Tag Archives: My Incredible Adventure

My Incredible Adventure- The Liberty Clipper

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Home Port: Boston
Rig: Gaff Topsail Schooner
Year Built: 1983
Sparred Length: 125 Feet
Draft: 8 Feet
Beam: 25 Feet
Hull: Steel
Web Site: Liberty ClipperDSC_2056 [640x480]

The 125-foot Schooner ‘Liberty Clipper’ is a majestic steel replica of an 18th century clipper ship.

The term clipper as applied to ships may derive from the idea of them cutting through the water. Clipper bows were distinctively narrow and heavily raked forward, which allowed them to rapidly clip through the waves. The cutting notion is also suggested by the other class of vessel built for speed, the cutter. One of the meanings of clip since the 17th century is “to fly or move quickly”, possibly deriving from the sound of wings. The term clipper originally applied to a fast horse and most likely derives from the term clip meaning “speed”, as in “going at a good clip”.

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My Incredible Adventure- The Schooner Roseway

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Sharon Lowe Photos

When we were heading into Boston Harbor, the Roseway sailed by us. DSC_1922 [Desktop Resolution]Beautiful as always! Always nice when she visits Gloucester!

The Roseway is a wooden gaff-rigged schooner launched on November 24, 1925 in Essex, Massachusetts. She is now restored and listed as a National Historic Landmark.

She is currently operated by World Ocean School, a non-profit educational organization based in Camden, Maine.

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Here are more links to more information on the Roseway:




My Incredible Adventure- Using Dividers

Captain Amanda teaches Alice how to measure distance with the dividers

Captain Amanda teaches Alice how to measure distance with the dividers

How to use dividers

Using dividers and the latitude scale on your nautical chart, you are able to measure distance in nautical miles. (Remember, do not use longitudes to measure distance. Longitude lines converge at the poles and the distance between them changes relative to your position on the earth.)

One minute equals one nautical mile. Examine the scale of your chart. In these examples, our chart is in degrees and minutes.

Place one point of the dividers at position A and the other point at at position B. Then, maintaining the spread, measure the distance using the latitude scale. In this case, the distance is 15 minutes or 15 nautical miles. Always use the latitude scale located in the same horizontal region that you are measuring.

My Incredible Adventure- Hauling out the Anchor Part II

  • Anchor is Aweigh – Anchor is off the sea bottom when being heaved in .
  • Anchor is Foul – Anchor cable is caught around the fluke or an object is caught around the anchor .
  • Anchor Watch – A member or members of the crew that keep watch and check to see whether the anchor is dragging and the the drift of the ship. This is prudent when anchored in heavy weather, or where wind direction may change dangerously.
  • Anchor Windlass – A windlass is a winch-like device used to assist in the raising of the anchor.
  • Anchor Chain A chain attached to the anchor. The chain acts partially as a weight to keep the anchor lying next to the ground so that it can dig in better.
  • Anchor Rode A line (chain, nylon or steel cable) used to hold a vessel fast   to  the anchor.

My Incredible Adventure- Navigation

  • Compass
    This is a very important Navigation Tool. Its function is to determine the direction of the course. There are many types of Compasses. Some of these include handheld Compass, marine Compass, Magnetic Compass, and steering Compass.
  • Charts
    A Chart holds a set of information which is valuable and useful in Navigation. Some terms that you may encounter when using Charts are:

    • Projection
      The way a curved surface is represented on paper is called Projection. One example is a Mercator Projection. This is a cylindrical map projection where the meridians are equidistant, parallel, and vertical lines, while the parallels of latitude are horizontal, straight line the spaces of which increase from the Equator.
    • Sounding
      This is a measured depth of the water.
    • Scale
      The Chart can either be small-scale or large-scale. A small-scale Chart covers a large area in less detail and is used in planning, plotting positions, and navigating off shore. On the other hand, a large-scale Chart covers a more detailed projection of small area and is used in coastal Navigation
  • Plotting Equipment
    Navigation also requires a set of equipment for any plotting work on paper Charts. Aside from a Chart table in which you will do your Chart Work, you need Dividers to measure distances on the Charts, Plotter or parallel rulers, and pencils for making marks.
  • Logs
    A Log is a good tool which displays important data such as the distance sailed and speed. Other types of Logs show other information including average and maximum speed reached.

These are the basic tools in Sailing Navigation. There are other devices used in Sailing, depending on the type of Sailboat, weather, and the experience of the sailor when it comes to Navigation.

My Incredible Adventure – Making a Rope Grommet

DSC_1633Owen and his dad Dave made this rope grommet and then soaked it in the water for a short time to stiffen it up.

From WikiHow

Grommets are round, endless rings of rope useful in a myriad ways aboard ship as well as ashore. They are often used as handles for chests, for rings with which to play quoits, to lengthen rope, and in many similar ways.

The grommet is formed of a single strand of rope five times as long as the circumference of the grommet when complete.

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  1. Follow the image above for each of the steps. The original image is from a book running sequentially, hence the unusual numbering but it was thought easiest to stick with this numbering for clarity.
  2. Take the strand and lay one end across the other at the size of loop required and with the long end follow the grooves or “lay” of the strand until back to where you started (Fig. 84), thus forming a two-stranded ring.
  3. Continue twisting the free end between the turns already made until the three-strand ring is complete (Fig. 85).
  4. Finish and secure the ends by making overhand knots, pass the ends underneath the nearest strands and trim ends off close (Fig. 86). If care is taken and you remember to keep a strong twist on the strand while “laying up” the grommet, the finished ring will be as firm and smooth and endless as the original rope.

My Incredible Adventure- The Bounty

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We saw the Bounty off in the distance and Captain Amanda decided to meet up with her.

Here’s some interesting info from the Bounty website:

HMS Bounty…at one with the sea…global voyager…movie star…dedicated to preserving the fine art of square-rigged sailing.

Known for a maritime mutiny that took place over 200 years ago, Bounty remains famous and infamous. Thousands cross her ample decks during port visits wondering what life was like then and now. You know her from her modern movies as well. In 1960, it was Marlon Brando as Fletcher Christian in Mutiny on the Bounty. Today, it is Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest.”

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My Incredible Adventure-The Working Coil and the Ballentine

From the beginning of the trip to the end, we were pulling, coiling, wrapping, knotting,  and tripping over ROPE (called line in sailing terminology). The crew taught us how to coil the line so it was out of the way but readily accessible.

Here’s Rick learning the Ballentine CoilDSC_1870 [640x480]

Click on Rick’s photo for video

And here’s  another video explaining the whole process.

My Incredible Adventure- The “Head”

toiletSure does take some planning ahead!! This is why I said it involves balance, dexterity, and strength! And the ability to speed read!


1. Make sure lid is down to create a vacuum.

2. Put thumb over hole on top of hole where it says “plug me”.

3. With other hand, pump handle 10 full strokes.

4. Do your business

5. Put thumb over hole on top of hole where it says “plug me”.

6. With other hand, pump handle 20 full strokes.

7.Take thumb off the hole.

8. With other hand, pump handle 10 full strokes.

Make sure nothing goes into the toilet that didn’t pass through your body.


My Incredible Adventure-Time to raise the sails!

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It was time to hoist the sails and everyone onboard was needed to raise the heavy canvas sails. The crew taught us how to work as a group in this incredible task. Hand over hand, we used every muscle – arms, legs, back.

Some of the terms we learned:

halyard-line used for hoisting sails.

hoist-the length of the luff of a fore-and-aft sail

luff-to get so close to the wind that the sail flaps; also the forward edge of a sail

mainsail-boomed sail projecting aft from the mainmast

mainsheet- line that controls the main boom.

make fast-secure a line.

ARRRRRRGGGGGHHHH!– Whenever commands weren’t followed! Mostly heard from JP when he was in charge.

My Incredible Adventure aboard the Spirit of Massachusetts

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Captain Amanda speaks to Dave as he comes onboard

Captain Amanda speaks to Dave as he comes onboard

On Wednesday morning 11 passengers met

at the dock behind the Heritage Center. The day was wet and cold, but our anticipation overshadowed the weather. We were sailing on the Spirit of Massachusetts overnight to see the Tall Ships in Boston!

Our group consisted of kids, grandmothers, dads, friends, veteran sailors, “newbies” and world travelers. Most of didn’t know each other—yet! And the crew of 9, including our captain Amanda, was a mix of young women and men-college students and seasoned sailors, each possessing a love of the sea.

We all knew that we would not be sailing on a luxury cruise, but I’m not sure we understood that we would be active participants in the strenuous life onboard a schooner.

Even using the “head”(bathroom) was a test of balance, strength and dexterity! (More about this later!)

This is one of the bunks. Very little headroom-even for me!

This is one of the bunks. Very little headroom-even for me!

We were shown our bunks where we would be stowing our gear. I chose a low one where I stuffed everything except the camera.

As we left Gloucester, we motored out past the familiar landmarks. We chatted with our fellow passengers and the crew. But with less than a moment’s notice, a crew member would be off to perform his or her duties.  It wouldn’t be long before we “passengers” would be doing the same thing!

Watch for more on this incredible adventure!

Sharon Update: Out at sea

Weds. Night 8pm

We’re anchored off Peddick’s Island in Boston Harbor. Today was wild! Lots of wind! We were flying! We passed the Bounty and the American Eagle.

We’re all pretty tired as we worked hard! 7:30 breakfast! 8:00 we head in
to see the Tall Ships!

Thur 6:00AM

It’s 6am and we can see the Boston skyline through the clouds, The cook is  making breakfast. A few of us are up and about, Pretty hard to sleep with 13 other people’  So quiet up here on the deck, Bye for now!


Off on a Great Adventure!

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This morning I’m taking off on the Spirit of Massachusetts for an overnight trip into Boston to view the Tall Ships. I’m as excited as a little kid. This has been a dream I’ve had forever- to sail on a schooner and be part of the daily activities that happen on board.

I will try to post from the boat or at least have Joey post for me. Of course I’ll be shooting like crazy and I might be able to upload the photos to Joey!

It will be my 60th year adventure! See you when we get back tomorrow!