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The Final Exam

Good morning everyone. The final exam occurred yesterday and the grades are in. The class has passed with flying colors. We had our challenges and those we overcame. The wind was light onshore in the morning and came stronger with the turn of the tide in the afternoon. There were moments when obtaining a fix was very difficult. The importance of the bow watch, the eyes and ears of the ship, was reinforced. Ditty bags were finished with some fancy knot work.

The ground rules were simple. Keep a constant DR plot with 6, 12, & 18 minute projections. Keep a minimum of 2 people on bow watch at all times, keep Mary, our beloved cook happy, and make certain that everyone gets to "taste a slice of the pie." In other words, get everyone involved so that they feel good about their participation in the team.

There is no question that everyone has learned something this week. Everyone will take something different away with them. Some one asked me why no one else does what we do up here. There are many sail training programs around the world. But not many vessels cater to older adults and try to do in one week what it is we do. Learning to be a crew member aboard a schooner along the Maine coast is a long process. As we have discovered there is more to being a crew member than just setting and furling sails. Sailing 96 tons along the abruptly changing geography of the Maine coast without the benefit of an engine is not necessarily extraordinary around here but there is no place else on Earth where this kind of thing happens. Imagine that. No where else in the world is there a collection of traditional pure sailing vessels like we have here in Maine. That is very cool.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good. Photos by Tom Haraden.

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