06/29/11 - New Group from Mission:Possible Heads to Sea

New Group from Mission:Possible Heads to Sea

We woke up this morning in a bank of fog, a little sleepy from having each stood an hour and a half long anchor watch in our groups the night before. After a typically delicious breakfast we hauled up the anchor and prepared to set sail. It wasn't long before we shook both mist and grogginess and were underway. We jumped right into activities, C-Watch setting an impressive standard for climbing the rig. Most of our students made it at least half way up the shrouds, celebrating with a triumphant shout of "I'm a Superstar!" before climbing back down with grinning faces and slightly-trembling knees.

On deck, when we weren't cheering for our ascending comrades, we also learned about the different ecosystems in the Massachusetts bay area and why conservation plays such an important role in their preservation. We were surprised to discover that we have such an interesting host of critters living right in the harbor, from sea stars that can lose arms and grow them back, to prehistoric horseshoe crabs, to four-stomached moon jellies there's sure a lot of interesting stuff in and around the water. Pairing that up with conservation, we see how our activities as human beings can upset these fascinating ecosystems and hurt not only other creatures but ourselves as well.

In the main salon, we spent some time reflecting about sailing and living aboard a tall ship. While whalers used to spend two to three years on voyages, our two-day voyaged seemed to give some of our students a new appreciation for dry land. All the same, we talked about how sailors used to read and write to pass the time and express their experiences, contributing a few verses of our own after some inspiration from poet John Masefield, a sailor born in the 1800s.

After lunch, the excitement began to build as we anticipated our deckhand Olympics. Amongst fierce knot-tying relays and coil competitions, we introduced a new event: steering the Roseway. Olivia lead Watch D to its overall victory by holding the ship right on a steady course for a whopping four minutes and seven seconds! B watch was runner up, winning the competition for the most beautiful ballentine coil.

The wind picked up as we sailed into into Boston, the sky filling with puffy cumulus clouds (indicators of fair weather, we learned after becoming experts at boat-checks ) and the sails filling with with a full dose of wind. Passing by a giant cruise ship on our way to the dock, we were sure the passengers felt a little jealous of the Roseway's sharp red sails and historic presence. While the trip wasn't without its challenges, anything from seasickness to learning to wok as a team, our fourteen students definitely learned a lot and enjoyed themselves in the process. "It was hard but worth it" said Perry Ward 17, reflecting on some of the difficulties along the way."It was an awesome trip overall" said Branden Saltzman, age 15.