Saturday, August 13, 2011

Having watch during a storm

Join Aquarium Teen Program Coordinator Liz Whitlinger and campers with the Harbor Discoveries Schooner Adventure Camp. After a week of preparation, our crew of young explorers boarded a Grand Banks schooner and set sail for a five-day, four-night excursion exploring Massachusetts Bay.

Here are some thoughts from campers about the experience on board the Spirit of Massachusetts:

Its day four and it feels like we've been on this boat forever. The watches that we do are like a well known routine, and I know exactly what I'm supposed to do and exactly when. The watch shifts can be at crazy times. When the boat is anchored there are one hour and fifteen minute shifts. On the first night my shift was 3 a.m. to 4:15 a.m. When we're sailing or underway, the watch shifts are four hours long. Those four hours drag on to feel like forever.

Day two my night shift was 8 p.m. until 12 a.m. and there was a huge lighting storm in the distance over Provincetown. My crew (C watch) was on the deck in our rain gear. I had on my rain coat and pants and thoroughly enjoyed watching the lightning. There was also bioluminescent plankton that would light up the water with each little movement.

I like doing watches on the ship, especially when we get to do bow watch. The bow watch is a lookout for ships, buoys, weather and any other things that the boat might encounter. After you get relieved on bow watch you get to go steer the boat on its directed course. It can be stressful for sure!

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