Life aboard the Mystic Whaler

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This summer I was a deckhand aboard the Mystic Whaler in New London, Connecticut. My first day was July 2nd and I was there the whole summer up until a week before school started. I remember being anxious and wondering what it was going to be like being away from home in another state for 2 months. When I first arrived on the boat, the crew had just come back from a sail and they were beginning to furl. Furling is when you fold the sail and nicely place it on top of the boom. I’m tremendously afraid of heights and I always will be but I have gotten better at climbing higher! This summer definitely helped me face my fear of heights. I remember the first weeks of furling were the absolute worse. My legs would be shaking the whole time and I needed help getting to the top of the boom because I wasn’t strong enough to pull myself up. I remember the first day that my legs didn’t shake when I was up there, I was so proud of myself! I also remember the first time that I didn’t have to stand up on someone’s leg to help myself get up on the boom. I definitely got the upper body strength and bravery to help myself be independent when it came to furling. My ultimate goal was to be able to go aloft and on my last week on the Mystic Whaler my crew members made it possible for me! It was honestly not as bad as I had made it seem for all these years that I had been refusing to go aloft. I’m very proud of all my achievements and growth as a sailor!

Our Unique Classroom

IMG_3017As we begin our U.S. Power Boating course, what better way to learn than to take a trip out to the South Street Seaport and spend class aboard the schooner Pioneer. Today’s lesson was all about the basics and an overview of engines. We brought over a whiteboard and some markers and class was in session. The first half of class was discussing the things we know about outboard and inboard engines. The second half was spent looking at Pioneer’s engine and all its functions.IMG_3021

At the Helm of Serenity

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The Vessel Operations seniors had a great opportunity to take a ride on one of Hornblower’s yachts known as Serenity. Captain Jose and first mate Medina were there to greet us when we boarded the vessel at the South Street Seaport. We took a cruise around Lower Manhattan. The trip was about an hour long and I spent most of it exploring the boat. Jarely and I were sitting down talking about her summer experience when one of the crew members approached us and said Medina asked for one of us. I immediately stood up and walked to where she was at the helm. Turns out she was handing over the wheel to me! I had no idea what I was doing and with a boat filled with people, the pressure was on. Medina taught me how simple it actually was to steer such a large vessel. Your movements were small and controlled. I was at the helm for about 10 minutes and the whole time I was nervous. I’m used to our smaller vessels such as Indy and Virginia. You can see perfectly around those boats with your own eyes. Serenity is about three times the length of Indy. It was such a great experience to be at the helm of a vessel this size!

Hornblower Cite Visit

On September 13th, our class went on one of the Hornblower cruises around lower Manhattan. We spoke to Captain Jose and asked him how his experiences were. He told us that he really enjoyed his job. I asked if this was a union company and he told me it was not. I’m used to working at union companies so it was surprising to hear that they were not in the Union. When we went on this trip,k we had a break from all the stress from school so it was nice. This picture shows the beautiful view aboard Serenity. IMG_0034

A Trip On Hornblower’s Serenity

  IMG_1642IMG_1644 (1)      On September 13th, the senior Vessel Operations class went on a site visit to Hornblower’s yacht Serenity. We went on a tour session that encompassed the Upper New York Bay. On that tour session, us students were allowed to explore the boat and it’s crew members, which we happily took advantage of. Overall it was a pleasant ride that I would love to do again, maybe on one of Hornblower’s other yachts.

A Real Maritime Job

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        This summer was my first real maritime job at Classic Harbor Line as a Line Catcher. Sure it was a straight forward job and I had internships with the school working on the boats before, but it’s not the same thing. Working with a support system behind you is so much easier then striking out alone. Walking on to the dock on my first day was nerve wrecking. I didn’t know what to except and my hands were trembling so hard that I had to focus on getting them to stop shaking before I could focus on anything else. Thankfully the more I handled lines, the more the nervousness slipped away and a familiar routine took place. While working, I learned a clear understanding of how responsible and alert you have to be in whatever path you choose. I’m very appreciative that I was able to have this opportunity.

Hornblower Trip

image       image                                                   image               A normal CTE day is walking to the mast center at the beginning of sixth period, meeting in the classroom and talking about what our agenda is. Today was a special day though. We met outside and immediately started walking to the ferry in a rush. As we were walking, Gino and I were having a conversation about what we could be doing today. We looked towards the seaport and saw Wavetree’s head sails up and realized where we were going today.

On our ferry ride Captain Aaron mustered us up and told us the plan. We realized we were completely wrong. The plan for today was a site visit, just not to Wavetree. We went to pier 15 and took a ride on one of Hornblowers boat. We all gathered our tickets and went straight up the stairs to the wheelhouse. There we met up with Captain Jose. He said hi to us and gave us a breakdown on what we were going to do today. It was a tour of lower Manhattan on the water. We all went our separate ways to explore the boat. As we went to explore we saw all of their safety equipment and compared how it differs from ours. Everything was pretty much the same just on a wider scale.

As we were on our way back Kim took the helm. At that moment I was scared for my life! Just playing, Kim did great at the helm. Following that Captain Jose took the helm and docked the boat and that was the end of our voyage. It was a great day!

Jumping off a 35-foot cliff in Greek Islands

This summer I walked down 275 steps from a Santorini cliff’s edge to the water. As I approached water level, I had to walk along the side of the rest of the cliff without the aid of the continuous steps. As I tip toed my way through with a fast beating heart, I found an old lost novel written by a man who had been past the same spot. After taking a picture of the piece of art I had found, I continued on my way. Finally, I reached the water. I quickly took off what minimal clothing I was wearing because of the blazing heat and jumped in. In the water I saw a massive rock sticking out of the surface a couple yards away and swam over to check it out. I found that it was an old lighthouse that was out of commission on one side, and a watching deck on the other. I decided to front flip off of the watching deck, just for the laughs. After doing so, I jumped in for the video. I had a great time, and did not get hurt. Did it for the culture! IMG_7100.MOV

College’s I’m Thinking About!

As I began my senior year of high school, the rush of preparing and applying to college’s was there to greet me. The career path I’m taking is going to be in the Maritime Industry, specifically the United States Coast Guard. I’m focused on Maritime Academy’s and thought I would share my potential top five picks.

1. Maine Maritime Academy

2. SUNY Maritime College

3. California Maritime Academy

4. Massachusetts Maritime Academy

5. United States Coast Guard Academy

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