Captain’s Log

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Captain’s Log Entries

  • 2021 Spring Voyage
Final Stop

The students enjoyed their time on Cumberland Island. In the morning we walked to the Dungeness ruins at the south end of the island. Here we had a class about the history of the island and the dispute to keep it developed or undeveloped. The students were thoughtful during this conversation, debating the merits of preservation vs conservation. Afterwards, students were given some free time to explore.

Early Sunday morning Lexi and her watch got us underway for Brunswick. It was a great last sail. Coming into St Simon’s channel we were able to view the wreck of the Golden Ray, a large car carrier that flipped and went aground in 2019. It was fascinating to see all of the equipment being used to remove the huge vessel.

Shortly before going under the Sidney Lanier Bridge, Logan handed off the deck to Sarah who would bring us to the marina. Phoebe was on the helm as we went through Brunswick Harbor and approached the dock. Once alongside, our efforts turned to stowing the boat.

Today everyone will participate in “field day” an event with a deceptive name, wherein we deep clean the entire boat. This is generally a fun and rewarding activity as we all work together and have music playing the whole time. Afterwards, the students will have a chance to shower and pack.

It has been an excellent trip. The students’ energy and kindness to each other ensured that it would be a success. Tonight at dinner, we will reflect on our last three weeks and hopefully squeeze in one or two more games while we are all still together.

  • 2021 Spring Voyage
North Florida

We’ve just arrived to Fernandina, Fl. The passage took about a day and a half and is likely our last overnight sail. Aside from a few hours this morning, and coming in and out of port, we were able to sail the entire trip. The last three students to be JWO also got a chance to be in charge during this passage. Jack H got us underway at Cape Canaveral, Lexi ensured we stayed the course during the two 12-4 watches she stood with her shipmates, and Jack Dano brought us all the way up to the anchorage this afternoon.

Shortly after anchoring, Logan had lasagna ready for dinner, which we enjoyed on deck in the company of dolphins, pelicans, and one jumping stingray. Tonight, we will quickly go ashore for some ice cream before catching up on sleep from the passage.

Early tomorrow morning, we will get underway for Cumberland Island, just north of here. Phoebe will be the JWO for this transit which will require careful navigation through shallow waters.

Cumberland Island is always one of my favorite stops. I know the students will enjoy seeing the wild horses and, hopefully, armadillos. In the afternoon we plan to go to the beach, which we will likely have all to ourselves. Not having much time left in our schedule, we will get underway again early Sunday morning to head toward Brunswick, GA, our final port stop. 

  • 2021 Spring Voyage
Sailing Along the Florida Coast

The sail from West Palm Beach to Cape Canaveral was one of our most pleasant sails yet. Three new JWOs, Logan, Phoebe, and Cate, were tasked with transit preparation and the operation of the vessel while underway. Logan was in charge for both our departure from West Palm and our arrival to Cape Canaveral. She did an excellent job, especially considering the challenge of operating Geronimo in a congested area under sail.

This morning, we moved to a dock at Ocean Club Marina. The students did a great job handling dock lines and fenders as we backed into a tight slip. Phoebe and Jack H. were especially helpful, ensuring everything went smoothly.

Today we will go for a hike around the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. This protected area surrounds the Kennedy Space Center. During the drive over, the students will be able to catch a glimpse of the center and maybe even some rockets. We plan to spend tonight at the marina before getting underway for Cumberland Island, one of my favorite stops along the east coast. An added bonus of spending the night here is we have a good chance of seeing a rocket launch, scheduled for 11:44 this evening. Fingers crossed it is not delayed.

  • 2021 Spring Voyage
Exploring the Everglades

Our sail from Bimini to West Palm Beach was very quick! With the help of the gulf stream we averaged around 10kts for the entire passage. This trip also marked the beginning of the Junior Watch Officer (JWO) portion of the program. Students are now tasked with making many of the critical decisions on board such as what sails to set, what course to steer, and how to accomplish all daily routines. Flo was the first JWO and perfectly sailed Geronimo off the anchor at North Cat Cay. Sarah was up next and on deck for the majority of our passage in the gulf stream. Cate was the final JWO of the trip and brought us into Lake Worth Inlet, a job made more difficult by the following seas.

Yesterday we spent the morning aboard Geronimo tidying up from our crossing. After lunch, we had a class on sail theory. Later in the afternoon the students went ashore to use their phones for the first time this trip and stretch their legs. Back aboard Geronimo, Lexi made pizza for dinner. Rather than having study hall in the evening, we decided to relax and play One Night a card game that is always popular on board.

Today we had to depart Geronimo early for an adventure in the Everglades. After an hour long car ride we arrived at the Everglades and Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area. Here we boarded an airboat for a two hour nature tour. This was a surprise outing for the students. Phoebe was especially excited as alligators are one of her favorite animals. We saw plenty! I think she counted 16. Everyone had a blast skipping over the shallow waters taking in the wildlife.

We are now aboard the boat, regrouping from our busy day. Laney is in the galley making ravioli and the others are reading or completing school work.

We will likely remain at this anchorage for one more night to wait for the northeast wind to veer to the east. Once we have a favorable breeze we will depart for points north.

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