11/05/17 - Ocean Classroom 2017: All Hands Working Together

Ocean Classroom 2017: All Hands Working Together


November 5, 2017: Today has been a picture-perfect Ocean Classroom day and likely one that will stick out in my mind for years to come. Being a Sunday it was bound to be a good day from the start, since Sunday is the one day that the students (and educators) have completely free of classes. The day started with some weather on the horizon, when I was woken up- “there is a squall seven miles out, wear your foulies.” As I rolled out of bed and got dressed instead of reaching for my raincoat and foulie pants I grabbed my bathing suit and sundress hoping to use the squall as an opportunity for a freshwater rinse. The squall rolled in just as we rapped up breakfast and many took to the deck to take advantage of the opportunity to take a shower. As the squall line retreated and the sun began to come out the day really started to get going. There have been many projects taking place on the decks of the Roseway over the past couple of days to get our main sail and foresail back up and running. After much hard work by Seth, Big Will and many of the crew, the jaws on the main gaff were once again operational and ready to hold up our biggest sail and main source of power. It took many hands to haul the gaff from the deck where it had been placed for repairs up into the air into position to have the sail laced back on. Once this feat was accomplished all hands were called to set the main. Students lined up with crew along the halyards and hauled up the main and we were sailing once again. Now that one sail was up and running the crew and student hands turned to the hole in the middle of our sail plan left by the absence of the fore. The storm tri-sail was hauled up out of the bilge and rigged up in the space left by our out of commission sail. The storm tri-sail which is designed to be hoisted in place of the main in unfavorable weather when there is too much wind for the main is too long to be rigged onto the for boom and took some creative rigging to get into place. It took a few tries to get the lead on the sheet just right but after some adjustments, the storm tri-sail was up and flying. With our main sail and jury rigged for Roseway is once again coasting towards the Caribbean under a (mostly) full suite of sails. The parts of the day not filled with rigging and hoisting sails found students enjoying the sunny class-free day by taking bucket showers and generally hanging out on deck and enjoying each other’s company. Matthew set up a tattooing shop on the cabin top decorating students with henna designs of their own imagining as part of a History class earlier in the week that focused on the history of tattooing. As we start to eat away at the final two weeks of this year’s ocean classroom voyage these picture-perfect days will continue to roll in as we sail closer and closer the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean. While our final days on board Roseway as a ship’s company draw closer all the inhabitants of our floating home continue to take each day as it comes and get the most out of this experience. Recommendation aboard.