Ocean Classroom 2018: Northward to Castine

Posted by Ocean Classroom


Proctor's Ocean Classroom program set sail from Boston Harbor just under a week ago, but to the 21 students aboard Roseway, the rhythms and routines of life at sea have already begun. Check out the first six days of Ship's Logs, video, and photos of the first week of Ocean Classroom 2018 below!


Day 1 | 9/21/2018 | Daniel ‘20

The emerging swells crash against the bow of the boat, the wind facing in the southwest direction. The mildness brings on thoughts of the short yet complex journey that brought us to this reality. Last Sunday, car after car arrived at Eagle Pond. The differentiation of students on the list brought both anxiety and excitement for the coming months. Those who were already close friends scampered off in different directions of Camp Kenwood forming initial barriers, but in hindsight, this meant absolutely nothing. The formation of watches followed by dinner and a fire brought the initial volatility to an end.  


Camp Kenwood and a brief appearance on campus at Proctor ended with a trip to Hurricane Island off the coast of Rockland, Maine. There, we met Teddy, Lexi, and the other educators that inhabited the island. The expedited trip brought even more anticipation for the boarding of Roseway.

On our last night at Hurricane Island we touched on the most pertinent subject in all of our minds, Dave Pilla. Our pondering of the principles that Dave embodied nearly brought us all to tears. The untouchable subject that we chose to talk about forged an elemental interconnectedness between us all. Dave will be remembered by me for giving us the opportunity to achieve happiness in its purest form.


Our final journey on land was from Hurricane to Boston Harbor. It was all about to begin. We all said goodbye to our parents so that they could be reassured in person by Brooks, Eden and Captain Flansburg. Regardless of our craving for our parents’ love, we wanted to cast off without delay. There it began, our journey on the schooner Roseway, a moment that will never be forgotten. As I sit on the deck of the ship, I recall both today’s sailing and safety introductions as well as the recent day’s events.  The encroachment of the blatant surrealism cannot be ignored. Here we are. Here we go!


Day 2 | 9/22/2018 | AJ ‘19

Then we were off.  Once we sailed away and waved our parents goodbye, there was every emotion circulating through my body. I was excited, nervous, but also terrified.  Within seconds of leaving the dock, Captain Flansburg had me take the helm. His calm demeanor instantly settled my nerves. This was truly a day of firsts. Going from first helmsman to first anchor watch definitely opened my eyes to the difficulty of the trip, as well as the incredible adventures yet to come.

Next morning around 0700, I was woken by Nikki to start off the day with chores. Although we technically had watch, we spent the majority of the time doing safety introductions and procedures.  Then came the moment we had all been waiting for- setting sail!


The greenery slowly disappeared in the distance as we sailed further and further into the open ocean. After losing site of land I started facing one of my most sensible fears- getting sea-sick.  This was extremely intimidating to me because it was only the first day aboard Roseway, yet I wasn’t alone. Others felt the same as I did, which satisfied me. The crew was unbelievably supportive, understanding, and helpful, reassuring everyone that it’s all going to be okay.  Our watches began and everything fell into place. The day darted by in what felt like an hour until the crashing of the seas rocked me to sleep as I waited for my 0400 watch to come. A new day arose with red horizons and porpoises swimming in the swells. My watch begins!

0000- 66.7 nm traveled

0000- 32 nm from land- Cape Neddick, New Hampshire


Day 3 | 9/23/2018 | Teagan ‘20

My day commenced with an early three-thirty wake up. I waddled up the steps restricted with six upper layers and three bottom layers. I scanned my dark surroundings. I found myself shocked by my powerful night vision, coupled with the bright moon. Satisfaction filled me when I spotted Orion’s Belt painted across the night sky. Finally, the stars I have been waiting for emerged from the thick cloud curtain. I stood distant at the bow, watching the placid water stretch on for what seemed like forever. Reflective images constantly distracted me from the mindless duty I had been assigned to. After what felt like hours, I was finally relieved of bow watch and assigned to boat checks. I quickly realized that while checking the forepeak bilge I could conveniently spend more time regaining warmth and hiding from the chilling breeze.


In the two hours that we had been awake the sun had managed to begin painting the sky with pastel pinks, oranges, and faded purples. With an overwhelming sunrise off the starboard bow and Mount Washington emerging from a hazy cloud off the port stern, I was distracted from the damp cold and my wandering mind.


As the sun fully rose into the clear sky we were relieved of our long morning watch. Heat began radiating onto the wide open deck.  Behind us, Mount Washington faded into the water and a large pod of dolphins led us to the hilly coast of Maine. For the remainder of the day we were amused with timely watches and an interesting Navigation class, led by Captain Flansburg.  As we voyaged into the evening, we found ourselves motoring through minefields of lobster buoys and around spotted islands.


Currently, the boat is slowly traveling through a small channel, working towards when it will open up into a quaint cove.  This is where we plan on anchoring for the night. Off the stern, I am yet again taken back by a canvas of dark reds, purples, oranges, and splashes of yellows.  The colors create a dark silhouette around the tan mountains on the mainland. I find it shocking to think that I am on board one of the boats people watch from those hilltops.  Our process of anchoring is slow, but nonetheless peaceful. The anchor will soon be dropped, closing the curtain on a long beautiful day, and opening the door to an even longer, mysterious night. Anchored for the night off the coast of North Haven Island, ME in Pulpit Harbor, traveling to Castine, ME.


Day 4 | 9/26/18 | Kristen ‘20

At about 0545, I anxiously awaited my turn on anchor watch.  I had listened to several others wake up for their duty, but as 0700 approached I realized I had been left off the list.  It was my lucky night! When I had crawled up the stairs at 0630, the sun was already high in the sky, and the pink and orange hues faded into the blue sky.


Instead of setting sail immediately, the crew practiced emergency drills: fire, man overboard, and abandon ship.  It was not until we successfully completed these drills that we would set sail and practice tacking. It is crazy to think that in the three days aboard this vessel, many of the confusing white ropes that draped from the boat are now lines with names and duties that I know- such as the peak and throat halyards (to raise the sails), lifts (to hold the boom up), jiggers (also used to raise the sails), and dory tackles & boat falls (to lower the small boats into the water).  At times it has been overwhelming, learning to speak using nautical terms, but now it is becoming a natural instinct. I am also becoming familiar with the crew that I will be sharing a home with for the next eight weeks.


In addition, today marked the start of classes. Not only do we have the opportunity to explore the east coast all the way from Maine to the Caribbean, we will be able to (manually?) navigate the vessel, study the marine life that surrounds us, learn the history of the ports we stop in, all while learning to become a sailor!  At the conclusion of the day, we moored in Castine Bay, ME. As we ate dinner, we observed the blood orange moon emerge from the rocky cliffs of Maine, in bright contrast to the electric blue sky behind it. Shortly after dinner we had an all crew muster where we were presented the history of Castine, ME. Ali’s soothing storytelling combined with Matthew’s artistic touch made for an amusing show, leaving us excited for the adventure that awaits us.

Moored in Castine Bay, Castine, ME.


Day 5 | 9/26/18 | Rio ‘20

From a mooring in Castine, Maine located in the Bagaduce River in Penobscot Bay.

At 0700 the entire crew was awakened to clean the ship. After which we had the best muffins I’ve ever tasted, partly because they held within them bacon! We then went to Ali’s college, Maine Maritime Academy, which was basically an extension of Ocean Classroom because the entire academy is centered around the maritime industry. The first activity we did was called the bottom dredge, which is when a cage is dropped into the sea while connected to a wire attached to a winch on a tow boat. We found sea stars, different species of crabs, sea cucumbers, and fish called sculpin which are bottom dwellers.  We then brought the organisms to the academy’s wet lab where we put them into tanks so that other students could study them.


Our guide soon brought us to the cafeteria where we stuffed our faces like pigs. For the sake of our reputations I will not write about how we ate or what we ate, but it was a sinful joy. And the best part of the entire day was the swimming where we practiced survival tactics for the open sea and sang shanties like “Randy Dandy O!” The sound of the shanty was jovial and will be a memory which we will always remember, partly because of the sheer ridiculousness of the situation- 21 students in a circle wearing life jackets huddled together in cold water up to our necks.  Another highlight of the day was taking a week-late shower in the weirdest conditions ever. For the sake of my sanity I will call it quits here since my anchor watch is on the horizon and it is currently pouring rain.

Sincerely a clean, well-fed, fine smelling sailor.


Day 6 | 9/26/2018 | Carlos ‘19

The day commenced as I woke up for my anchor watch at midnight.  I was pretty hard to wake up because my watch was in the middle of the night. After I got ready and slowly climbed out of the fish, the intense rainy wind woke me up to remind me that I was in Castine, Maine. While Rio, Mackenzie, and Krystina waited for me, we finally began our boat watch. In the meantime, as the clock reached 00:00, it was finally Mackenzie’s birthday. When our anchor watch came to an end, after we woke up the oncoming watch, I could finally go back to bed and get a full night’s rest for the upcoming busy day.


Hour after hour.  Watch after watch.  The invisible sun slowly crept up the foggy sky until at 0700 everyone woke up and cleaned the Roseway. Following the amazing breakfast that our chef, Brandon, made everyone quickly got ready to go on shore and visit Castine.  As everyone got on shore, we split up into groups and did tours on a tugboat and the Bowdoin schooner.  It was intriguing for me because viewing these boats gave me a different perspective on boats.  Anyways, continuing the day, the group watched a Ted talk video, about how everyone is unique in their own right and that every human being has value to them; a message in which I strongly believe in and something that everyone should abide by.


The day continues as the group went to lunch at the MMA Mess Deck around noon.  This was a perfect time for me and many others to stock up our stomachs with as much food as possible.  In the afternoon, everyone was on a tour on the ship called The State of Main.  Unlike any other ship I have seen in my life, the scale of the massive cargo ship was immense. The hallways felt like mazes and the levels felt like a fortress.  This ship to me was quite remarkable. Following this busy schedule the last thing our group did on Castine is that we did interviews with the locals of the town. However, no one we interviewed was a native of Castine which was quite unfortunate, but it was still a great experience.


To conclude this day, everyone went back to the ship and prepared for dinner. As we ate dinner we were pleasantly surprised to see Brandon bringing out Mackenzie’s birthday cake.  However, for me, time is running out and the night was creeping in. I must finally finish this log as soon as possible in order for me to get ready for the upcoming watch.

¡Saludos y buenas noches!


Check out more photos from Ocean Classroom 2018 here!


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