Ocean Classroom 2018: The Big Apple and Beyond

Posted by Ocean Classroom


Proctor’s Ocean Classroom program has arrived in Norfolk, Virginia after waiting out the remnants of Hurricane Michael on Fishers Island in the Long Island Sound. As the group continues their journey down the eastern seaboard, students gain more and more responsibility running the daily operations aboard Roseway. Read the past week’s Ship’s Logs and check out photos and video from Ocean Classroom 2018 below!


Day 20 | Alex ‘19

My day started at the ripe hour of 04:00.  Despite this being an ungodly time to be awake, the weather was clear, and the air coolly refreshing.  As the stars began to fade we found ourselves drenched in a cloud of fog. Considering there was no rain and the seas were calm, we were surprisingly soaked. However, the fog cleared and the rest of the boat joined C-watch on deck. Brandon, our chef, came through for breakfast and cooked up the stuff of legends. Pancakes on pancakes were arranged in the salon, and they were devoured.


Classes today proved to be useful.  History class used the time to review our past few days in port along with the activities we participated in. Navigation class saw Captain Flansburg teaching us deduced reckoning, or ded-reckoning. This navigation method uses the ship’s speed, direction, and time of voyage to estimate latitude and longitude.  To round out the day, the Roseway docked in New London, Connecticut to enjoy good food from Brandon and a peaceful night.


Day 21 | Ryan ‘20

Today I was awakened promptly at seven o’clock and was told to prepare for a run and workout with John and Holly around the city of New London, Connecticut.  I moaned and sat up remembering my decision last night of signing myself up for an hour of exercise in the morning. I put on a T-shirt and shorts and climbed up on deck, making sure to fill my water bottle and stretch my legs. As soon as the whole group of runners were ready, we took off, steadily jogging down the sidewalk, passing storefronts and coffee shops along the way. We weaved our way through New London, ending our one and a half mile run on the pier where Roseway sat in the water.  John then lead us in a Tabata workout, pushing us with a series of interval sets, leaving me with a burn in my muscles and a strong feeling of satisfaction.

We got back on the ship and proceeded to dive right into a “field day,” where we cleaned the boat from bow to stern until the deck shined and down below smelled like a tropical breeze.  We made quick work of the field day, and were rewarded for our success with the chance to take a three minute shower, which felt amazing after two weeks without being able to stand under a shower head.  


Around this time some weather stirred up by Hurricane Michael rolled in, bringing rain and overcast skies.  Our educators informed us that in about an hour we would be making our way to the New London Library to work on research, and when we departed, almost everybody was in full fowlies, ready to brace for the weather.  After leaving the library with a handful of papers on wild vs farmed salmon, I hopped back on the Roseway and settled down for the night after a full plate of drumsticks , corn, and a healthy portion of rice.  Thus ended another spectacular day here on Ocean Classroom.


Day 22 | AJ ‘20

Today was a pretty average day on the Roseway.  We were woken up at 0700 by Renny, to a very unfortunate phrase, “good morning - it’s full foulie weather.”  I prepared myself for the day in so many layers I could hardly move. Just when I thought I knew what to expect, I noticed a very chilly breeze coming from various places.  I looked down to assess the situation, and couldn’t help but notice holes throughout the midsection of my jacket. Every gust of wind brought water into my suit. It was not the best start to my day.  


While the wind continued to howl, the weather drastically shifted to a beautiful day full of sun.  It was very nice! Around 13:00 we departed from New London, CT, and as we left the harbor the wind picked up.  We have gotten to the point of our voyage where we are responsible for navigating Roseway without assistance from our deckhands while using the radar.  I was concerned in the beginning, because navigating wasn’t as easy as I predicted it to be.  There are so many different factors that can easily alter our course, meaning you need to state your current position nearly every 15 minutes.  

The seas have been kind of choppy today, considering we have been traveling against the current.  We got to witness the sun with a halo around it, as well as a sundog which reflected 20∞ adjacent in the clouds.  The sunsets and sunrises are truly remarkable! A rough start to the day, but yet again another unforgettable memory.


Day 23 | Teagan ‘20

Today can, easily, be described as one of the better days aboard beautiful Roseway.  I was awakened to an unfortunate cold, rainy front that swept away the little desire I had to exit the protection of my warm sleeping bunk.  Ryan’s unsettling suggestion to “layer up under my foulies” only made me groan out of immediate dislike for the new day. But, like everyone else, I rolled out of bed, apathetically shimmied into my traffic cone pants and made my way into the salon for breakfast.  Little did I know, the dark morning was only a deceitful curtain for the amazing day to come. It only took a miserable four-hour watch, lunch, and a brief twenty-minute snooze until we reached the concrete jungle.


Back up on deck, a light breeze burrowed under my layers and down into my bones.  Luckily, the fiery sun had begun fighting through the thick haze and lit up the city around us.  For a place I usually pin as hectic, loud, claustrophobic and extremely overwhelming (sometimes) I found myself shocked by this new, distant perspective.  Instead of pushing me to leave, the immense skyscrapers intrigued my civilization-deprived eyes. As we cut through the city, focusing on dodging barge-jails, buoys, and gnat-like fishing boats, we ducked under bridges and avoided lively piers.  All of us stood on deck, wide eyed, reminiscing about our favorite stories of the Empire State.


It wasn’t until we began to approach the Brooklyn Bridge, that Ryan, Daniel and I decided to make our unique experience a little more memorable.  We squeezed our heavily layered bodies into harnesses and climbed out onto the bowsprit. The green, dirty city water rushed rapidly underneath us making it seem as though the water wanted to lick our ankles.  


Above us, we watched the bridge create an overbearing shadow that wrapped greedily around us.For a quick second, the sun disappeared and noises of the water were mimicked back to us from the stone walls. The moment fled us just as quick as it came.  On the other side, Lady Liberty peaked out from the bend. Astonished, I began to really absorb my surroundings. How was it that I sat perched on the most freeing part of the boat and stared at this worldwide notion of liberty? A few moments passed as I sat like a kid in a candy store, dazed by the extreme of this experience.  It, unfortunately, didn’t last long; the three of us were interrupted to set sail. The fleeting moment was all I needed, leaving me in a raw amazement.


Now, the bright lights of Manhattan fade off into the distance, only water separating Roseway from the city.  From here, the buildings look like toy Legos.  The noise, lives, and overwhelming joys of the city have been left behind, remaining as distant figments of our imaginations.  Our focus turns to the long, cold night that lies ahead.


Day 24 | Kristen ‘19

My day started at 03:30 this morning.  I was instructed that it would be very cold, and based on my experience on my previous 20:00-00:00 watch, I wasn’t taking any chances.  Under full foulies, I wore three pairs of pants and seven top layers. When I emerged from the fo’c’sle hatch I was pleasantly surprised- it wasn’t cold or raining.  In fact, we had nice weather for the whole watch.  

I spent the first hour of watch stripping layers, cleaning the salon sole only to find out it had already been cleaned, and cleaning the head. Afterwards, I remained on the deck for forward lookout, relay, or on standby.  This morning was the first morning we enjoyed a beautiful sunset with warmer weather. Also, a bat flew onto our boat. We are now keeping our new friend lil’ Wayne in an old box on the quarter deck. When my watch ended and I finished eating breakfast, I took a nap.  


About 30 minutes into my nap, I was awakened for a man overboard drill.  This was the first unexpected drill we have had. Overall, it went well- we could have been more efficient with lowering the small boat into the water, but we were able to retrieve the soccer ball (Oscar) that simulated a person falling overboard.  Shortly afterward, I went back to sleep and didn’t wake up until lunch. After lunch I had a very relaxed afternoon. I did some homework and reading while waiting for my 16:00-18:00 watch. Also, during this time, my group and I completed the weather almanac.  During our watch, all hands mustered to listen to the three watches present weather, navigation, and engineering reports, followed by a story reading from Cap.


For the remainder of watch, I studied for my aloft clearance test.  Tonight was Sunday formal, but unfortunately I did not bring nice clothes, so I wore a fleece and sweatpants to an amazing meal prepared by Brandon.  After dinner, I took part of my aloft clearance test, and I plan to finish it tomorrow. I then played a game of Egyptian Rat Screw (ERS) with Johnny.  If I won, he would allow me to braid his hair, and if he won, I would teach him how to French braid. I won, though, so I braided his hair (and I think it looks good!).  Now, I must prepare myself for my first graveyard shift tonight from midnight to 04:00.

Off the coast of Delaware:  38∞38.33 N, 074∞59.5 W


Day 25 | Carlos ‘19

Today started with an early wake up to reef the main sail.  The boat was keeling hard enough for me to wake up with a light blood rush in my head.  Included with that, I had a sluggish wake up due to having the 00:00-04:00 watch last night and only having six hours of sleep.  But still, everybody rushed up from their bunks and mustered mid-ships to await orders. As I got up to the deck of the ship, I could see that we were still off the coast of Maryland.  The weather was overcast, with intense waves crashing beside the boat. It was a gnarly morning!  Through light showers and heavy winds, we eventually reefed the main sail.  It was a tough endeavor, but it was done.


After having breakfast, I stayed on deck with Steve so we could witness those monstrous swells crashing our boat.  We enjoyed seeing the forward look-out being drenched by waves! In the meantime, I eventually had my literature and science classes.  It was pretty standard, basically just doing our readings in class. However, since I was getting a bit sea sick from the boat rocking back and forth, it was difficult for me, and certainly for others as well, to be attentive in class.  However, on the brighter side of things, the temperature was getting warmer and warmer.


By the afternoon, we passed Maryland and into Virginia.  Then, out of the blue, the Texan himself, Johnny, came busting out of the galley and started singing “Devil Went Down to Georgia.”  This is a big deal for a southerner like Johnny because it shows that we finally made it to the south. Thank the Lord! Just like that, the minute we hit the south, the sun came out of the clouds and the temperature began to increase.  The warmth was something I have been craving for a solid month, and I’m happy its here. Then by 1200, I had my watch. I took over for bow watch and it was incredible! Being at the front of the ship seeing the huge waves coming towards me while being strapped in for dear life and feeling the warm breeze was amazing!  It felt like I was in the Pirates of the Caribbean.  

As the waves eventually started to settle, our watch began working on the Engineering Almanac.  Then right before dinner, all hands mustered to listen to the three watches present weather, navigation, and engineering reports, followed by cap’s story reading.  Right after, I had dinner- an amazing meal prepared by Brandon! As the sun begins to set over the horizon, I must prepare for my upcoming watch at 18:00- 24:00.



Day 26 | Graham ‘19

As I rolled back and forth in my claustrophobic bunk, I had a feeling today would be a tough one.  As my head peered above the last step of the fish, my feelings about the day were subdued by the intense waves and the sun trying to break free of the clouds.  To make the day even better, Brandon decided to cook pancakes that were mouth watering and fluffy.

After breakfast, A-watch took the deck and prepared for a long day of rolling with the waves, hopefully making it to Norfolk VA, by dinner.  After an hour of forward look-out and dish washing, our first mate Ms. Leighton told us we were going to tie a deep reef in the main to keep the wind from ripping the sail more then it already was.  We called all hands to help raise the main sail and 20 students, deckhands, and mates repeated the command and found positions at both the throat and peak halyards. All of a sudden a loud bang filled the air as several parrel beads came flying onto the deck, sinking to the deep depths of the Atlantic.  


The parrel beads, which hold the main gaff jaws to the mast, had snapped, leaving the gaff jaws hanging from the halyards, swaying about freely.  It was an easy fix, but an insane start to the day! A few hours went by and A-watch went below to get some sleep. The day came to an end as we motored our way into the Chesapeake Bay to find shelter in Norfolk for the next 5 days.



Day 27 | Daniel '19

The middle of the road.  Here we are. As I sit in a Laundromat awaiting my turn to attempt to rid my clothes of their rancid odors, I look out at all nineteen of my shipmates and smile.  Again, we find ourselves in a somewhat puzzling situation, but like so many others, it parades along, flawlessly unforgettable. Even with four and a half weeks left together, the imminence of our journey home lingers ominously on our temporal horizons as a discouraging afterthought. 

I could sulk endlessly, holding a dismal perspective on the remainder of our voyage due to our lack of time together, but I see that as no option. Rather, I will contemplate on the positivity that has wholly altered my outlook on life.


The most absolute and profound realization that I have come to I wholeheartedly dignify in my own hubris.  The fact is that I never would have even considered having a conversation with at least two-thirds of my shipmates, but I feel that I’ve come to a point where I know some of them better than my own best friend.  What a privilege.


I won’t elaborate too much on the day’s events because it has become a redundancy adapted by the rest of my shipmates, but without further stalling, here is the rundown: we woke up, cleaned the ship as we always do in port, and then ate a breakfast of quiche.  We continued on to an art museum and a glass blowing demonstration, followed by lunch. Finally, we ventured deep into Norfolk to the Laundromat where we find ourselves now. Once again I gaze upon those that I have learned to love and respect. I smile and look down at this page.  I laugh as Renny and Graham appear in the doorway with cornrows. I finally sit back, ready to suck the marrow out of every moment that I have left to spend with my family.

Check out more photos from Ocean Classroom 2018 here!


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