"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

Ocean Classroom Fall 2012 Embarks

>> Wednesday, September 19, 2012

After months of preparation, the Fall 2012 Ocean Classroom student crew arrived at Proctor Academy. We had a busy two days near and occasionally on the Proctor campus, during which educators and students got to know one another.  Initial classes in Maritime Literature, Marine Science, and Maritime History were held, giving students the chance to get ahead in homework assignments before joining the vessel.
Yesterday, we left Proctor and joined Harvey Gamage, our vessel and home for the next two months.  Students were given a thorough welcome and introduction to the ship from the professional crew before taking some time to settle into their new home. After a reception with families and friends, we settled into the watch schedule that will set the rhythm for the semester.
The ship's company is divided into three watches, each comprising a Mate, deckhand, educator, and one-third of the student crew. At any given point, one watch is "on" or responsible for the ship, safety, and any necessary work. Every two to four hours the watch changes, divvying up the ship's work evenly between all watches every three days.
As this was our first day aboard, there was much to learn about how to be responsible for the ship and the tasks we needed to complete. This includes boat checks, dishes, and morning chores.  As we gain in experience, these jobs will become habits that we are able to complete efficiently with little or no instruction.
The student crew is approaching their new world and responsibilities with zest. All are actively jumping up to assit one another and professional crew with tasks. They are picking up the lingo of the ship, no small feat given the hundreds of years of language created aboard traditional vessels.  This afternoon we will cast off docklines and head for sea, adding wind, waves, lines, and sails into the things they are learning. We are all excited.


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