The Block Island Times

Sailing reflections of the Harvey Gamage

By B.I. School 7th grade class | Jun 27, 2014
Photo by: Kari Curtis

My favorite part was when I touched the mainland and walked the earth. Also, I liked to learn how to care for the whales and enjoyed ice cream. The hardest part was when the boat was rough. — Jostin

I had a great time. The one thing that I did not like was the sleeping arrangements. It was hard to get to sleep, and when you did, it wasn’t for long. I still had a great time though. The best thing of the whole trip was going on the bowsprit. — Tyler

During our 7th grade class sailing trip, we sailed by the Elizabeth Islands. We anchored there and sailed into New Bedford, Mass., and anchored there, too. We went to the whaling museum and got to visit the Alabama ship. We got to do a lot of boat activities that were very fun, especially going on the bowsprit. Overall I thought that the sailing trip was fun and very educational. The most challenging part for me was waking up and having to go on watch for four hours, midnight to 4 a.m., and getting seasick. — Julia G.

The first day on the Harvey Gamage was hard because there was constant information coming at you. Also the weather was gloomy so everyone’s spirits were down. After the first day, I started to get used to life on the boat, and I really enjoyed it. My favorite part of the trip was climbing the head rig and climbing aloft in the rigging. The most challenging part was being on lookout Thursday night while the waves were coming onto the boat and the bow was bouncing up and down. Overall, I really loved the trip!  — Mary

The 7th grade sailing trip was a great experience. My favorite part of the trip was going out on the bowsprit in seven-foot seas, trying to strike the outer and inner jib. It was only me and Fiona trying to fold and then daisy chain the sails without falling off. Although it was very fun, it was also the most challenging part of the trip. Normally, there would be four to five people working on it but in this case there were only two. The rule for the bowsprit is to always have three points of contact. To do this we had to throw ourselves over the bowsprit in an attempt to correctly daisy chain the sail. Overall the 7th grade sailing trip was a great time. — Avery

My favorite part of this fantastic trip was climbing the rigging and going up to the mast. The thing with climbing the rigging is you always have to have three points of contact. That posed a challenge when you had to clip yourself into your harness, and from experience, it is hard to clip yourself in with only one hand. The most challenging part of the trip was staying awake during the night watches. When you are up at about 6:30 a.m., working all day with no break and then staying up looking for boats and such, you can get pretty tired. Besides the night watches and people getting sick, it was great trip. — Mac

The sailing trip was a good trip. I liked going to the whaling museum and being on land. During the trip we went to Pt. Judith and New Bedford, Mass. On the boat we had to do watches. Watches were when we were on the boat looking out for things at night and doing work. The watches were fun sometimes when they weren’t four hours long. The watches were hard because you were tired and the work was tiring. For example, driving the helm and watching for things around the boat was hard. Although it was a lot of work, it was still a fun trip. — Sawyer

When we first boarded the Harvey Gamage, I was cocky in thinking I was prepared for our five-day voyage. I was in for a rude awakening when I had to get up at 4 a.m. for my night watch in 10-foot seas and getting washed out on deck by huge waves. After I left the ship it was an accomplishment that I had done a five-day voyage on the Harvey Gamage. — Andrew

My favorite parts of the trip were sleeping, fishing, raising the anchor, and the storm. Sailing the boat was like a game of Divergence. — David

My favorite part of the sailing trip was climbing the rigging. At the top there was a great view of New Bedford. The hardest part of the trip was trying to stay in my bunk on Thursday night. It is a great trip that should be continued. — Reilly

This year’s 7th grade sailing trip was a lot of fun, and it was a great experience. My favorite part was going out on the bowsprit. My first time going out on it was terrible though. It was pouring rain. I didn’t think I would ever go back out on it, but I did, two more times. The most challenging part of the trip was the night sail on Thursday night. Personally, I didn’t like it because it was very bad weather, and it was hard to go to sleep with 10-foot waves. I also had a hard time getting up. Mr. Emit, the first mate, had to wake me and Mary up the fist night. He said I wasn’t moving, and he had to get the captain. Mary was even worse because she had a full conversation with him. We laughed so much after that. I am very glad my class and I got to do this. It has definitely brought us together more as a class. — Julia B.

After two days I had learned all the knots and coils that we used on a regular basis. It was really wet and damp that whole time. When we got to Tarpaulin Cove, the sun finally came out and made a lot of things dry again. Sailing through the Elizabeth Islands was interesting because of the fact that there were so many islands on both sides of the boat at all times. You only saw a lighthouse now and then, and the occasional building. I liked the rough weather. On Wednesday it seemed to go by faster because we were already halfway through the trip. We went to New Bedford and anchored in the hurricane gates. There we saw the kids from Shelter Island. One kid bear-hugged another and bit him in the neck! Later that day, some Block Island kids tried to bribe the captain with a Snicker’s bar, but he didn’t let them jump off the boat. A few of us bought Captain Dimock a mug that had a picture of the Charles W. Morgan. That night the moon was shining on the water. Thursday we sailed all day. Our watch (B watch) had a night watch from midnight to 4 a.m. There were 10 foot swells all night. I was the only one out of five kids that didn’t get sick. Maura helped me with the boat and engine checks. We did a total of three boat checks and two engine checks. Our midnight rations were trail-mix. When I was on lookout, I could see clearly, but then fog just dropped out of the sky and rolled over the ocean. All night we were sailing around the island. Every now and then you could hear the Coast Guard on the radio. I was looking for a green light, but we never found it. We had to jibe the sails because the wind changed quickly on us. At one point some of the crew told us to get down while they fixed the boom. I don’t know when we arrived at Block Island, but I was glad. It seemed like the trip went by really fast.  — Maya

I thought that the sailing trip was a great experience for me and all my classmates. Sadly, the weather was not as nice as we would have liked. It rained or was foggy most days. But, it was a beautiful day on Wednesday. We sailed from an island in the Vineyard Sound to New Bedford. There we went to the whaling museum and visited the Schooner Alabama and the kids from Shelter Island. I thought that it was a great trip, and I learned so much. But I don’t think sailing is for me. — Fiona

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