09/28/18 - Ocean Classroom: Day 8

Ocean Classroom: Day 8

Rockland Harbor, Maine

P.J. S.

My day began suddenly when Cat peeked into my bunk and whispered my name softly. Typically, on anchor watch it had always been challenging to open my sleepy eyes and scurry up quickly into the chilling wind of the Maine coast.  However, when Cat uttered to me gingerly I felt as though the past week of brutal wake ups was finally starting to pay off. We anchored in Rockland Maine, which was where we first began our journey to Hurricane Island earlier this trip; it practically felt like home.  

Waking up this morning, our surroundings were the same as we’d left it the night before, which is always a good sign.  To windward lay the harbor’s brick lighthouse upon the horizon, and to the bow’s portside was the marina, crowded with seagulls and ships.  We had been hidden from the sun all morning by a blanket of grey clouds that casted a haze onto the port below. Along the horizon the blue sky slightly peered out, taunting us with a slight glimpse of the sunrise this morning.  On deck it was desolate, except for my shipmate Nikki and deckhand Tim. Our minds slowly started to wake up while we were rocking back and forth to the steady pace of the ocean’s strength.

We proceeded with our duties of anchor watch- boat checks and every so often devouring tiny spoonful’s of Alex’s birthday cake from the night before.  Our watch was in charge of waking up the rest of the crew below. This is easily the most awkward part of our day, because a love of mornings is an acquired taste, which the majority of us don’t happen to have.  Somehow we all manage to climb up the ladders mindlessly, we muster, and we discuss the chores we must complete. The three groups of seven separate to wash the deck, clean the soles and set up breakfast. The amount of appreciation we have for our cook, Brandon, is endless, due to his creative culinary skills. The food is delicious!  

This morning we squeezed together in the salon to consume our morning meal.  Everyone has grown close to one another. Our group is so good. The people are just so different from each other, in a good way.  I feel like these past few days we’ve stumbled upon so many subjects that different individuals have such deep knowledge about. For instance, Ryan and Tommy both happen to have a hobby and interest in the stock market.  Over past meals, people began to join in and eventually have found themselves sitting in on one of “Ryan and Tommy’s stock show” classes. Along with stocks, our group is scattered throughout the country, and even some countries away, so there’s always fascinating things to learn about each other and our world.  Also due to the fact there’s very limited numbers of people to interact with on this ship, everyone constantly has genuine conversations that have brought us together.

We have begun our classes: Marine Science, Maritime History and Literature, and Navigation/ Seamanship.  We have also begun assigned homework, essays and projects. All of us seem intrigued with our assignments and enjoy working during the time we have off.  Our day wasn’t too eventful; we were anchored all day, so we finished our chores and worked on assignments.

There are moments on this journey that are difficult to convey to others in words.  Only the people with whom we share these moments on the schooner will completely understand these memories.  That’s part of this magical bond! Tonight was one of those moments. There were constant outbursts of laughter that filled the air as the golden light gently touched our faces.  The water was composed of marvelous shades of blue that seemed to glow against the harbor of colorfully aged vessels. On the horizon glistened shades of pastel pinks and purples, complimenting the green pines along the shore of Rockland. Everyone here is just so deeply happy. Still, no words I could possibly use would completely make you understand how magical this experience truly is.