Saturday, July 30, 2011


First full day in Port Colburn. Yesterday proved to be a very long day for alpha watch. We stood from 0700 till 1300 whem we anchored about eight miles from the dock. After two hours down all hands were called to pick up the hook and get bqck under way. We were riding through a fairly good chop whem another hand and I were sent up the fore to loose out t'gallants and the foresl. We had quite a ride as we were tossed about.
After arriving in port we had several hours of cleaning and prep for deck tours. Alpha was stood down at 2300 and then were given the next twenty four hours off for some much needed rest.

Friday, July 29, 2011


One voyage is done and another has started. We are currently carrying a compliment of college students amd have anchred in canadian wates. We intend to make Port Colburn tonight around 1700.
The student are quick and eager; swwming ready to learn everything we can teach them. It is a really wonderful change of pace.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Back on lake Erie and headed toward Kelly's Island. I suspect we are going there to show the students the the glacial grooves cut into it. I am told that if you lay a compass on them they point directly towards labrador, showing where the ice flow was from.
My tour in the Galley is coming to a close in a couple of days. It has been exhausting, but somewhat satisfying to knw that the crew is being well fed. It also has the effect of reminding me why I left the service industry in the first place.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Back through the Soo locks on the trip back to Erie. Duluth was good for the students,though we are all rather tired at this point. I am back on assistant cook duty which is such a difference experience it is difficult to compare. I do not know how long we are staying here but I imagine time is short and we will soon be off.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Finishing up our time in Duluth. One more day sail in the morning then breaking for Erie. Not a whole lot to say really.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


It has been a few days since the watch cycle and geography have given me a chance to send a message to the outsde world. It has certainly been an interesting few days however. We stopped in Sault Ste Marie fo a few hours to prep the Niagara to go through the Soo locks. We also briefly met with the Lynx and her crew as the were doing the same. The passage through the locks was uneventful,which is generally the best way for them to go.
Then we made our way to Lake Superior. If you have never made that passage by water it is difficult to really understand the awe of it. As you make your way up the river you come to a mildly narrow passage and then it is as if the entire world opens up in front of you. It is easy to imagine the feelings of those first explorers through that way, not believing that the water was still fresh because surely this was the ocean in front of them.
Shortly after our entrance to the lake we found ourselves beset in deep fog, though somehow sailing. We managed to sail almost around the peninsula and then drove north for a period of time.
I feel like I need to explain that the nature of time on a voyage is a complicated one. Days quickly become meaningless as all that matters is the watch. If I do not say how many days passed it is because I simply do not remember.
After some days in the fog we were up aloft in the dawn hours tucking reefs wen the fog bank parted to reveal the first land we had seen since entering Superior. We were told that we were off Isle Royale and would be sending shore parties after lunch. It was a cold and wet hour's small boat ride in, but worth every moment. The sun on shore was warm and the smell of pine trees and wet soil was almost overpowering. We spent some time talking to some residents about the study they have been doing on moose and wolves and then tromped in the woods for a bit. It was a lovely excursion.

On leaving we et a great deal of canvas and rode a favorable breeze well into the night. We were on from 2300 till 0300 and made just over thirty miles with a top speed around 9.5knots. It was a glorious run.
Today after lunch we took the deck again and found ourselves taking in sail and furling as we entered the Apostle Islands. I have never had the pleasure of passing through them in daylight hours but surely must return at some point. They are truly beautiful.
And now I am in port on shore leave till 0300, talking to strangers in a coffee shop and making friends. 8 may have even convinced someone to come find us in Duluth and maybe even become a sailor. We are contagious.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


So a few das have passed and much has happened on our voyage. We are still mostly confined to motor sailing, though we did get her full dress on while on lake Huron.
Charlie watch ha started to grow tighter as we spend more time with each other. We have stood a full cycle of watches now, from that first dawn watch to the sunset watch and the times between as well. Last night we stood 2300 till 0300 and took our trainees aloft on the dark of night to furl. It is a singular experience riding the T'gallants in the dead of night. I had the privilage of taking someone up there for the first time. The stars were clear and bright,and so many that they couldn't possibly be counted.
We also had our first swim call with this crew and bathed in lake Huron. After much consideration I think it is my favorite. I do not really know how to describe the shade of blue it has, and the clarityis truly amazing. The instructors apparently lowered something into the water and could see it at the twenty three meter mark. It was a refreshing, if chilly swim. one should never discount the positive effects on moral of swim call.
And so now we are pushing up the Saint Mary's river,talking about stopping in Sault Ste. Marie for a bit before passing through the locks and on to Superior. It trulyis beautiful country up here which I hope to explore more thoroughly some day.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


First watch of the voyage came with little incident. We stood the second dog watch, frome 0300 to 0700 during with we had little but the dawnt to really focus on. We are motor sailing across the lake and are crrently just past Put In Bay.

We di set the main staysl and the fore topsl last night, taking advantage of what breeze we have to help us out. The new trainees are starting to find the rhythm of the shp already though some of the finer points are certainly lacking. It is a challenge not to get a little frustrated, but it is important to rememeber when I was in that same place and how very recent that was.

There is apparently a class on something, which may or may not be mandatory for all hands at some point today.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


And so, after many pauses and stutters we are under way again. We have a boat filled with high school students and are bond for Duluth. Tired and sore and anxious as we all are, there is a glint that comes to the eye when a new voyage begins. Who knows what waits for us in the passage, and who knows who our students will be by the end of it. Right now, as we head off following the sumset all we have is potential.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Long day today, but can't say it was a bad one. Two daysails today... one with each captain. It is interestimg to see the different styles in that close a switch.

The air was vey light so a lot of out actions were more just practicing the routine than actually sailing her, but that isn't a terrible thing to do.
Speaking on routines, I have beem on the gun crew for the past week or two, withthe same crew on it. We're getting pretty good. I would really like to see how fast we can run it.

We said a goodbye to the last of our trainees from the college trip a month back. A few of them have clearly cought the bug and I really hope to see them out there. it is really neat to see the passion swell up in someone who had no idea coming in.

And tomorrow we are off for Duluth with a shipfull of high school students. It will certainly be interesting.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


So i have never been overly good at journals, and so much has happened that i know I won'tgo back and update everything. I do plan to start fresh with a new system in the coming days. Hopefully I will do better. Cheers.