Ocean Classroom 2019: The Gulf Stream to Savannah

Posted by Ocean Classroom


Proctor’s Ocean Classroom program met up with director Brooks Bicknell ‘77 in Savannah, Georgia this weekend. Entering the final third of their eight-week voyage to St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, all reports from the crew are that they are happy, healthy, and loving life at sea. Read more from their Ship’s Log entries below.


Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom Off-Campus Programs World Ocean School

Day 35: Tagh ‘21 - Leaving Norfolk

A cruise ship fifty times our size was the group’s wake up this morning as they pulled up on the opposite side of the dock. Not only was it loud, but it completely blocked our view of Norfolk harbor. Even though it was ugly and raining, it still blocked our beautiful view. The entire morning ended up being super weird, starting off with unusual chores, then everyone went to hide in their racks, and finally moving over to the Nauticus cafe. That place did me dirty though, they gave me bread on my egg sandwich that had dairy in it, making my morning very uncomfortable. 

Anyways, I barely got any work done during that cafe excursion, everyone was just chatting it up the whole time. Don’t get me wrong, I love talking to people, I just wish I was more productive, even though we did not have much work because it was just midterms. We headed back to the boat for lunch and then set off into port. My group headed to the mall because we didn’t want to be outside in the rain, and also because it had great food. First, we hit up Pacsun, just browsed around, then we split off into smaller groups because some wanted to go to H&M and others wanted to get some grub at Johnny Rockets. I just needed a good old burger, it had been way too long, also got some fire fries. That was pretty much all we did and after we headed back to the boat, it was around dinner time. Half of us wanted to take dock showers with the hose, so with the cruise ship still there and new people loading on, we hit the dock and fired up the hose. Fresh water felt so nice oh my gosh, it has been forever since I have had a fresh water rinse. While we were all having a dock shower party, we had looked up at the cruise ship as people were on the balcony watching us from above. They thought it was so amusing to see eleven teenagers spraying each other with a hose and washing themselves. Don’t worry, they were not watching in a creepy way, it was super funny. Welp, that’s pretty much our fun-filled day! I hope y’all enjoyed. Peace out homies.

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom Off-Campus Programs World Ocean School

Day 36: Pete ‘20 - Cape Henry 

My day started at 0120 when I was awoken by Maddie for our anchor watch with Griffin. After an hour and 20 min. we went back to bed. The next time I was woken up was 0745 for breakfast. The contrast of the wake-ups was apparent because while I slept C-Watch got the boat underway. When I woke up I once again felt the slow rocking and creaking of the hull. For breakfast we had cheesy eggs, sausage, and roasted potatoes. After breakfast I went back to bed before a history class at 1030. In history we reflected on the Chrysler Art Museum. We talked about their featured exhibit about Thomas Jefferson, and about the contrast of what Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence and how he lived and designed his buildings. After class our watch had lunch and then we started our 1200-1600 watch. We started the watch with only 4 of us who had not yet “fed the fish” today. It was a busy yet fun watch in which I caught an Albacore Tuna with Geoffrey. I then got to fillet the fish with Mr. Terry. I got to be up close and personal with the process of the fillet.

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom Off-Campus Programs World Ocean School

From there I cleaned up the deck and started to get ready for almanacs, during which I got to give away the friendship hat. This is a blue hard hat that we fished out of the Chesapeake Bay. Before dinner I got to help Ms. Rags with making poké with the tuna we caught. Just before dinner we got a show from a pod of dolphins that was swimming alongside the boat. They stayed for around 5 minutes. All in all it was a great day that will be capped by a 2000 to 0000 watch. I hope to catch more fish in the future.

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom Off-Campus Programs World Ocean School

Day 37: Madeline ‘20 - Around Cape Hatteras 

Just as I thought the day had ended I awoke to dripping water on my face and knew that this was only the beginning. I went to bed on the earlier side knowing that I had an early watch, however there was no sleep last night due to crazy weather. The foc’s’le swayed back and forth all night while the watches on deck were heard all throughout the boat. With each wave that hit the deck there would be a chorus of shock. The sails were full as we cruised around Cape Lookout.

Sleeping in the foc’s’le was like trying to go to sleep on a roller coaster. Sleep seemed unattainable with the violent waves crashing on us making a few minutes seem like seconds. In bed when your eyes finally started to close there was a sudden jolt from the waves causing you to be slammed against the wall and more wide awake than ever. At one point in the night I opened my curtain and saw the benches, rain jackets, and water bottles strewn across the sole while being soaked in water.

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom Off-Campus Programs World Ocean School

Day 38: Billy ‘21 - Off the Coast of North Carolina 

What a day! Who would have thought that waking up at 0400 would lead to one of the most hectic watches we will have (“knock on wood”). I actually woke up at 0230 because I couldn’t sleep. This was a result of the pummeling that we were receiving from the waves off the coast of North Carolina. Shout out! I walked on deck in my full foulies to see the majority of A-Watch huddled midships on the high side. Each of them were relatively wet except a select few who were drenched (Ian, Zach, and George). I looked forward and saw the source of my temporary insomnia. The bow of Roseway was plummeting into the oncoming waves, shooting up a wall of water on either side of the bow. I thought to myself, “this is gonna be a fun watch.”

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom Off-Campus Programs World Ocean School

After watch and a yummy homemade granola breakfast, I dozed off for a few hours. History class came around post-nap at 1100 followed by another delicious meal of loaded baked potatoes. Later that day Foster pulled in a good sized tuna that we filleted as a group. The rest of the day was general routine with an almanac at 1700 where we talked about the Dixon Ticonderoga, the flagship of pencils. After another vivid sunset we all either headed for bed or prepared for watch. Again, what a day!

P.S. Hi mom, dad, and Kay!

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom Off-Campus Programs World Ocean School

Day 39: Griffin ‘21 - Off the Coast of Georgia

A story of close encounters with King Neptune, on our second night sailing from Norfolk, VA to Savannah, GA, after getting into the Gulf Stream around 30 miles off Cape Lookout. The sea state started to build from about 5ft to 8ft, as well as the wind from 20kt to 30kt. My night first started around 0100, 3 hours before my watch actually began. I heard some commotion up on deck when the boat was pitching and rolling a lot so I went up on deck to check it all out because “I am here to sail not sleep.”

This wasn’t the only occasion of the night that I had to go do something on the leeward side of the boat when I went on deck and to look for things that could possibly cause a problem. I noticed that the small boat on the port side had gotten lifted up by water and had lost its chalks that are supporting it, so it was just moving around on deck. Billy and I went and took the ratchet strap that was on the stern and moved the boat as far to windward as possible. We worked as a team with Anna our deckhand and Ms.Rags our watch officer to put what we had learned to date to the test.

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom Off-Campus Programs World Ocean School

Day 40: Lila ‘20 - Savannah, Georgia 

What a day. We started the day still hove-to from yesterday. My watch (C-Watch) got us underway at 0215 this morning. That was during our 0000-0400 watch. A and B watch got us going to Savannah during their watches, and when it was our turn again, we entered into the Savannah River. It was an especially special day for me and a few other fellow Watch members because we got aloft cleared! Woohoo! Finally!! Now I don’t have to wear shoes on deck when we’re not on watch, such an amazing thing. After an hour or so in the Savannah River we finally arrived. We are currently docked right outside of the Westin, which is actually on the South Carolina side of Savannah. This afternoon we got the chance to go into town and do our humans of the port interview. My group found a fellow Proctor Alum who goes to SCAD to interview, and a few other locals. Savannah is so fun and we are all so excited for the rest of our visit here! However, I think the favorite part of all of our days was after dinner. We all received our packages and letters from home and a few from advisors and friends back at school. There were definitely a few tears. Everyone was so happy to hear from home! It has really been a great day, just like all others!!!

P.S. Hey Mom and Dad!!

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom Off-Campus Programs World Ocean School

Day 41: Jaimes '21 - Savannah, Georgia

Wow this has been a great day! It is nighttime in Savannah, Georgia and I am sitting amidships looking out at the city’s river, reflecting on my day. It seems that my days all blend together (in a good way), and seeing up at the top of the page that it is “Day 41” is wild! This journey is so much fun and I become more and more grateful everyday. So, the Roseway is in Savannah, Georgia now and today was our first full day to explore the new port! May I add that Savannah is gorgeous! Anyways my day began bright and early for a morning workout at 05:45! We decided to go on a run around where we were docked for about thirty minutes! It was strange to finally be able to run around and move my legs after days out at sea. After getting all sweaty and such we headed back to the boat and took a “freshwater hose shower” on the dock to get “so fresh and so clean!” Soon breakfast was served and we scarfed down our food to prepare to walk out into the city. We took the ferry across the Savannah River and into town. As we walked down the streets the Savannah State Homecoming Parade was going on which was interesting to see. It sure was sunny and hot today in Savannah and we were relieved to go into the Heritage Museum which had AC! The Heritage museum was small but cool. I enjoyed learning about how the settlers who came to Savannah designed the layout of the town to be in squares. We soon took a relaxed “tour” of the city and saw the historic beauty that Savannah holds! We even at one point came across the place where Forrest Gump sat on the bench! Soon we grabbed some coffee to re-energize for our free time! We wandered into the shops and I found a vintage clothing ship named “civvies!” Emily C. and I even went into a vintage shop and played dress-up! The outfits that we loved the most consisted of what looked like 80’s figure skating uniforms! How these uniforms ended up in a random vintage shop in Savannah I do not know, but Emily and I definitely had fun!


Soon, it was time to head back to muster outside of the ferry to go back to Roseway for class! We soon realized that our navigation class would be held in the hotel’s swimming pool we are docked in front of! We learned about tides and had time at the end to swim. We played sharks and minnows and chilled out in a hot tub. Is this the life or what? Today was definitely one of those days where I was thinking to myself, “Jaimes you’re in school right now - technically!” We soon were ready to go back to the boat and it started down pouring so we took the opportunity to take a group hose shower in the rain! People walking by the dock looked at us very strangely! Dinner came next and honestly at this point in the day everyone was antsy because we knew today was the day we could get our phones for 1 hour and call home! When I got my phone I immediately found a spot by myself and FaceTimed my mom, dad, and sister. I was honestly so happy and overwhelmed to see their faces. I just wanted to tell them every single thing that has happened since Boston! As I was catching up with friends at Proctor, family members, and anyone who answered I was so excited. I looked up at one point and saw all my shipmates doing the same, connecting with the people we love and miss, all with HUGE smiles on their faces. My hour was soon up and I said my “goodbyes and I love yous.” I returned back on the boat and just like that, back to business! I brushed my teeth, ate candy my mom sent (not in that order) and now I am in pjs writing this log entry! All I have to say is I am so happy and ready for what lies ahead in this voyage!

I love you mom, dad, Joe, Hank, Ally, grandparents, friends and more!


Day 42: Chloe '20 - Savannah, Georgia

Today began with an early morning run and swim in the hotel pool for some of us early risers, with a fresh water hose shower for the sunrise. Today was one of those days that I felt really, extra lucky to be here. We got some sad news today, that one of our mates was leaving, which was emotional since we were so close with her. It was ironic because the sky turned dark, and started to rain when we were saying our goodbyes. The afternoon sun was gorgeous, and brightened our moods by miles. We all hung out at the pool relaxing and swimming around, when Brooks showed up!

We had a lovely sunset dinner on deck and went into town for some ice cream with Brooks, and some explorations. Birgit, Tagh, Emily and I stumbled upon a jazz band singing on little market street. We danced and danced until the band finished, and headed back to the ferry to get back to Roseway. Brooks came bearing gifts: letters from school! It was kinda like Christmas, and Brooks was Santa... anyways tomorrow we will set sail for Charleston around 0930. I’m getting so excited for the long passage, being on the open ocean, storms, fish, seasickness and all!

Having our phones last night was definitely weird, and as much as I liked talking to my family and friends, it was overwhelming, and I almost wish I hadn’t used it so that I wasn’t pulled out of “boat life” at all. All is well though, and I am snapped back into the Roseway world again. When strangers on the sidewalks in our port stops ask us about what we’re doing and we give them the whole run down are some of the times I feel so grateful for this adventure, and kind of realize how crazy it is.

Right now it is 00:21 and I have anchor watch at 05:00 so I gotta get some sleep, goodnight!


Click here to see more photos from Ocean Classroom 2019!


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