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Day 2 Tuesday July 3

Posted by astaheather on August 6, 2007

knot-tying-on-the-providence.jpg 

 On the second day it was still hot and the students still complained about the heat, but at least we were able to go sailing, sort of. After the students broke into their watches, the port watch did a deck wash and polished brass,  while the starboard watch worked with JC (the captain) and helped plan our course. I was surprised at how much the students wanted to do the deck wash and polish brass. As much a I love to polish brass (which I really do) I would love to take part in planning the daily voyages. The students learned about using the reeds books, how to read and apply tide tables, and how the current and wind determines the sail.

Once we were under way the crew set sail and the students observed. This was the ships first time sailing with the new crew. As the day progressed, the students were invited to help with tacking the ship. Many were hesitant to get involved with the sail handling, but with enough invitations they slowly started to participate. The confidence level was at first pretty low. Just before we were setting the mains’l we gave an brief explanation of the the commands to set sail and when asked if they were ready on the Throat halyard, the students mumbled to themselves “Ready”. They were asked again and one or two more students muttered “ready”. However, it is common to be unsure and nervous about sailing a tall ship especially when it’s your first day and you have no previous experience on boats let alone sail boats.

As a day time activity, we went over knots and the students really enjoyed learning them. The competition for the day was to see who could tie a one handed bowlin, and surprisingly several of them learned how. I am a natural born knot tying champion…it took me 18 years to figure out the bowline. The students also used the Marlinspike Sailor to teach themselves monkeyfists and turkshead knots. They were my inspiration to learn how to teach myself how to make a monkeyfist and, by George, I learned how.

It was nice to finally sail, however the wind was a bit against us and once or twice we were sailing under the Newport bridge…backwards. Nevertheless,  it was wonderful to be on the water under sail without the engine noise, it really makes the experience better when the engine isn’t involved.  

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