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Posted by astamatt on May 18, 2007

 A week usually isn’t considered a long length of time. My last week however, has felt as long as a month. This isn’t because im bored, certainly not. This past week and a day since our ASTA internship began has been an unprecedented amount of new and quite stimulating experiences. We have lived in an old home in colonial Newport, graciously hosted by a sailing notoriety everyone calls “The Commodore” (Mr. Harry Anderson) Traveled hundreds of miles of the Atlantic Coast. Stayed at the best hotel i’ve ever been to – THe Charleston Marina and Resort. Seen Ft. Sumter (Lots of cannons! I’m a big fan). Attended gala’s  been to a gala’s and parties with notorieties of all types and have just today started our first real day of work with the Charleston Tall Ships Challenge festival. We even went to “South of the Border” and saw the “Great Sombrero”. It certainly has been a lot of fun. All signs however indicate that this is only a beginning and that really great things are yet in store.

Today we got our first real glimpse into what our sail training stint will be. We walked on the decks of our newest home, The Picton Castle. Beautiful vessel. It’s darkened wooden decks, gleaming wooden surfaces, burnished brass, and tar-smelling lines and interior have a comfortable, homely feel. The vessel is very elemental, being composed of its iron, wood and brass giving it an elegant simplicity while being simultaneously welcoming with all the signs of being a truly lived-in, communal home – The dishes and cups scratched from vigorous cleaning, the faded drapes among the bunks, the grainy texture of its surfaces grimed from work, the pasted papers with new rules. The crew, even while rushing to put their laundry up on deck are able to pass a smile, they seem to be friendly and welcoming – even though they have surely greeted many more who have come and gone among the decks. The friendliest welcome we received was from the crew’s two adopted puppies.  That would be my first impression of the Picton Castle and I hope that it will be a lasting impression in the days to come.

So much done, and so much to do. There is plenty to elaborate on but its time to get back to work for ASTA – They have certainly taken care of us thus far and I don’t want to be a freeloader. 


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