with a push in the direction of my dreams. His goal of sparking my interest in the ocean helped lead me to do a semester at sea in the first place.
The ocean, to me, has always meant more than just a bunch of open water. To me, the ocean is opportunity it is knowledge, and it is greatness. It touches every culture and carries every ship. All I want is a piece of this knowledge, this opportunity, this experience. I will take as much as I can get.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I arrived on board the Harvey Gamage four months ago, which turned our great because it blew my small expectations out of the water. The places we’ve been together have taught us lessons of life and love that we will value for the rest of our lives.
This experience is unique in its way. Never again will we all be back together in the same way, sailing the same waters and seeing the same places. So we’ve learned to value our time together and to value our privileges in life. I have learned the value of teamwork and friendship that I’ve never fully realized before. With these kids, I’ve laughed until I cried and cried until I laughed, leaning on them all along the way. With them I’ve raised sails, conquered the wind and climbed volcanoes. Together, the arduous task of cleaning the entire ship fore and aft goes by quickly and pleasantly. We’ve pushed each other forward and kept each other happy. As I prepare myself to leave my home for the past four months and the people I’ve been with every moment of it, I realize what a priceless experience this has been, and I wouldn’t exchange it for anything. Not the best skiing in the world or the most beautiful spring. I am so glad to have been able to do this.
A quote from Joseph Conrad’s short story “Youth”, which Mr. Bailey read to us on the passage to the Dominican Republic, reflects on a sea voyage… “You all had something out of life: money, love-whatever one gets on shore- and, tell me, wasn’t that the best time, that time we were young and at sea: young and had nothing, on the sea that gives nothing, except hard knocks- and sometimes a chance to feel your strengths…” The sea has showed us all our strengths, and has opened our minds to the possibilities of dreams. We may not always be “young and at sea”, but remember that time when we were?
This invaluable experience requires a huge amount of gratitude. To the crew, who pushed us to learn our duties and lead us in their footsteps- Thank You. To our teachers, who, with their persistent education, became more than friends- Thank You. To our friends and family here today- Thank you for supporting our dreams and providing us this awesome opportunity. Each of us has been gifted with valuable knowledge of life, and I hope that in our lifetime we can spread these lessons of kindness, selflessness and love to the world.

I don’t know if or when I’ll see the Gamage again, but I wish her and future crew fair winds and safe voyages, and the same to my friends as we head back to our own homes and the real world.

Meg, Bettlehem, New Hampshire 



One ship, four months, 17 weeks, 2,856 hours, 31 people, three heads, ten countries, 120 sunsets, 12 hikes, infinite snorkles and swim calls.

Together, we have done it. We survived. Congrats! Throughout these four months we have learned so much. Not only have we earned how to live, we’ve learned how to fully appreciate the little things. At first we learned how to sleep with everything we brought, work the head, pull on a halyard until our muscles burned, and to throw buckets in a seamanlike manner. As time went on and we got deeper into the Caribbean, we learned how to deal with the heat, enjoy the seemingly endless fruit, look for the green flash, climb coconut trees, and harvest cassava. Right around then, we started our metamorphosis into salty sailors. In the Dominican Republic we learned how to give all we could and appreciate our lives, how to speak broken Spanish. In Trinidad we sat through many long bus rides and learned to never close our eyes. In Tortola, when a ray jumped out of the water and over Softie, we learned to never look down. When we came back to the States, we saw our own culture through different eyes, learning about ourselves. The cold taught us how to wear all our clothes and still fir into our harnesses, while time itself made us appreciate the cold, misty, mornings as we headed up through New England. Maine taught us to be adventurous. Mystic taught us how to effectively shop for warmer clothes, and lookout underway taught us the beauty of singing the song stuck in our heads. From everywhere we’ve been, we have taken a little piece of knowledge, a little bit a of culture, a ticket to life.

The Caribbean taught us how to laugh and embrace the world.
The US taught us how to be strong and carry on.
The Harvey Gamage how to give it all you’ve got, and still have fun.

I have enjoyed becoming schooner bum with you guys. Thank you for making our trip great.

- Elizabeth, Camden, Maine



Photo Credit: Jackson Stevens

How do you measure the extent to which one adventure impacts the individual? Is it through the amount of strange new lands they encounter on their travels, or through the score of challenges that they face and overcome over the course of the trip? Perhaps it is all of these things. For the past four months as students living and working aboard the Harvey Gamage, we have overcome more challenges than we thought possible, and we have become a cohesive group that has faced everything from soles and bowls to seasickness, as well as intimidating likes and the chaos of the second’s line. And through it all we have been learning and growing: learning how to live and work closely with others, and growing into new people who have seen just a little more and whose hands now show rough callouses acquired by working at sea, more prominently than the hands of that excited, and perhaps scared teenager who stepped off that plan on January 26, into the hot stifling, blinding sun of St. Thomas. I talked earlier about challenges and I think most everyone will agree with me when I say that the biggest challenge we will have to face on this trip will also be the last one we face as a group, and that is leaving. Because here we found something, a closeness, a sense of tolerance and family we would not and could not acquire anywhere else. Together we have seen tall mountain peaks and slain countless dragons side by side. It will be hard to explain to people back in the “real world” how, for the past four months, the place you considered “home”, the place where your heart was and where you felt most comfortable, was right here, surrounded by your shipmates and the sea.

Frank, Vinalhaven, ME



“Thar she blows!”

On April 18thwe experienced a spectacular sight of multiple species of baleen whales feeding off the productive grounds of Platts Bank in the Gulf of Maine. The Whales, like us have completed their migration from the tropics to the temperate latitudes. Here is a poem Audrey Sheehan wrote in the Caribbean, when we first witnessed these spectacular creatures on our voyage.

I sit on deck, in the sprinkling rain,
waiting with my shipmates for our anchor watch to end.
All of a sudden we hear a blowhole.
The three of us jolt, rush up as if we have seen a ghost, to the rail,
unknowing of the creature that lies beneath us
There it is again…
There in the full moonlight I see it.
The smooth gray dorsal of what I make out to be a bottlenose
“Phft!” One.
“Phft!” Two.
“Phft!” Three.
Sitting in the Port of Spain Harbor, on a starlit night in Trinidad,
On the Harvey Gamage at four in the morning.

- Audrey, Chagrin Falls, Ohio 



Remember the Caribbean?
Cookouts, cuddling, classes on the beach,
Encouraged by the afternoon sun.

St. John: Where hikes brought land sickness
Statia: Free time, SCORE!
Antigua: are we there yet?... Can we leave yet?
Dominica: Fresh water, fresh food, cliff jumping.
St. Lucia: Dock-lines tied to palm trees. We run.
Carriacou: Scurvy sets in. Climbing up rocks at beaches.
Trinidad: The Breakfast Shed. Northern Range

Memories fade,
Relationships change.
All that’s left is what’s captured and saved.
Memoirs, mementos,
Photographs and scars.

Now just lie down, and look at the stars.

- Brendan, Dublin, Ireland. 



“When you go to Maine, your clothes will never dry!” “It will rain a lot and the sun will never shine!” That was all I was told from friends who had sailed up to these parts of town before.
            Luckily, that hasn’t been the case. Actually, we have been lucky this entire trip. Maine is beautiful, one of the most amazing places in the United States. There is no other place like it.
            We climbed to the top of the Mount Desert Island and got to see the chain of islands that are a part this absolutely beautiful state.
            The forests are wooded, filled with endless amounts of pine and little creaks and rivers. You can go on and on until you reach the ocean, without a soul in sight.
            Stopping at all of these islands in Maine, hiking exploring and being able to just sit and enjoy has been wonderful.
            I was so sad about skipping New York City, but all of the sunsets, sights, and clear, beautiful days of sailing have been absolutely worth it.

Patricia, New York, New York. 



She swoops and soars,
            Loops and roars,
Fluid as can be.

The Spring
in her steps,
The twinkle
            In her eyes.

We reminisce,

They go through the motions,
We live by the ocean.
Spice and flowers,
Rain in showers.

We wiggle our way,
Through the lavendar days,
            And smile,

Chapin, Yarmouth, Maine



We have seen some exotic places that few people will ever see by schooner. Coming from the Caribbean back to the USA has been an interesting transition. From the small tropical islands to the cities and towns we have stopped in along the way, my favorite location has been Maine. Our first stop, or northern-most point of the trip, was just off of Jonesport, at Mistake Island. Even though at high tide we could see a small part of Jonesport, it was peaceful and secluded. All around us were small, spruce tree-covered, rocky islands. It was beautiful in a New England way. When we first arrived at Mistake Island it was foggy (typical Maine weather, even though Captain Smith won’t admit it) and we couldn’t see much of the surroundings at all. By the next morning the fog had lifted, and we saw the scenery. Rocky shores, islands everywhere, and seals sleeping on rocks. We got to explore Mistake Island, finding cool things in the intertidal zones like fish eggs and nudibranchs, and of course crabs and lobsters.
            The next day we spent a few hours alone, spread out on different islands. I was sent to Knight Island, which was the biggest island full of spruce trees. Some other people were on not much more than a rock. John was on a small rocky island not far from the boat, all by himself. While there were other people on Knight Island with me, I heard no one for the two hours I was there. Once our solo time was over, Captain Smith came by on Sherman (our skiff) to pick up the maroons. The next day we left Mistake Island, but I will remember it as my favorite stop on the trip, even after making the icy plunge into the water on the second morning.  I have enjoyed each place we have been, but none as much as Mistake Island.

Zack, Newberyport, MA


"Oh, Pine Tree State!"

It’s hard to describe the feeling that first came over me when the evergreen islands of downeast Maine materialized like emeralds out of the fog. The tall pines and spruce trees seem to hold more wisdom than the oldest man, and the gray seas underneath the boat seem older than the earth itself. Here tall rolling hills that start high in the sky, swoop low to the edge of water, and in the distance loon calls echo off of the mountain peaks. “Oh, Pine Tree State!”

- Frank, Vinalhaven, Maine



>> Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The most incredible thing just happened. I was aloft on the mainmast enjoying a calm sunset, rocking gently back and forth with the swells. I noticed the wind pick up ever so slightly so I zipped up my jacket. The wind picked up a little more, and then more again. A small nip on the radar reflector snapped on the foremast where Jackson was sitting and flung into the air. We looked at each other in confusion for a second, then a HUGE gust of wind knocked into the sails. "Hold on tight!" Jackson yelled as the boat began to heel. The masts creaked and moaned as gust after gust of wind barreled into the sails, pushing us forward in quick bursts (I later found out we were going 10.5 knots, a trip record). I glanced aft to see our deep wake, then down where bodies scrambled out of the hatches, half-dressed, to help. A piece of clothing flew into the churning sea. Everyone grabbed ahold of the fisherman's halyards and yanked it down. The boat was at a dangerous angle, and I could see the waves getting ready to crawl under the scuppers. On deck they struggled with the fisherman until they got it on deck and the boat tipped back to a normal angle. Someone on deck yelled for Jackson and I to come down and quickly I squeezed through the cross trees and clambered down the ratlines. It was a sunset to remember.

Chapin, Yarmouth, ME


>> Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"If I make it there   I'll make it anywhere  It's up to you  New York, New York"
 Frank Sinatra's voice sang out over the intercom and carried us all on deck. As I left the companionway my breath was taken: above us, Lady Liberty emerged from the fog, tall and noble, and students stood in wonder, all except Patricia and Elizabeth who danced the Foxtrot with big goofy grins painted on their faces. We remained on deck long after the city lights came out. They were a departure from the starry night sky, but they were beautiful.

From the moment we entered Sandy Hook Channel I was inspired by the students. They successfully tacked up and down the Lower Hudson with Brendan at the helm, an impressive feat considering the traffic, variable winds and pressure of getting each tack just right. This would have seemed impossible two months ago, but they they handled it with ease. Peter W had planned our course through tight channels and he and Claire used the chart and buoys to successfully complete the task. Once anchored, Lady Liberty watched over us throughout the stormy night. The next morning we woke to beckoning seas and marveled at the city as we passed through the East River. With students perched aloft photographing the skyscrapers, I couldn't help but revel in the fact that the first skyscrapers were not in cities, but on the sea. Old square-rigged ships carried sails so high they were referred to as sky-scrapers, and above that were the moon-rakers and then star-gazers. Inspiration all around. 

Our passage up the Long Island Sounds was a high point of the trip; the conditions were perfect and we traveled 5 knots using only the staysail. Students were in high spirits despite the cold. In Mystic we made connections to our maritime past, visiting the Charles W. Morgan, various exhibits of all things maritime including figureheads and music, and even had the chance to row whaling boats. Students worked on their ditty bags in a sail loft and experienced Mystic Seaport in the intimate way of a mariner.

Our visit in Mystic coincided well with academics. In Maritime Literature students discussed The Sea-Wolf while sitting in the fish hold of the L.A. Dutton, an old and fast whaling schooner. In Maritime History students are finishing their independent research projects, and those who are researching whaling and fishing sailboats found themselves immersed in their topics of study. In Marine Science students are finishing independent lab reports. With the end of the semester quickly approaching, students find themselves busy, both with schoolwork and with the pressing need to make the most of every second. 

A special thank you to Katie's parents and grandparents for their hospitality. We all enjoyed the barbaque immensely.

Abbey, Literature Teacher


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