Ocean Classroom: Through Baltimore and Beyond

Posted by Scott Allenby


As Proctor Academy’s Ocean Classroom program enters its six week at sea, the student crew aboard schooner Roseway enters waters off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Live a term at sea vicariously through the photos and student journal entries below!

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom World Ocean School

Dylan ‘21 | Hunt's Point, East River, New York City

Saturday, October 17, 2020

After a night of rain and cold temperatures we awoke to a brisk clear morning outside of New York City. Once we finished morning chores we raised the anchor and C watch took the deck heading toward the East River. The views of the concrete jungle had us feeling unusual since we have spent the last month away from civilization. Yet it was beautiful, nonetheless. Pushing through the five boroughs we were all in awe of the monstrosity of the endless skyscrapers. Most of us have seen New York before but never from that angle. 

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom World Ocean School

The passing of the Statue of Liberty was filled with picture taking and funny poses. After we passed Brooklyn we set all the sails and rode the wind past Staten Island made out to sea. For marine science class we learned about New York’s effort to heal and restore life to their harbor through the Billion Oyster Project. They have been raising and releasing millions of oysters per year since 2014 and no one can deny the progress. We have started to learn that the first whales were spotted in New York Harbor in the 19th century! 

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom World Ocean School

We are currently motor sailing down the coast of New Jersey heading for Baltimore, Maryland. Today’s galley assistant was C watch’s own Jasper Redican, and he did not disappoint! Each meal has been scrumptious and filling. It is scary to think that the voyage will be halfway over in a few short days. In some ways it feels fast but in others it feels right. We’ve all come so far since we met at Camp Kenwood so long ago! I’m starting to wonder if I’ve changed at all. If my parents saw me would they notice a difference? I think the answer is yes. 

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom World Ocean School

Aside from that in spirit of being in the Big Apple we ate apples today. Also I forgot to mention in my last log that when we were in Maine foraging for mussels Sean caught lots of crabs but we didn’t eat them because they were too small. The meal was still delicious though! Until next time.

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom World Ocean School

Rachel ‘21 | Delaware River at Wilmington, Delaware

Sunday, October 18, 2020 

Waking up at 4am for watch we came on deck to see Atlantic City to our starboard side. Later while being on forward lookout watching the sunrise, everyone slowly began to make their way onto deck. Getting excited for the breakfast Camille made, I went into the galley to her feeding me half a pancake to “test” if they were ready or not. After breakfast everyone went on deck to do some overdue laundry, leading to all the clothes being pinned to the line to dry. My day was mostly filled with doing homework for Marine science, navigation, and English. Trying to prepare for midterms has got everyone a little stressed, all while we are trying to make progress on our op-ed papers. We had a study session to go over tides and currents. Studying soon came to an end as everyone started to go to bed. A supposedly early night of sleep came to an end for C watch as we all got woken up around 2200 to help take in sails and drop anchor. Leaning over the side to watch the anchor chain we got to see and feel what dragging looked like in this process. As the work day came to an end I crawled back into bed thinking about what to cook for meals tomorrow as the galley assistant.

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom World Ocean School

Cameron ‘21 | Patapsco River at Baltimore, Maryland

Monday, October 19, 2020 

Awoken sometime in the night, I heard shouts from above. I scrambled on deck with the rest of my watch to meet the standing watch. We struck the sails and dropped anchor next to a massive nuclear powerplant. After that brief task my watch was stood back down until anchor watch. The next morning we awoke to a beautiful pink and blue sky over the mouth of the Chesapeake and Delaware canal. After completing our morning chores and eating Sean and Rachel's delicious breakfast of doughnut holes, C watch raised the anchor and got us underway. It was a gorgeous day to be forward lookout, helm, and even on deck dish washer. 

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom World Ocean School

The water was very calm as we motored our way under bridges through the narrow channel. The watch was fairly uneventful, but a nice break from hectic craziness that can sometimes be felt while underway. We continued down the canal for what felt like forever- past dinner and well into my watch. Our destination for the night was Baltimore, and the trip there was smooth. At around 2100 we finally were closing in on our destination and I was able to take the helm for a little bit. Despite some sleepiness the quarter deck was lively with Miss Miller Shelley and Captain joking around and telling stories. The closer we got to the city, the less it looked like a bundle of yellow and white lights, and the more I could make out an actual city. I had never been to Baltimore, and I had never imagined it to be such a beautiful place. We wound our way through another channel which was lined with street lights and restaurants. There were big, neon lights everywhere decorating the buildings and illuminating signage such as Domino Sugar and Under Armour. I looked around at the city and it just looked like one big playground I desperately wanted to explore. We were able to dock easily with one watch, some idle hands, and a handful of crew. After a steady landing I got to close the day with more school work. It was blissful day.

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom World Ocean School

Robin ‘21 | Baltimore, Maryland—Inner Harbor

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 

Starting the morning like any other with wake ups at 0700 and chores at 0715, followed by a delicious breakfast made by Cameron consisting of sausage, bacon, fruit, and cinnamon rolls! We then rolled into navigation class with Tiffany where we talked through what was going to be on our very daunting midterm. Since we were docked in Baltimore, Maryland and most of us have never been here before, we took the rest of the morning to go explore. As we all masked up and stepped on land it felt like a breath of fresh air. We walked along the waterfront looking at the shops from a distance and the boats in the harbor as we soaked up the warm sun. 

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom World Ocean School

Making our way back to the boat just in time for lunch and a little time to relax before science class with Holly. During class we took a break from studying for our midterms to learn about marine exploration and engineering. It was very interesting to learn about submarines from way back in the 1600’s all the way to today. Since we are about to be getting underway for a long voyage south, we took advantage of our shore time and decided to mask up once again and walk in the opposite direction to a field with volleyball courts. Jamie and I decided to lay in the grass and take a nap, while Katie lit it up in volleyball with the rest of the crew! It was really nice to be able to stretch our legs and work out some of the energy. As we got back to the boat, we all made sure to sanitize and wash our hands, and then got the opportunity to take a hose shower using the fine Baltimore city water! To end the night we had gnocchi made by the amazing galley assistant Cameron. Some then decided to remain in the salon and do homework while others went onto the deck to watch Master and Commander! It was a long, but memorable day exploring the city, making us all very excited to get underway tomorrow!

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom World Ocean School

Jasper ‘21 | Baltimore, Maryland—Inner Harbor

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 

Today was a much needed day of rest and relaxation. Midterms are coming up, so we had the day off classes to study. After breakfast at 0800 though, I took advantage of the fact that I had a draft done for our most recent essay assignment and went back to bed. After my much appreciated nap, I studied for my marine biology midterm for an hour and a half or so. Next came lunch, then provisioning! A big old truck full of food pulled up next to us and we fire lined food into the galley and salon. A fire line is an alternating line of people that hand each other items like a conveyer belt. I was in the spot right in front of the galley door, which was interesting because I would occasionally have to play tetris to fit a giant bag of beans between the foremast and the doors, and then in. After everything, all the boxes had to be broken down, so I helped a bit with that. However, there was a more important task- ice cream. Part of fitting new food into the galley is that old food needs to go. Thus, the ice cream had to be eaten. Many hands gladly helped in the process and the two pints were gone in minutes! 

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom World Ocean School

After provisioning, we donned our masks and headed to a nearby green patch for some land time. We played sharks and minnows first for some running around, and then we played salad bowl. Salad bowl is a group favorite where a bunch of funny or weird phrases are written on small pieces of paper, then one person from each team tries to make them guess the words. We always have a lot of fun because it is a chance to just be ridiculous. After our break, we went back to the boat. Once back, Saul, Jake, Morgan, and I played another ship's favorite game, Settlers of Catan. Catan is a strategy game based on building settlements. You can trade, build, and cause insane amounts of stress and suffering. In other words, it gets intense, and particularly in this game. The first hour and a half saw 3 natural disasters where all the value tiles are shuffled and replaced, but nobody in a clear lead. Dinner saw a temporary pause in proceedings, but in the second round nobody held back. We robbed each other's settlements, built roads to impede other’s progress, and took the game down to the wire. On the last turn, Morgan had 7 points, Saul had 8, and I had 9. 10 points are needed to win. Morgan’s turn came before mine and as I planned out how I would get victory, I had a cruel moment of realizing history is often unkind to its subjects. In a legendary plot twist, Morgan got the three points needed in one turn and took the win right from under me. It was one of the closest games I have ever been a part of. As it stands, Morgan leads the scoreboard with 5 wins due to a recent hot streak. Behind him is Thane with 3 wins, who hasn’t played in a week. Next Cameron and I both have 2 wins, Dylan has 1, and Saul, Jake, Torie, and Hannah have yet to win. And yes, mom, I did make sure I had all my work done before playing.

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom World Ocean School

Camille ‘21 | Betterton, Maryland

Thursday, October 22, 2020 

This morning I climbed up the red ladder out of the fish hold to see thick fog, and really thick French toast that McKensie made. After a fun few nights in the city of Baltimore walking around and people watching from Roseway, we prepared to get underway and travel down the Chesapeake Bay. Before we set sail, I watched Brad and Rachel catch a big Atlantic Bay Jellyfish in a bucket. They proceeded to name it “Fork”. C watch and I took the deck from 1200-1600. I started as forward lookout with Jasper which was pretty stressful seeing as we could barely view what was in front of us. We listened for engines and foghorns and watched a bridge materialize in front of us out of what seemed like thin air. A few students, Saul and Mitchell, went aloft to get some much needed air which I was very jealous of. I still need to memorize the station bill and then I will be aloft cleared. I ended watch again on forward lookout, this time with Jake. The sun slowly became brighter and hotter behind the fog, making it very hard to see as everything around us was glowing white. Out of nowhere I looked up to see a glorious patch of blue sky which made me smile. Half an hour later the sky was almost completely clear and beautiful. 

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom World Ocean School

I spent my evening hanging out midships eating M&M’s with Hannah, Jamie, Rachel, Robin, and Katie. We got some string out and made a human chain braiding colorful string into each others hair. Ciaran and Dylan also jumped on the bandwagon later on. The sunset was great as always, and we enjoyed a delicious dinner. Right before dinner, Holly also taught me how to play the song “All That and More” by Rainbow Kitten Surprise, which is a sweet song that I recommend to everyone. I’m going to try and master it this week. I am also missing people and music and dogs a ton. Today I plan on making a list of songs I want to hear when I get home. I hope that everyone at Proctor is having a great fall term! Miss you all a bunch. Peace!

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom World Ocean School

Jake ‘21 | Chesapeake Bay—Ridge, Maryland

Friday, October 23, 2020 

The day started out for me with an earth shattering rattle. I was already throwing on my pants when Mitch came around to wake me up. The anchor had been dropped- time for exam day. After a wonderful smoothie bowl breakfast by Tori the tension in the air was palpable as we all flipped through our science notebook for some last-minute studying before the fateful moment when those sheets of paper would be handed out. Thane cut through the tension with a moment during literature class with sea shanties. We even had a guest appearance from chief mate Ms. Miller Shelley. Then, after a quick lunch, it was time for the test. The questions flew by and soon it was over. After everyone finished our science teacher Holly peeked her head into the salon where we had all tiredly gathered, and we heard “Swim call!”. I rushed to grab my bathing suit and towel knowing from almanacs the day before that the water was almost 70°. With the sun out it was the perfect day for a swim. None of us were disappointed. We stayed in much longer than the five second plunges in Maine. Cam was the one who started the competition, but whoever it was who started it, I ended up hanging with the tips of my fingers from the scuppers and my body half dangling out of the water. I kicked once, twice, three times. On the last kick I pulled myself up, shooting an arm up to grab a hold of the railing over six feet above the water. The tips of my fingers grazed my next hand hold but instead I fell, not for the first time (or last I am sure) back into the water. The goal? To get out of the water without using the ladder. For what must have been thirty minutes Cam, Thane, and I threw ourselves at the challenge to no avail. Soon Mitch and Dylan joined in, still with no luck. Finally, Mr. Terry who had been watching every failed climb, jumped in. After five tries he grabbed the hand hold, pulling himself up like it was easy. I think I was the closest student to getting it but by the time I got the right route I was already too tired. 

Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom World Ocean School

After the swim we had some much needed time to relax. Some played their instrument of choice, some read, and some like me listened to others play their instruments. Dinner came and went and my watch was on dishes. Outside on the dish bin team I caught the last of what can only be described as an awesome sunset. The music from the galley prompted a crew dance party and we got to see another side of our mates and deckhands. Finally we all settled in to study for our next exam the following day.

Check out more photos from Ocean Classroom 2020 here!


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