"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

“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.

Sailing out of Santo Domingo, we beat to weather in light breezes, once again getting used to the sway of the ship and the open ocean after a long time ashore. We had a swim call over a section of the Puerto Rico Trench, 3800+ meters of blue water between our treading bodies and the ocean floor. We saw humpback whales on Silver Bank and a few days later a pod of pilot whales visited during a stunning sunset. And dolphins. Lots of dolphins! Our sailors are taking on more responsibility, navigating the ship and leading the watches themselves, and quite impressively so.

We saw green flashes--many of them, and at both sunset and sunrise. A number of students became "aloft cleared," and have been clamoring aloft for rig checks and the fantastic views. We found the gulf stream by checking surface temperature and salinity in what Scott has termed the "Benjamin Franklin Memorial Quest for the Gulf Stream," a wildly successful venture. The stream added up to 4 knots to our speed.

We've been keeping a record of all of the merchant ships we sight on watch, which have been numerous and challenging to our student navigators, to better understand the maritime world of today. We sailed 207 nautical miles over a 24 hour period, a rare feat for Gamage or any sailing vessel. We've celebrated birthdays and had a masquerade ball.

Not to say there weren't trying times as well. A stomach bug pestered the crew, as did seasickness and leaky decks after the wood shrank being so long in the heat of the Dominican Republic. But we've persevered together and have had a fantastic passage. We're so very looking forward to seeing family and friends so soon in Charleston!


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