"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

>> Saturday, January 25, 2014

Meet the Spring Crew of the Harvey Gamage!

Captain Christopher Flansburg -

Raised in the majestic American west, Captain Flansburg started working on boats after running out of money while travelling through Israel in 1988.  From there he continued sailing while also developing his skill as a leader working with youth at risk in south central Utah where he taught wilderness survival and human coping skills. He has traveled and sailed in Europe, the Middle East, and Central America, and finally settled on a career in traditional sail in the late 90's.  When not at sea, he is home working in a circa 1860's farmhouse blacksmithing and tending his chickens. He has been a captain for OCF for more than a decade and we all are lucky to benefit from his experience, sense of humor, and benevolent spirit.

Lizzie Loomis- Cook
Lizzie is so much more than just the cook.  Not only does she provide the crew and students with three hearty meals per day, midrats, and glorious, custom, made-to-order birthday cakes, her galley harbors a sense of community that we come to rely on during the hard times at sea.  When she is not working hard to nourish our bodies, she nourishes our spirits with her radiant smile and angelic singing voice.

A Watch

Willy Leathers - Chief Mate
Though Willy's duties aboard the ship are extensive, from teaching Navigation and Seamanship to overseeing the daily operations of the ship and all her crew, he maintains a demeanor of optimism and patience that sets an example for students and crew. Throughout his life Willy has worked to spend as much time on the water as possible.  Starting out in sailing at a small yacht club in Maine, he's enjoyed racing and cruising, and working as a coach for high school sailing programs.  After attending Maine Maritime Academy Willy has worked in the tug and barge industry and is now enjoying sailing and teaching with Ocean Classroom.

Phoebe McGuire - Deckhand
Phoebe has been sailing for the last year as a deckhand with Sea Education Association aboard the Corwith Cramer, on the Schooner Lynx, and has worked for Hurricane Island Outward Bound during summers in Maine.  This is her first time sailing with OCF which she has wanted to do for some time now.  She looks forward to the semester as she loves working with students. She is passionate about experiential education and has taught with the Travelling School and trained with the National Outdoor Leadership School.

Johnny Petrillo - History Teacher / Head Educator
For more than a decade Johnny Petrillo has been leading students off the beaten path to find the best Roti the Caribbean has to offer. From the boiling lake of Dominica to the fish docks of Gloucester, Johnny knows how to bring a sense of historical perspective to each port stop.  As well as being an engaging educator, outside of the classroom he is an accomplished sailor who runs a summer sailing program in New Jersey, and is a student himself currently engaged in a PhD program in experiential education.  It's this mixture of adventure and academia that make us proud to have Johnny as the head of this semester's education team.  Maybe this spring Johnny will find the perfect Roti!

B Watch

Diane Sternberg - Second Mate
Diane first stepped aboard the Harvey Gamage as a student in high school.  Since graduating from college she has pursued a career on the water teaching and sailing on both the east and west coasts.  A desire to travel, live in a community, write, sail and constantly live in a dynamic environment led her back to the Gamage for another spring semester.

Jake Porch - Deckhand
Jake is a recent graduate of Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama.  He was introduced to OCF through a 3-week class aboard Harvey Gamage offered by the school.  After sleeping through the call to leave the ship, he figured he might as well stick around and help out for a little while.

Scott Spillias - Science Educator
Scott returns to Ocean Classroom this spring as the Science Educator after having sailed as third mate in the fall.  Scott's natural sense of curiosity, diverse knowledge of bird and marine life, and traditional sailing skills greatly enrich the Ocean Classroom community.  Scott is also our resident astronomer and we are more than willing to awake at 2 am on a clear night to listen to him tell us of the constellations and their ancient stories. 

Charlotte  - Apprentice
Charlotte is from Arlington, Massachusetts and is currently on a GAP year.  Next year she will be going to Hobart and William Smith College in Geneva, NY.  She chose to apprentice for Ocean Classroom because she loves sailing and she wants to learn more about sailing aboard a tall ship where she can interact with students.

C Watch

Timbah Bell - Third Mate
Timbah grew up in Gloucester, MA as the middle child in a large family.  He studied science and writing at college in the Pacific Northwest.  Since then he has pursued agricultural work, teaching opportunities, and backcountry expeditions, often water-based.  OCF is the perfect fit for him because of his love for "classrooms" in the midst of intensive communities.

Hila Shooter - Deckhand
Hila is a rockstar.  The start of this spring trip marks one year of sailing on OCF boats for Hila. When she arrived she didn't know the difference between starboard and port, but now she can hand, reef, and steer like any old salt.  The added experience of working with students is really what Hila has grown to love about ocean classroom and this spring she can't wait to share with her students that magical experience of first getting to know an old wooden ship.

Laura Ifill - Literature Educator
Laura was raised along with her four brothers and sister aboard their parents' 47 ft. sailboat.  This experience instilled in her both a love of the sea and an appreciation for the art of living in a tight-knit community.  She has a love for words and language that has led her to study French and Spanish in Marseille and Argentina, and to a career in teaching Creative Writing in the New York Public School system.  Laura's main passion when it comes to teaching is to cultivate in her students a sense of voice that enables them to express themselves in ways they wouldn't have thought they were able.

John - Apprentice

John recently graduated from high school in his native hometown of Toronto.  He is excited to be exploring warmer climes this spring on the Harvey Gamage as an apprentice.  While sailing with Ocean Classroom he hopes to gain experience studying biological systems and seeing experiential education in action.  After sailing on Gamage he will be heading back to Canada to study Zoology at the University of British Colombia


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