"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

Orient Point, NY

>> Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Harvey Gamage, currently anchored in the safe harbor of Orient Point on the east end of Long Island, NY, is waiting out weather before heading up the river to Mystic, CT. After rounding a becalmed Cape Hatteras, students and crew experienced heavier wind and seas from the NE as we tried to beat to weather around Montauk Point, as well as pelting rain and cold temperatures. Waves constantly swept the deck but the entire crew's persistence and skill prevailed in the end. Though there are only 20 short nautical miles to Mystic, it will be nice to not fight the weather, if only for one night!
- Josiah


Heading North

>> Friday, April 25, 2014

We've rounded the fearsome capes: Capes Fear, Lookout, and Hatteras, and are headed north along the North Carolina coast in a light south easterly breeze. This morning we passed the Wright Brothers memorial in Kitty Hawk.
After spending a lot of time, and money, in Charleston, we've decided to forgo New York and head for the east end of Long Island and southern New England. This will allow us more time sailing in Maine before we disembark in Portland in a month's time.

All are well aboard!


Happy Easter!

>> Sunday, April 20, 2014

A fantastic Easter holiday to all of our family and friends! We're excited to get under way tomorrow and continue our voyage north. All are well!


Angel Oak

>> Friday, April 18, 2014

A quick stop at the biggest live oak this side of the Mississippi on our way back to the boat... all are well!


Beached Dolphin at Seabrook I.

While enjoying a walk along the sandy beach, I saw two trucks parked near the crashing waves. As I got closer to investigate I could see the body of a bottlenose dolphin. Two women, marine biologists, were taking different tests such as temperature, and were photographing the beached mammal. After looking more closely at the dolphin, I could see lesions scattered on its body. The women told us that the lesions and the fact that the dolphin died on the beach were definite signs of Morbillivirus, though she couldn't tell us conclusively at the time without more extensive testing. This virus has killed over 1,100 dolphins up and down the east coast over the last year. This is the second epidemic, one in the '80's killing only 800 bottlenose dolphins.


Modern ports and southern hospitality

>> Thursday, April 17, 2014

Another day waiting out weather ashore doesn't mean we can't learn about the seaport of Charleston and the ships that call here. This morning we visited the commercial port of Charleston, and saw how the containers that carry the goods we consume are shipped around the globe. We saw how different kinds of cargo, like cars or grain,  require different kinds of ships and seaport facilities, and how technology has impacted maritime labor and seaport culture.

After the port visit, we traveled to Seabrook Island to visit the home of the Watsons, who have been overly generous to a bunch of grubby sailors! Real milk, showers,  beach,  bonfire,  bbq and a watch-free night of sleep... thank you so much! While the Watsons hail from Chicago, their hospitality is clearly of the southern variety. 


Waiting it out in Charleston

>> Wednesday, April 16, 2014

As you can see on the iBoat track,  we're still in Charleston. The cold front that brought many of you April snow showers is creating strong northeasterly winds off of Cape Hatteras, known as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic," so the Captain has exercised due caution. While the old saying predicts that ships and sailors rot in port,  there's definitely worse places to get stuck! We're exploring the sublime spring gardens at the Magnolia Plantation today...


Passage to Parents Weekend

>> Sunday, April 13, 2014

Our short passage from Cumberland Island, Georgia saw us at first motoring in light breezes, then flying toward the Palmetto State at up to 10 knots in rain and fair wind.

On Cumberland Island, we took in the beautiful beach, learned about barrier island ecology, and studied the fiddler crabs on its shores.


“How is your trip going?”

>> Saturday, April 5, 2014

After a two week passage consisting of 1588 nautical miles total, lots have been going on aboard the Harvey Gamage lately. But when you talk to your sailors during their precious, yet fleeting, phone time, it may be hard to understand all of what such a passage entails. You'll hear imprecise adjectives about the trip... great, wonderful, hard, long, tiring, awesome and the like. Hopefully this will help fill in some of those holes.


Hand, Reef and Steer

>> Friday, April 4, 2014

By now, the students have a large volume of knowledge about sailing obtained in the best way possible. By doing.

They are given a task, shown how to do it properly, and then made to do it. 

What have they learned? A small list would be: tying 14 different knots, setting and taking in of 6 sails, helmsmanship, safety drills, cleaning, boxing a compass, sewing, determining wind and sea states, fixing a position with chart and compass, reefing sails, using a sextant to take noon for a latitude, use of radar for navigation and collision avoidance… just a partial list. You may not understand most of it but they do, and they have learned all this on top of a rigorous academic schedule. To what end?

Well now they are entering what we call the Junior Watch Officer (JWO) phase. Now your student who maybe couldn’t remember to pick up his or her room, has to run a watch at sea. Navigate the ship, insure we aren’t in danger of hitting or being hit by other vessels, decide when or weather to set or take in sail. Basically, be a leader, take responsibility for themselves and others and earn the trust and respect of their shipmates. You would be proud.

 Fair winds, Captain Flansburg.


Artists and Sailors

There is something about these long passages that brings out the artist in the sailor. Between Santo Domingo and Fernandina Beach students and crew have created an abundance of poetry, journal writing, and art. It has become commonplace to crowd around the cabin top in the evening and paint the sky, noting changes in color, cloud formation, and ocean hue. 

On the main salon bulkhead poetry is posted and shared. The Flying Fish that have come aboard have been rolled in ink and printed on post cards and t-shirts. The abundance of talented artists aboard has given rise to what we call the "Gamage School of Wildlife Portraiture." The students' notebooks, field guides, and journals are filled with the beautifully depicted flora and fauna of the ports we have visited. The Asa Wright Bird Sanctuary in Trinidad, with its thirteen species of hummingbirds, inspired many illustrations. Our artwork has become reflective of our knowledge of sailing and the natural world around us, each reinforcing the other.  Below are some examples of this creative bloom.


Science Projects

Since leaving Santo Domingo, the students have embarked upon individual scientific research projects.  Each student has come up with his or her own original scientific question, developed a hypothesis, and planned out a procedure to test this question.  The topics chosen are as diverse as our students themselves, and range from fuel efficiency of the ship’s generator, to the abundance of bioluminescent plankton in the waters around the ship.  But don’t take my word for it, I’ll let the students tell you all about it:

Herbert says:

For this project, I’m trying to see if nitrates in the water affect dissolved oxygen content in the water near major cities and rivers.  Nitrates are an important component of agricultural fertilizer, and thus are found in agricultural runoff and sewage.  Nitrates have been known to cause large algal blooms that deplete dissolved oxygen levels in certain areas of the ocean, killing large amounts of marine life.  This has become a major problem in places such as the mouth of the Mississippi river where agricultural runoff from the entire Mississippi watershed has created a large ‘dead zone’.  This project aims to examine whether or not this has become an issue near other large rivers or cities.

Sophie says:


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