04/27/12 - A Report from the Deck

A Report from the Deck

Addy Allen, lead educator aboard Roseway, reports on leaving West Palm Beach and arriving Savannah.

We came off the dock at Peanut Island in West Palm Beach, FL and headed north up the coast of Florida under full sail. Immediately we were reminded of why we love being aboard our beautiful ship, Roseway, as we headed into 5-8 ft seas with 15-20 mph winds out of the NE, mostly sunny skies on a beam reach and she sailed with ease! Our new cook, Brian, had never been aboard a ship quite like Roseway and was in awe of the experience of helping raise all the sails by hand with the rest of the crew and watching her sails fill!

We spent three days and two nights of fair sailing on the ocean before arriving at the mouth of the Savannah River on April 18. It took three hours once we entered the river to arrive in Savannah at the Westin marina dock on Hutchinson Island. We could see the old buildings and River Street of Savannah from the other side of the river where we were docked. The crew was anxious to get off the boat and explore the town and learn it's history and it's unique relationship to the river, the ocean and some of the ships that have all played a part in making Savannah the special place that it is today. We've been enjoying the great food, drinks and beautiful parks with all of the live oaks filled with hanging spanish moss. The Ships of the Sea Museum is fascinating and the staff there are very warm, helpful and a great resource for us concerning the history of Savannah and the long-standing relationship the town has with ships. This was the first time Roseway has come up the Savannah River and it's impressive to think how many ships have gone up and down this river over time.

Once arriving in Savannah we fell into regular "Anchor Watch" duties where one person is responsible for the ship at all times while the rest of the crew gets to explore the town and see the sights. Watch detail consists of general safe keeping of the boat and cleaning duties at the end of the day. The person on watch is the official caretaker of the ship and also takes initiative to work on tasks that keep Roseway not only exceptionally functional; by pumping out the bilges, doing regular boat checks, and completing small maintenance projects but also making sure she is beautiful to behold, by polishing the bell, scrubbing the soles and bowls and keeping the deck tidy. The crew on watch also continually checks that the dock lines are secure, fenders are in correct position to prevent our 86 year old, 260 ton wooden ship from making contact with the dock. The crew on watch monitors the current of the river, the changing tides and winds and makes adjustments accordingly to keep Roseway safe and secure.

Savannah is one of our several stops in our transit from St. Croix to Boston. It is one of the towns hosting a Tall Ships Festival and we are proud to have been invited this year. In preparation for the festival on May 4-6 we are working hard to make Roseway look her best. Starting with a deep cleaning of the entire topside by Sam and Rodney while they were on watch on Sunday. On Monday, most of the crew sanded and painted the red on the foredeck. Today John, Simone, Sam and Rodney are reconditioning our anchor by chipping away all the rust and repainting it black. Owen is varnishing the steps of the companionway of the galley while Matt is doing battery maintenance.

We have had several visitors aboard since arriving including Judith and Jack, our liaisons for the festival and several Westin Savannah staff. We also had an "Open Boat" evening event on Saturday that drew a great crowd of people who came to see Roseway and learn about the World Ocean School. We have enjoyed having groups of students from four different local area schools that included Oglethorpe Charter School, St Andrews Academy, Chatham Academy and Rambam Day School. We have had so much fun with these students! Having them on board is the main motivating factor for the World Ocean School. With all we do in taking care of Roseway; sailing up the Atlantic coast and taking pride in our ship; the thing that fuels that pride, is sharing her with the people we bring aboard and helping to cultivate new communities with the hope that through this unique and authentic experience, students can have fun learning and experience the value of being part of a positive community.

We've had several great days this week working with students. They have been able to participate as Roseway crew and learn about Buoyancy and Density, Simple Machines, learning the Life of a Sailor and even putting on a harness and Climbing the Rig! We have been focusing each day on all of our Community Values aboard Roseway which are Communication, Teamwork, Respect, Trust and Self-Worth with a particular emphasis on Trust and how it relates to building strong communities wherever we are.