Geronimo

Geronimo is a voyage of self-discovery. Student crew members discover the joys and challenges of life aboard a 69-foot cutter as they sail along one leg of a tour that in 2017-18 will take the boat along the eastern coast of the U.S., from Rhode Island to the Bahamas and back. As they live, learn and explore together, classmates discover what it truly means to be a crew.


Captain’s Log

Arrival to Charleston

After rounding Cape Fear we continued on to Charleston in some more lively conditions, but maintaining a close reach on a port tack all the way to the harbor entrance. Our final evening underway the energy level was high and the crew did not let the rain or salt spray deter them from singing and eagerly anticipating our arrival.  Even reefed down, we averaged around 8-10 knots and cleared the entrance to the harbor at about 0230. Lilly, Celia and Bridgit split helm duties bringing us in through the channel and up to the anchor under a nearly full moon. We have sailed nearly 500 n.m. on this passage and a total of 1000 n.m since we departed Rhode Island, all in under two weeks.

This morning we came alongside the City Marina, with Katherine at the helm. We spent the morning cleaning Geronimo, followed by class and then much-anticipated showers and phone time. Our plan is to head out to dinner tonight and spend the next few days exploring the city while catching up on schoolwork and sleep. 

Posted by Mike Dawson in 2017 Fall Voyage on Sunday October 8, 2017
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Rounding the Capes

On departing Annapolis, we tacked down the bay and cleared Cape Henry at the Chesapeake Bay entrance just after sunset. The wind was light as we motorsailed down the coast on our way toward Cape Hatteras. We enjoyed a dinner on deck sailing along in a nice breeze last night on our way toward Cape Lookout. Over the course of the night we have made good progress sailing south in some lively conditions on a close reach. Although we had thoughts of stopping in Beaufort, North Carolina – the forecast made sense for us to continue on toward Charleston. The crew has been handling what will be our longest passage of the trip well and they are looking forward to our arrival. We just cleared Frying Pan Shoals off of Cape Fear and had some dolphins swim along with flying fish. Hoping to arrive to Charleston some time overnight.  
Posted by Jill Hughes in 2017 Fall Voyage on Saturday October 7, 2017
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Southbound

Yesterday morning we had study hall, followed by some time to explore Annapolis. We had a tour of the Naval Academy – culminating with the noon formation of the Brigade of Midshipmen and then some more time to explore town and have lunch.

A weather window to head south was still open so we decided to take advantage of it and leave the Chesapeake Bay a little earlier than planned. We sailed out of the anchorage and started tacking our way south down the bay with a SSW breeze that persisted through most of the night and into today. The crew didn’t a great job navigating and steering. Plan is to be out of the Bay tonight and then push down to Cape Hatteras and beyond with some light wind conditions. We may stop in Beaufort, North Carolina or continue south to Charleston if we have a favorable forecast.

Speaking of forecasts, just want to assure everyone that we are closely watching Tropical Storm Nate in the western Caribbean. At this time, it appears that it will not impact us directly – but we may see some rain from the remnants of this system early next week in the Carolinas.
Posted by Mike Dawson in 2017 Fall Voyage on Thursday October 5, 2017
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Chesapeake Bay

Our sail down the coast was faster than anticipated. We made good time on a close reach for most of the trip, with the wind continuing to veer and diminish as we neared the bay entrance. The trip up Delaware Bay was quiet and calm. Katherine and TJ made chicken parmesan, spaghetti and salad for dinner and we dined on deck just before sunset. 

Celeste, Lekha and Lily were on watch with Mr. Brown (C Watch) and brought us  through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. When we emerged from the canal, we pushed down the bay and anchored up just before midnight

This morning Bridgit put together french toast, bacon with a homemade applesauce. With a fair tide running down the bay, we got underway and made it as far as Annapolis where we anchored in the late afternoon. The students had a chance to explore town and we have plans to again go ashore in the morning. 

We may have a good weather window opening up to head south around Cape Hatteras, so contemplating leaving the Bay a little earlier than planned. 
Posted by Jill Hughes in 2017 Fall Voyage on Tuesday October 3, 2017
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New York City

We slept in on Sunday and spent the morning on board doing schoolwork. We went ashore for lunch, then came back to Geronimo to prepare to get underway and have Marine Science class. The wind was light as we entered the East River just after sunset and had a fair current taking us through Hell Gate, down the east side of Manhattan and on to New York Harbor. The views of the skyline were just about perfect. It was a clear night with a bright moon overhead. TJ was at the helm taking us from Hell Gate to the Statue of Liberty, where we held station to take in a final view of the city.  At around 2130 or so we used the last of the fair current to take us out of New York Harbor. Lilly was on the helm from Liberty Island to Staten Island, and then Bridgit brought us under the Verrazzano Narrows bridge and out through Ambrose Channel.  We sailed south down the New Jersey coast overnight, and at dawn we are just north of Atlantic City - bound for the Delaware Bay and the Chesapeake Bay. 

Posted by Mike Dawson in 2017 Fall Voyage on Monday October 2, 2017
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Long Island Sound

We continued on past Watch Hill and into Fisher's Island Sound, continuing down the bay with a fresh WSW'ly breeze. We sailed up to an anchorage just off Kelsey Point on the north side of Long Island Sound. It was a full day of sailing from sunrise to sunset and everyone went to bed early. 

Celeste made oatmeal and fruit salad for breakfast,  and we sailed off the anchor with a building NE'ly breeze. Making our way west, we somehow managed to stay dry and made fast progress down Long Island Sound - averaging somewhere around 8 knots. We sailed into Oyster Bay and picked up a mooring and were treated to hot showers and a really nice meal at Seawanhaka Yacht Club by Bridgit's family (thanks again!). 

We are spending the morning at the mooring with study hall and class.  Our plan is to catch the  fair tide through the East River and into New York City is this evening before heading south down the coast. 

Posted by Mike Dawson in 2017 Fall Voyage on Sunday October 1, 2017
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Sailing Down the Bay

TJ started off our day with pancakes and bacon, and we spent a quiet morning digging into school work. The breeze filled in as the morning progressed and we tucked a reef in the mainsail before getting underway. The student crew had opportunities to steer, handle lines and plot positions on the chart as we gybed our way down from Bristol to Potter Cove in Jamestown. Lekha, fittingly as she is from Jamestown, was at the helm as we sailed up to the anchor. The chapel was in view just above the trees and  lights of the Newport-Pell Bridge lit up at sunset. TJ finished up his day as cook with burgers on the grill with quinoa and salad. 

This morning we woke up at 0540 and turned-to on deck to set mainsail and get underway. Katherine was at the helm as we sailed off the anchor and our way south through East Passage on the last of this northerly breeze. It is a beautiful clear morning with a very gentle long-period swell rolling in from the south. We just finished breakfast as we cleared Pt. Judith. We are making 7+knots hoping the wind will hold out until we get to Watch Hill. 

Posted by Mike Dawson in 2017 Fall Voyage on Friday September 29, 2017
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Underway

Our day began with a full morning of safety orientation, followed by taking on fuel and a quick lunch before  departing the dock. TJ was at the helm and steered us out of the channel and into the bay. We set the mainsail and jib, shut down the engine and were sailing. 

We performed a dozen or so tacks making our way south in a light  breeze. Everyone had an opportunity to steer and handle lines as we perfected our tacking evolution. 

In the late afternoon, we sailed up to our anchorage off of Bristoli and had our first swim call. Celia was the cook today, and made us a dinner of cheese ravioli and meat sauce, with salad. A game of Uno, followed by some more on-board orientation and then study hall rounded off the evening. 

 

Posted by Mike Dawson in 2017 Fall Voyage on Wednesday September 27, 2017
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Fall Trip Begins

After spending some time on board with family and friends, the crew jumped right into preparing for our adventure. We loaded provisions, lots of them. Then we loaded sails and gear, bent on the mainsail and started to move into bunks. 

The Starboard Watch (Lily, TJ, Bridgit and Lekha) did some more heavy lifting loading on our liferafts, the Port Watch (Katherine, Celeste, Celia and Lilly) cooked dinner. They made burritos with rice, beans, beef, vegetables, cheese and home-made guacamole - and we enjoyed our first dinner together as a crew in the cockpit on a beautiful warm night. 

Post-dinner we celebrated Katherine's birthday and we were all impressed with how masterfully she blew out the candles. We then spent a little time with on-board orientation. Everyone was  following an afternoon of hardwork, and I sensed that everyone was fading - so we put off the balance of orientation until tomorrow. Most everyone was in bed and off to sleep by 2130. 

Our plan is to continue our safety and on-deck orientations tomorrow morning, and hopefully depart the dock before noon. We will plan to be at anchor in the north end of Narragansett Bay tomorrow night. 
Posted by Mike Dawson in 2017 Fall Voyage on Tuesday September 26, 2017
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A Coeducational Boarding and Day School for Grades 9 Through 12
St. George's School
372 Purgatory Road Middletown, Rhode Island 02842
401-847-7565
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