What an amazing week to be an educator aboard the schooner Roseway! The week contained everything from maintenance to the ship, education programming with elementary, middle, and high school students, to some sunset sails and private events as well. The variety and scope of learning opportunities for the deckhands aboard the ship is unbelievable. And the fact that we get to encounter everything side by side, from our struggles to our successes, provides so much opportunity for growth… and fun!
Monday was a maintenance day which included some welding to the main mast and working with the peak halyard rigging- so a lot of work aloft, which thankfully was performed fantastically by my fellow deckhands, haha (working 90ft. above deck in the rigging is hard and scary!)
Tuesday we began a five-week program working with students from Elena Christian, a local jr. high school. It’s always exciting to meet our students on the first day as their energy and excitement is palpable and infects the crew with an amazing aura. We discussed the importance of using effective communication while working and living aboard Roseway. After observing the crew’s effective use of communication during un-docking, the students demonstrated excellent communication skills during the setting and striking of sails. After sails are up we break into our rotations for lessons and the students split time learning navigation, knots, and coiling lines. Daudi had so much fun that he asked if he could come back the next day!
We then had a group of young elementary school students from a Montessori school join us on Wednesday. The little ones were so full of positive energy it was amazing. The students were able to explore the ship and discuss different parts of the boat. They also learned about simple machines and how we use them to make work easier for us while sailing. They sought out examples of all six simple machines on board to discuss how practical and useful they are.
Thursday we had students from Complex and St. Croix High School join us to begin their Junior Crew Program. The first day entailed setting sails and having the students help with all the procedures we do to get out on the open water, from docking and hauling halyards to striking and furling sails.
After their intro to sail handling on Thursday, Friday saw the junior crew joining us for maintenance in order to learn how we take care of a 93-year-old wooden Schooner and do some hands-on labor and skill building. Afterwards, we all change into our Roseway reds to welcome our guests for our evening sail. The junior crew learn how the business side of the tourism industry works as they help us teach our guests about the ship and student programming, all while providing an entertaining sunset sail.
After all is said and done, it was just another great week working aboard the Roseway, which included much fun, adventure, learning, and making friends. Would I rather be doing something different anywhere else in the world? The easy yet emphatic answer is… NO!:)