Tag Archives: Tall Ship Camp

Things To Do- Second Annual Tall Ship Adventure With Gloucester Museum School and Ocean Classroom

Click the Flier to View Full Size

Every person that did it last year said it was an incredible adventure.


Check out This Video From Last Year-

[blip.tv ?posts_id=2333063&dest=-1]

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- 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- Alice and the Monkey’s Fist


11 year old Alice learned how to tie a Monkey’s Fist monkey fistfrom her grandmother, Sally, who was also on the Spirit trip. In the evening or when there was down time, Alice would make tiny fists and taught us how to make them.

From Wikipedia:

A monkey’s fist or monkey paw is a type of knot, so named because it looks somewhat like a small bunched fist/paw. It also looks somewhat like a volleyball or an older style football. It is tied at the end of a rope to serve as a weight, making it easier to throw, and also as an ornamental knot. This type of weighted rope can be used as an improvised weapon, called a slungshot by sailors. It was also used in the past as an anchor in rock climbing, by stuffing it into a crack, but this is obsolete and dangerous.

Click here  to make your own MONKEY’S FIST!

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 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-Dishwashing!


We had to constantly adjust our “on land” thinking. The crew kept after us to not leave our things around, pick up anything that was dropped, wipe up spills right away, and generally be aware of what needed to be done. We also had to gain our sea legs on the rock-rolly trip to the South Shore. Only one of us felt queasy and needed a little help with crackers to feel better.

Mina, the cook, made us a great taco lunch. We ate hungrily, and then it was time for dishes to be washed. Now here’s where we take “land life” for granted. Dishes! We either wash them in a sink with running water or put them into the dishwasher. This was not the way they’re done on board. After you finish eating, you carry your plate, etc. up onto the deck where you first dump whatever’s left on your plate into a bucket. Then you clean off the plate in the first pan of water. You proceed through the line until the end where you dry your dishes, bring them below, and put them away. This includes all cooking pans as well. The system works well and everyone pitches in. Builds teamwork and cooperation!

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-Hauling out the Anchor!

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Each time the handle is lowered, the anchor is lifted ONE chain link! This is the most labor-intensive chore I witnessed. I thought about helping out with this, but I’d be dangling on the upstroke!

Click the photo above to see the video!

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!

Spirit’s Log Entries from Jessica

photo submitted by Francesca Combs

photo submitted by Francesca Combs

I just received all of Jessica Blazewicz’s log entries –

June 28, 2009

Day 1- aboard Spirit of Massachusetts

The day began as the students began to show up at the dock. At first it was awkward, and everyone was nervous. Within the hour however, everyone had found at least one person with whom they could relate.

Skepticism of the weather did little to damper the excitement that lay before everyone. Proudly the crew boarded the vessel, their new home, and thus the voyage began.

The first thing to do was to go over the basics of the running and caring of the ship. Before even leaving the dock, an hour or so was spent with a tour, explaining and socializing. As soon as the basics were established it was finally time to leave. As parents waved and yelled their farewells, we looked not back, but forward.

With everyone sorted into shifts, it was quite easy to manage the ship. Even though a fog covered the sea, and the chill of the wind cooled us, we were all very happy. As we got farther and farther from the shore the waves grew bigger. Never did they reach any height to worry about; a few of the crew had already begun to feel the butterflies.

As the day flew by, everyone began to ease into the ways of the ship. Many members of the crew were surprised to realize that balance on land, meant nothing over water. After a “funaucational” lesson, we were all delighted by cook Sarah Renée’s delicious lunch, of corn chowder, BLT’s, and PBJ sandwiches.

Later we decided to head to Stellwagen Bank where we were sure we would see some whales, or porpoises. Unfortunately when we arrived, we were disappointed to find nothing but crashing waves, and seaweed clumps.

Disappointed, we decided to head for land and turned the ship directly toward Nahant Bay, where we planned to anchor for the night. After all of the ships chores and tasks were done, everyone sat down to a hearty dinner of lasagna, salad, and absolutely delicious French Bread.

After lowering the anchor right outside of the harbor, we lowered the sails, in preparation of night. But the crews work was far from over, and as the sun set and people fell asleep, someone always had to watch the boat.

Captain Madeira organized all the children, and some of the adults, into anchor watches, one hour for every three people. As the crew slept the anchor watch checked the boat, watched her, and got the bearings to make sure the Spirit of Massachusetts had not pulled her anchor.

Most everyone slept soundly, after a very full day. It had been a pleasant and successful day, and everyone was excited for the next.

June 29, 2009

Day 2- aboard the Spirit of Massachusetts

When the crew woke upon day two of our voyage, and everyone was disappointed by the arrival of rain. The morning began, with the tedious job of lifting the 500 lb anchor. The rain washed down on us, and everyone on deck was ordered to wear the big but effective raingear.

The first breakfast was defiantly a good one, made by cook Sarah Renée.

This simple but good pancakes could easily have many condiments added such has honey, jelly, syrup, and butter. Also in this breakfast were some hearty sausages, and cheesy eggs.

Soon the Captain realized that the wind was not very strong at all, and soon we had a plan to motor the ship as near as we could to Georges Island, so we could have a little time ashore. When we got to shore, by Zodiac, we were met by a park ranger, named Ray. He gave us a tour of Fort Warren, and told a spooky ghost story called “The Lady in Black.”

For all the crew, who had previously been sea sick, the brief land trip was defiantly a good break. After the tour, everyone was allowed to play games, explore, or just talk.

After a while of just chilling on land, the Zodiac arrived to carry us back to the ship. Back on board, we had to continue our tasks and our chores. Once they were all done, it was finally time to climb the rigging. Excited, everyone donned their safety harnesses and one at a time began to climb, backed up by an adult. From the top of the rigging a beautiful sight lay beneath. One could look out over the harbor, and down on the fort.

As the sun began to set, we all gathered mid-deck, and created a story. This activity was run by Linda, and it was very funny to see how the plot changed as the story passed from one person to the next.

After a full days work, everyone was tired and full from Sarah Renée’s dinner of sorted meats, carrots and potatoes. Finally, everyone collapsed in bed, only to realize that in a couple of hours, they would have to wake up for anchor watch.

June 30, 2009

Day 3- aboard the Spirit of Massachusetts

The foggy morning began with everyone dragging themselves out of bed. After only two days everyone was very tired, but still they had to get up. The first jobs were to scrub the decks, heads, soles, and eating surfaces. Soon the boat was looking clean, and we were all very proud of our work.

After cleaning, it was time for breakfast, which was assorted cereal, oatmeal, fruit, muffins, and cream of wheat. After eating, of course, the daily dish duty began, the crew quickly got to work. In a short time, they were all done.

Next it was time to clean our bunks. The adults had decided that some of the bunks were looking a little messy, the stuff not properly stowed. So everyone had to go down to their bunks, and neaten it up for an inspection by Mr. Tingle. Almost everyone passed, and now it was time to move on to other activities.

The first activity of the day was to have an emergency drill. Everyone went to the helm to get the basics down. Then we all split up into our groups to learn what procedures we were in charge of. Then, to test it out, we tossed a buoy overboard, and went through all of our procedures to rescue it.

After the safety was established, it was time for lunch. Today’s lunch was a great meal of hot dogs, salad, chips, and a special treat of gummy starbursts. Since it’s always time to go on a ship, as soon as the meal was done it was right back to chores.

Later, the crew devised a great plan to have three learning stations for us to go to. The first was with Captain Madeira, where we learned about navigation. The second was with Max, where we learned to make the complicated Turks Head knot and the ­­blood knot. The last station was with Brian, were we all played a game with idioms about sailing.

That night, everyone gathered mid-deck where Brian told us a story about an evil captain and Jay sung a lullaby that he sang to his children Elise and Spencer. Earlier, the crew had decided that certain things would get them to have to perform: for example eating with a hat on, leaving a light on, or leaving your stuff around.

So after the story, it was performance time, and we had many, many songs, poems, acting and stories. It was very entertaining and everyone had tons of fun. Afterward, everyone was so tired; they just went straight to sleep. That night was also really foggy and during our watch we lost our bearings, but by morning it had cleared up.

July 1, 2009

Day 4- about the Spirit of Massachusetts

The day began a little chilly, but not really that bad. We had a breakfast of French toast and everyone did their chores. Then, it was time for another land excursion. This time it would be to Misery Island. After a big talk and writing about its name, no one knew for certain why it was called that.

We got ashore using the Zodiac and the exploration began. We were told that pirate treasure had been left on the island and we were going to find it. At first we just took a long walk going by the casino ruins. Then we came back to the beach for sandwiches, trail mix, and punch.

Then it was off to find the treasure again, everyone was running around looking. The three who saw it first almost at the same time were Leah, Jessica, and Teddy. However, soon everyone was around them grabbing the treasure of Doritos, Oreos, and Nutter Butters.

After the treasure search it was back to the beach where captain Madeira had brought ashore two buckets. Everyone began to fill them up with sea life and soon we had our own little aquarium. When we were back on the boat we got to learn all about them and got to look at them under the microscope.

Dinner that night was delicious pork, veggies, and mashed potatoes. After dinner and chores, we had a talent time where Jessica and Leah shared a hilarious story contributed by many other crew. Other acts included Spencer, Alex, and Josh modeling, beat boxing by Everest and Josh, singing from Jay and guitar from Leah and James.

After the show, we all played the Pirate Ghost, more commonly known as Mafia. It was very fun, and we all enjoyed ourselves. After the game it was back to bed and everyone settled down into their bunks for a goodnight sleep.

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