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At sea on Schooner VIRGINIA

Posted by Tall Ships America on July 1, 2009

Nelly and Amelia are both on board Schooner Virginia for this leg, the first time they have sailed together this series. Keep reading for Amelia’s update from the ship.


June 30, 2009

With the festival in Charleston finished, it was time for us to move on to schooner VIRGINIA and prepare for the education program bound for Norfolk, Virginia and then New London, CT. The morning was spent preparing for the

students: laundry had to be picked up, groceries put away, soles (floors) cleaned and bunks made. At two in the afternoon, we welcomed aboard 12 students bewteen the ages of 13-17. They are part of schooner VIRGINIA’s educational programming, which teaches life skills and leadership through sail training.

Students began with a muster and then went down to find their bunks, claim a mug to label with their name and to learn about using the heads (marine

toilets) and watertight doors. After leaving the dock, we dropped the anchor and had dinner (Taco Tuesday!). Divided into watches, students learned how to clean the galley, deflate and stow the fenders and the 32 points of the compass for steering. The captain equated how the students would feel on their first day to a sponge that had a five gallon bucket of water dumped on to it. They seemed to absorb it quite well despite the heat and sheer volume of information. Then, in rotations, students learned about steering, lookout duties, and line handling. It has been great to assist them and move through the watch duties because we get instruction and learn about everything too!

Captain of VIRGINIA addressing the new crew and trainees

Captain of VIRGINIA addressing the new crew and trainees









Last night, everyone was part of a one hour anchor watch. With the students, we ran through a boat check and took bearings on the compass to insure the ship maintained its position. It seemed to go by quickly, and soon I was sleeping again and ready for another day’s activities.

Amelia Smith


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