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Different Drum Sailing Adventures
Educational sailing adventures for teens and young adults "Changing lives one adventure at a time"
There is just something about spitting cherries over the side…
07/06/2011, Bath, Maine

Hello again from Boundless! Today began with some adventuring around the mainland surrounding the basin. We hiked up to some not-yet-ripe blueberry patches, and found a lot of shiny mica along the way. We headed back to the boat, where we had an early lunch before setting out for Bath. We wanted to reach the mouth of the Kennebec river that Bath is situated on in time for the current to be in our favor, which we did. Our sailing trip consisted of crazy mind games that confused its good share of the crew. And after two long hours of begging for cherries by our youngest member, Jenny, the cherries were brought out and enjoyed by all! It took about two hours to get to that point, and then about another hour to get up the river. We got a good deal of sailing in along the way, which was great, and we even saw a seal as we were getting close to Bath!
Now, we are moored at the city of Bath, Maine. It is a very quaint town and but it has showers! It is raining, though. In a way, we knew it was coming - this morning, we noticed that the barometric pressure had dropped which means a low pressure system is approaching. Tomorrow, we are going to visit the Maritime Museum and take hot showers! Oh how we all cannot wait!

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The Little Girl Who Cried Whale
First Maine group of the summer!
07/05/2011, The Basin

...but more about the whale in a minute. Yesterday, was July 4th, and our first afternoon/evening aboard Boundless. We arrived one by one, first Leah, then Myla, then Mai. Between Myla's flight arriving and Mai's flight arriving, Captain Liz, Jenny, Leah, and Myla had lunch and explored Portland. We went to Mackworth Island, which is home to a host of fairy houses, all made of sticks and stuff. Jenny designed her own, then we had some delicious ice cream before picking Mai up at the airport. Once aboard Boundless, we got accquatinted with the boat and each other, had some delicious hamburgers, and heard some really great fireworks...too bad we never saw them due to Portland's ever present fog. Well, that's a bit of a stretch....
After waking up at a nice and leisurely eight o'clock we ate breakfast and were on the move. We took turns navigating the lobster pot filled water on our way to The Basin. And now... The Whale!! We deviated off course after the spotting of a whale. After setting back on course, being tailed by the coast guard, and nearly running over every lobster pot in Casco Bay we finallt reached The Basin.
Once we reached the Basin, the adventuring begun! Mai and Myla took off to explore the near island. They eventually discovered the island was closed due to an active eagle's nest and went to explore the other shore. Leah chose to stay and relax aboard the Boundless, a rather good idea if I say so myself. Captain Jeff scuba dove in the frigid waters to clean the thousands of barnacles off the bottom of the boat. Jenny and Captain Liz also kayaked to admire Maine's beautiful scenery. After adventuring, we all experienced the trouble of bathing in the cold water of the Atlantic Ocean. We were out of the water in minutes, it was freezing! Our dinner is barbeque chicken tonight and tomorrow night we might have fresh lobster. I think we all have had some new experiences in the last two days...

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CELC leaves...
Capt. Jeff
05/25/2011, Home Port

Very sad to see the CELC group depart Boundless this morning. What a great group of young people along with 2 great teachers! We had an incredible week living and sailing together and Boundless feels empty now without everyone on board. We explored, learned new skills, laughed, played music and overcame fears. What could possibly be a better way to spend a week? Thank you parents for sending your kids to us! I feel lucky to be able to see them grow right before my very eyes and they are indeed a different group of people at the end of the trip than they were when they first boarded Boundless.
We talked of possible future trips in Maine and the Bahamas and I hope to see all of them back on board Boundless in the near future! Fair winds, Capt. Jeff

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05/27/2011 | Melinda
We traveled the day and are now back in CT. Miss Boundless and look forward to sailing with you ASAP! I am not sure why but we can't find the CELC photo gallery on the sailblogs page. It used to be that I'd click on more photo's and blogs, not there though ... Just wondering f you know how to access them? Have a fine week and will be in touch as you get closer to sailing East.

05/27/2011 | Jeff Armor
Melinda! Believe me, you all are missed! I tried to find the gallery page myself and couldn't. I will work on it and see what happend. Odd! Say hi to eveyone for me!!!!
05/29/2011 | Melinda
Thank you Jeff - got it! Very easy to access via "photo gallery" icon on right. Weather in CT yesterday had sailboats out on LI Sound. I am looking for my boat ...!
CELC aboard Boundless Day 6
05/24/2011, Glebe River Virginia

Oh the places we go ... here are some of today's highlights :
Today we went swimming a lot, literally! We jumped off Boundless, swam ashore, and snooped around. I found a lot of shotgun shells and bathed in blue clay. We had a huge clay fight, although the teachers, including Janine, disagreed with it. Then we swam back and Jeff flung apples and oranges at us with the water balloon launcher. It was difficult to catch them while we were still in the water!
The trip has been amazing, and I do not want to leave. Right now I am in a quiet cove with not a single other boat around. I LOVE it here in the quiet, relaxing area of the world.
Last night was a good sleep. I don't remember what I dreamed about, but it was nice and calm. Jeff played music last night, and I sang some of the chorus. I feel a lot better today, but it is the last day here. Today I drove like Daddy - my wrist on the wheel and fingers on my chin ... It was hot this morning. I could barely focus on math - I was sweating so. I think that it was Maria who had the idea to swim to the island, so I thought it was a nice way to cool down. We got there, and I started to throw mud at everyone. We were covered with mud after seconds. It made our skin soft ... it was awesome!
"Life changing", "eye-opening", "helping", "exhilarating", "soothing", "educational". Today I finally mastered the Monkey's Fist. It has taken me two days to get it! Today we swam to two different beaches. On the first beach there was spa clay. We gave each other facials and covered ourselves.

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05/24/2011 | Libby
It looks like summer on the Chesapeake! What a fun day but the photos show almost all of you studying ; ) Including Maria trying to teach Captain Jeff something! Summer is definitely NOT here in New England yet. Still sleeping with flannel sheets & down comforter. Thanks for being so faithful with the blogging, photos, and quotes. It's been great to participate vicareously. Have a safe trip home and start saving for your own boats!
05/25/2011 | Brad-Dad
Henry, looking at all the pictures brings up so many memories of my own childhood sailing on Long Island Sound. I'm so glad you are getting this opportunity to cruise and learn about sailing.
CELC aboard Boundless day 5
05/23/2011, Smith Creek

Today the CELCers were running the boat! What a day - all of them! Our night was windy, gentle rocking of Boundless made for soothing sleep. We awoke to 95% cloud coverage, some light chop, and potential rain. After breakfast we piled onto the dinghy to explore the area - a nearby uninhabited island. Once ashore, Captain Jeff gave the orders: "Explore!"
Soft breezes, white sands, marshland and lots of nature, including marsh sparrows, semipalmated sandpipers, and semipalmated plovers are some of what we found. More exploring, digging in the sand, and fine dining on the beach also included, no extra charge. The sun shone brightly and the seas beckoned us with 15-20 knots. We made our way back to the dinghy (Jenna drove) and set sail. While crossing the Chesapeake we enjoyed sitting on deck and feeling the spray as the boat heeled. Fabulous. We once again had an incredible meal and feel the tired of the day. Cole and Kyle are taking photos on deck. Henry and Jenna are finishing up dishes. Soon we will enjoy music as Captain Jeff offers us some of his fine guitar and song. And here are some thoughts from the crew:
Today we went back across the Chesapeake Bay in rough surf. Before sailing, we went to a deserted pin-prick of land that reminded me of the Australian coastline. It reminded me of Australia when we saw two black and red snakes. -Kyle
Today Kyle was Captain. After the cockpit meeting, we went on the dinghy to an uninhabited island. Then we went back to Boundless and went sailing in three- to four-foot waves. -Cole
Yesterday Henry and I navigated our route to our next destination. It was really fun! I loved it. I keep telling everyone how I wish we still had Poppy's boat. I would love to go out on that. "Uncle" Jeff asked me to come back to the Bahamas as crew for eight months. I said I would if I could bring my family and phone. -Jenna
Yesterday we sailed from one side of the Bay to the other. We only had to tack four times. Today we sailed back across the Bay to a small river where we are anchored now. I have been plotting out the navigation course using charts, parallel rule, divider, pencil, and paper for the past two days. These last days have been the best so far because everyone knows more about what they are doing, and we all know more about how everyone functions. I hope this trip never ends. -Henry

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05/24/2011 | Libby
I'm wondering if there was smuggling or pirates years ago with all of these little islands you are exploring.

Henry - I also loved navigation with parallel rule and paper chart. It's an excellent skill to have. Can you imagine how many boaters only know how to use their GPS?

M&M - thanks for creating such a memory-making experience.

05/24/2011 | Kortney
Wow Jenna !!! I am so proud to hear you were doing dishes!!!!! Hahaha I love you, reading your blogs assures me that you all are having such an amazing time, I'm jealous. Count me in on joining a crew in the Bahamas :) m&m keep up the good work, you guys are def. Forming some truly hands on educated young adults :)
05/24/2011 | Jaime
Hey Jenna we miss u sooo much:( The boys ask ab u all the time. I love reading the blogs u remind me of me when I use to write in Shelly's class I was always so I know u miss ur phone and facebook but u are experiencing a once in a lifetime proud of u:) m&m u are giving these kids an amazing learning experience on this trip that I wish I could go on:) Jenna I would so go the the Bahamas with u in a heart beat!! Luv u Jenna cant wait to c u:)
05/24/2011 | Phoebe
hi cole
so glad you are having fun!!! we miss you ALOT! we can't wait for you to come home! just to catch you up i had show choir auditions today and they went well ( i will now if i got in either tomorrow or thursdat!!!), mom build the run for the chickens and they are all great, dad's bg presentation went well (yey!), and Evan is doing just fine! we all miss you and we are glad you are learning so muh about the world and the great sea! Love you a lot and can't wait to hear your voice again, Phoebe xoxo
05/25/2011 | Sandy
Wow, Jenna! Sounds like you guys are having a blast...I am soooo envious and quite impressed!! What an awesome opportunity. Are you eating fish?! Make the most out of the rest of your trip :). Joey said to say "hi". We miss you & can't wait to hear all about it! Love ya, Sandy....xoxo
CELC aboard Boundless Days 3-4
05/22/2011, Anchored off Janes Island State Park, Eastern Shore of Maryland

Greetings from Boundless! Today, 22 May 2011, we set sail from St. Mary's, Maryland with a plan to follow the wind, cross the Chesapeake Bay, through Tangiers Sound, and onto the St. Jane's National Park area of Maryland.
Captain Cole competently steered us out of port and into the wide expanse of the Chesapeake Bay. Navigators Henry and Jenna successfully plotted our day's course. First Mate Kyle checked the oil and started the engine. To start, we used the engine until wind speeds became sufficient to sail by, preferable at about 10 knots. Deck crew M&M lifted the sails. We all cheered as we once again became powered by the wind. Living with the elements as they are and in the moment, we are not wedded to any schedule but our own. We plan for the day, navigate a course, yet know that we may decide to alter the plan depending on what the day brings.
Captain Jeff knows the area well - he intends to have us see as much of the beauty the area has to offer, and to anchor for the night in a suitable spot. Best decisions are once again based on wind conditions and amount of time we still have daylight in the sky by which to travel. We plot the course in order to arrive at our new destination with time to explore or maybe to have a swim before dinner.
Sailing is at once incredibly peaceful and thrilling. Truth is present at all times. Moving via wind power necessitates working with physics and nature, remaining flexible, adaptable, courageous, and being ready for anything. It enlivens the spirit. Not to mention that for our CELCers, this may be one of the few times in their lives to be away from the hustle-and-bustle of a plugged-in, fast-paced society, with hours to simply be - with thought, curiosity, wondering, and healthy appetite. Ah, rejuvenation! And much needed for all!
It is something to see how students take to the responsibilities aboard Boundless as they learn the skills needed to run the boat. After only 5 days, they have more confidence, and more questions. A captain's license requires 360 days at sea, and while we are not yet near that mark, this could be the start of something.
Here are some of CELCer's latest thoughts:
Yesterday we left St. Clements Island and sailed to St. Mary's Island. We had to sail from Virginia to Maryland. Henry was Captain and I was First Mate. Today I am Captain and Kyle is my First Mate. Being Captain, I had to lead the cockpit meeting. After that, we had navigation class. - Cole
Sleeping on the boat so far has been great. The rocking of the boat is such a wonderful feeling when I am trying to fall asleep. The past couple of days have been so much fun that I don't think I will be able to leave. Being hoisted up the mast was so exhilarating. It felt so free when I was swinging from the spreaders. Just being on the boat in the water is phenomenal. -Henry
Last night Captain Jeff sang and played amazing music. I got goosebumps! Yesterday I took a nap on deck while sailing into Maryland. It was cold! After that, I was fishing with apples. No luck. Oh, I did a tuck off the boat! -Jenna
We went ashore to St. Mary's City, which was a settlement in the 1600s (first capital of Maryland) that was later abandoned. We learned how a print shop in the 1600-1700s worked and later went on the Maryland Dove - a replica of a 17th century ship. I got to drive us back to Boundless in the dinghy. It felt amazing and empowering to drive the dinghy across the cove at Horseshoe Bend. As the engine reverberated through my hands, I felt every wave and every motion of the engine until it shut off and my hand went numb. -Kyle

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05/22/2011 | Nanci
I am so impressed with what you all are doing. Love the pictures although they are forming many many questions in my mind. Can't wait to talk with all of you. I saw you with the guitar, did you sing? How is it without (you know)? I'll bet your fingers were itchy but now you found another mode of communication. How revolutionary!! Xoxo miss you
05/22/2011 | Kortney
I miss you Jenna!!!! But I am extremely proud of you for setting sail to a new adventure you will always remember in life. Have fun guys and take advantage of this experience :)
05/23/2011 | Libby
It is truly a wonderful experience to unplug and realize how much more is in the world. That there are so many different ways to engage and entertain yourself. I'm glad you are having this experience.

Henry flying in the bosum chair?? So happy that you love this and want to stay.

Great expression on your face steering the dinghy engine! Do you feel the need - the need for speed?!

Lots & lots of love
05/23/2011 | jodi
Hey benna!!!! I miss you so much! Its no fun here with out you:( oh, by the way hopefully your eyebrows are growing in because I think i'm going to make an appt for you to get waxed on saturday:) Good? I love you!!!!! Ill watch the Super Bass video and think of you the whole time:) Tell Melinda I said HI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
05/23/2011 | Brad-Dad
Once again, you all make me JEALOUS!

I'm concerned none of you will want to come back.... Glad you're having such a good time!

Thanks, M&M, for always turning every adventure into a great learning experience for our kids!

-Dad (Brad)

P.S.: M&M when you get a chance, can you flip out an email (or tXT) to the 'rents with the (current) estimated arrival time of the train in BNFD? I forgot what time y'all comin' in, and I need an hour to get down there. THNX!
CELC aboard Boundless Day 2
05/20/2011, St. Mary's, MD

Each morning we have a 'cockpit' meeting to listen to the NOAA (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration) weather forecast, take down information about the current amperage and voltage levels of the engine, have some sort of lesson i.e. navigation, meteorology, seamanship, and a daily quote given to us by Captain Jeff. Quote for today:

"I believe that only one person in a thousand knows the trick of really living in the present. Most of us spend 59 minutes an hour living in the past, with regret for lost joys, or shame for things badly done (both utterly useless and weaking) - or in a future which we either long for or dread. Yet the past is gone beyond prayer, and every minute you spend in the vain effort to anticipate the future is a moment lost. There is only one world, the world pressing against you this minute. There is only one minute in which you are alive, this minute - here and now. The only way to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle. Which is exactly what it is - a miracle and unrepeatable." - Storm Jameson

Today we awoke to a beautifully sunny day with wind at between 10-15 knots. Through the day the wind lessened, yet we still were able to use sailpower to get to our destination - near St. Mary's City on the St. Mary's River in Maryland. Approximately 25 miles and 7ish hours later, we set anchor in the peaceful and pristine cove in which we are at the moment. En route, students had a literature class, did some math, steered the boat, relaxed and read on deck, talked and laughed.

Time to be in the moment - we are all well.

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05/20/2011 | nanci
Boy, does this bring back memories of when I was young, endless days on the water. Wish I was with you...
05/20/2011 | Nanci
Jenna, the picture of you fishing is priceless!!
05/21/2011 | Brad-Dad
Sound's like you guys are having a great time!

Guess what? I flew directly over you at about 8000 feet on Friday morning (at about 0830hrs) on my way to an unscheduled trip to Newport News! I swear I saw a ketch under sail. Where were you guys at that time? See if you can put your new dead reckoning skills to use to calculate where you were at that time.

There will be test when you get back, Henry on sailing terminology! Study hard and have a great time!

I'm envious!

05/22/2011 | Chuck
Very glad to see these - was a miserable day when you left - looks like that didn't stop or follow you. Frankly it looks like you made sail for the caribbean - water looks beautiful! Cole - we see you are applying your lobster boat skills steering the ship. We miss you!
05/22/2011 | Libby
I keep checking for a new post. What's going on? I'm thnking you are having non-stop fun!

Henry - M&O were on a hunt last night ; )

Thinking about all of you and hoping you are having a blast.
05/19/2011, St. Clement's Island

Woo hoo! This is the life, and we are already deciding to give up on being landlubbers and take to the seas, travel the world. Meanwhile, as the adventure begins aboard Boundless with Captain Jeff and First Mate Janine, CELCers are having quite an extraordinary time!

Each day students perform jobs that enable them to learn to "run the boat". Today, Jenna served as Captain for the Day and provided us with data, including wind direction, weather conditions, barometric pressue, and our latitude and longitude in degrees, minutes and seconds. Henry, as First Mate, was responsible for starting the motor and checking the engine. Cole and Kyle on Deck Crew took care to raise and lower sails, lower anchor, and lower the dinghy. All students took turns steering the boat as we made our way from the start at Coan River to St. Clement's Island. These jobs will rotate throughout the week, and according to Cpt. Jeff, students will have it all down in a few days, enough to run Boundless on their own (for the most part!).

After swimming in the Potomac, going on a hunt for buried treasure on an uninhabited island, enjoying some R&R on deck in the sun, and devouring fine meals that we all helped to prepare, we will rest well tonight and look forward to the adventures of the days ahead. Please keep in touch as we add more photos along the way ...

Here are some impressions of the day from students:

"Today was phenomenal. We sailed and motored to an island. We are currently anchored off of the west side of the island. After we anchored, we took the dinghy to St. Clement's Island and "walked" around. When we got back onto the boat, we went swimming and climbed the anchor chain." - Henry

"Today was fun-filled with excitement. We got to drive and navigate the boat. Kyle and I put up the masts. It was very hard. Then we got to an island and had a treasure hunt for gold. Jenna and Kyle found the gold - and Henry and I helped them. Then we all had a fun time swimming." - Cole

"The highlight of the day for me was definitely climbing up the side of the anchor of Boundless and throwing out my new lure from Black Beauty." - Kyle

"The best part of my day was relaxing and tanning on the boat. Being captain was so much fun. I got us out of the hardest part - from the marina out into the channel. I can't wait for tomrrow! I am ready for dinner." - Jenna

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05/20/2011 | libbyw
LOVE the photos and the description of what you are doing. Way to go Jenna - the woman captains the boat first!

So glad to see that you have had some sunshine....nothing but gray skies and rain in CT.

Can't wait to read more.....thanks Maria for the text were up WAY past your bedtime.

05/20/2011 | Henry's Granny
The trip sounds terrific; I love the pictures. I'll check often to read and see more.
05/20/2011 | Nanci
Jenna, I'm so proud of you! You are like me, Daddy couldn't get out of the marina so I had to man the ship and got us out. All the boats in the slips were scared when they saw him coming towards their boats! Make sure you put sunscreen on when you are tanning... I just don't know what to do with myself, I don't have to take you everywhere. Have a fun day, xoxox
05/20/2011 | Irmgard Boling
5/20/2011 Makes me jealous seeing those pictures and hearing about all the activities! Creating memories to last a lifetime!
05/21/2011 | evan
Yo what's up looks like you are having a good time! Im stuck in this cloudy rainy weather doing homework.
05/21/2011 | Becky Sinclair
WoW! This looks like way too much fun!!! KYLE - Come to Vancouver next summer and we'll sale up to the Sunshine Coast!! I got my boaters license last month - so I'm good to go!! Keep climbing - I wanna see a picture of you at the top of the mast! Have a riot!
05/22/2011 | cynthia
hey Coleman!!!! where can we see more photos, for some reason we can't see updated photos? how are you? we miss y ou! love mom, dad phoebe and Cole...going out to work on the chicken run.
Seafood feast
03/23/2011, Norman's Cay, Exumas

Hi! I'm Natasha, and I'm on a sailing trip in the Bahamas. I'm from the Fulton School at St. Albans, which is right outside of St. Louis. Today, we sailed from Ship Channel Cay to Norman's Cay. It was about a two hour trip. As soon as we got to Norman's, we put on all our snorkeling stuff and jumped in the dingy. We drove over to a sunken drug dealers' plane and had a lot of fun there. After that, we went to a spot a ways from the nearest islands. We were looking for conch and lobster, but we didn't find any there. We realized there was nothing we wanted, so we moved on to another spot. This spot was jackpot. We saw all types of fish and coral. After a little while, a boy on the trip, Jordan, came up with a conch. He dove down fifteen feet and grabbed it. We put it in the boat and started our conch collection. A few minutes later, Captain Jeff speared a Nassau grouper. Those two started a marathon of finding seafood. Next, Jordan came up with a conch. Not to be outdone, Captain Jeff speared a lobster. Before we went back to Boundless, Jordan had found three more conches, and Captain Jeff speared three more lobsters.

Capt. Jeff here as Natasha got pulled into dinner duty! It was indeed a seafood feast tonight for dinner with 5 lobsters, 5 conches, and a Nassau grouper. Tomorrow the plan is to leave early for Shroud Cay to dinghy through the mangrove canals that crisscross the island to the ocean side. If we don't catch it at high tide we have to carry (300 lobs!) the dinghy across dried out sand flats. There is also a fresh water well on Shroud that was used by pirates in the 1800's that we will be able to have our first, unlimited fresh water shower at tomorrow!!!

Great food, awesome crew and daily adventures....

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At anchor
03/22/2011, Ship Channel Cay, Exumas

Hello from the Fulton School - St. Albans sailors currently anchored in The Exuma Islands of the Bahamas one day away from Nassau. Everyone made their plane connections and arrived in Nassau earlier than expected on Monday. We walked around town and visited the fish market under the bridge to Paradise Island. Ate conch salad and watched the locals play dominoes. Enjoyed our hamburger dinner on boat and got comfortable in the cabin. Went to sleep earlier than we have ever gone to sleep last night. We had some NE winds today and wanted to head in an easterly direction so we motored most of the day to our current location. The seas were calm and the passage was smooth. We took turns at the wheel and did some navigating through coral heads and into a cove that is out of the winds. Went snorkeling and swimming, cooked a big spaghetti dinner and played the Envelope Game. Some saw a green flash at sunset just when the top of the sun hit the horizon. Everyone sends their best to family and friends back at home. We are enjoying the solitude and peaceful surroundings. There is not another boat in sight. We are surrounded by a natural habitat that provides us with everything we need.

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St. Margaret's School sails the Bahamas!
St. Margaret's School crew
02/26/2011, Staniel Cay, Bahamas

Hello one and all, I'm Phoebe and I'm part of the St. Margaret's crew aboard Boundless. Five other students and I are on Minimester a.k.a. two weeks of educational excursions, some off campus, like this trip, and others on campus. We are well along in our journey and I, as well as the rest of the crew, apologize for not writing sooner, however, if you were aboard with us, you would see why. So far, we've chased parrot fish and barracudas, snorkeled at plane wrecks, sailed the ocean blue, learned how to steer a motorized dinghy, and gone cave snorkeling (not highly recommended for all the claustrophobic people out there). Also, we have been followed by Bill Kund, a famous photojournalist, and Vicky for the past week. He met our captain right before we left Nassau on day one and thought our trip to be worthy of an article and a photo or two for the magazine Blue Water Sailing, where he works. They were very interested in our trip why each of us individually had chosen to come. This trip is a very interesting one. In the brochure, it said that we would be learning about sailing, knots, snorkeling, astronomy, and about the diverse sea creatures that inhabit the Bahamian waters, however, I believe that we have learned much more than what was advertised. We've learned how to live in close quarters, how to bathe in the ocean, and we've also learned about ourselves a great deal. Our patience and resilience have been tested and fears have been made clear to us, although none of us fear diving deep down to enter a cave. We've also learned about teamwork and responsibility through our various boat chores. The chores that we have performed are checking the oil, cleaning the head, organizing the cockpit, bailing out the dinghy, washing the windows, sweeping the floors, getting the freshwater rinse ready for when we emerged from the ocean, attaching the ladder to the side of the boat and making sure that it's secure, raising the anchor, turning on and off the anchor light, making the meals, navigating, and leading a cockpit meeting, which is where the captain of the day tells the crew about weather conditions and how the boat is doing. This trip is unique and I believe that we did not choose the trip, in fact, I believe that the trip chose us for our individual characteristics and for what we bring and can bring to the table.

Another pro of this trip has been the weather. I know that you all have been dying inside to know how splendid the weather is. To answer your tireless pondering, it's been fabulous, absolutely fabulous. The temperature is about 75-80 degrees each day with blustery gusts, especially on the water. On land, it's quite dry and warm, not too much of that ghastly humid business that is terrible for those of us blessed with curly hair. The water temperature has been pretty nice as well. The water, as expected, was a bit cooler. The water temperature stayed around 70 degrees, a little brisk at times, but hey, it builds character!

I know that I gave a briefing of the activities in which we've been involved earlier in this entry, but a play-by-play is the only way for you to truly fathom how much fun, I mean, knowledge we've acquired.

Day 1: After a brutally early wake up call for a 6 AM flight, we made it, fully awake of course, to Nassau around noon. We were taken by taxi to Nassau Harbour by a lovely man by the name of Luther. Along the way, we saw the beautiful architecture, the natives, and the water of various turquoise hues that almost appears to be Photoshopped. From the harbour, we traveled by motorized dinghy to Boundless. We spent the rest of the day learning about the boat, gawking at the horrors of Atlantis, and unpacking. After a hearty dinner, we played a get to know you game, invented by Captain Jeff, whose questions ranged from, "What is your biggest fear?" to "Do you like black olives?" .

Day 2: On this day, we sailed to Ship Channel Cay, which was about six hours from Nassau. We all got a shot at steering the boat and enjoyed it a great deal. The art of steering came more naturally to some than it did to others, *cough* *cough* Mary*. When we weren't trying to avoid smashing the boat into the coast, a majority of us tanned on the bow, only to be rewarded with the development of a bad sunburn later on. The only one of us who did not get a sunburn on this day was Jana because she applied SPF 60 like it was her job. The rest of us all learned a lesson from Jana on that fine day. Fast forward six hours. When we arrived at Ship Channel Key, we broke out the wetsuits for the first time. The water was fairly warm, but the salt water proved to be an obstacle for most of us, especially when some us came to the harsh realization that our masks fit poorly or when we got slapped in the mouth with a wave full of salt crystals. Our first snorkeling day was pretty good, some of us saw our first coral reef. The sandy bottom was loaded with sand dollars and conch; it was fun to dive for them.

Day 3: We departed Ship Chanel Cay and motored to Norman's Cay. On the way there, we got a chance to take a dip in the water while sailing. Boundless has a harness sort of thing that is attached to the mast and swings out over the water. Destined water submersion could be determined by the tug of a rope. It was really fun spinning around in the waves and seeing two nurse sharks along the way! Norman's Cay was one of those islands that was particularly unique because it was home to a cargo plane wreck and a drug lord's house. We snorkeled the plane wreck, a bit hesitant at first, but we soon learned to enjoy weaving in and out of the large cockpit.

Day 4: This day was our first actual sailing day! It was exciting to test our hand at actual sailing instead of motoring. Again, steering came more naturally to some us than it did to others. The wind was fantastic as well! We had the boat at full keel, even the toe rail was in the water! We enjoyed sitting at the very tip of the bow and having the sea spray hit our faces and dangling our legs over the side. We sailed to Bell Island, home of the Exuma Land and Sea Park. We experienced most of the Sea Park on this day. The natural aquarium was awesome, full of brightly colored corals and all fish big and small, the fish even pressed their narrow faces right up against our masks! Bell Island also marked our first cave dive. We dinghyed out, looking like a professional dive team, to a large island where the cave was. Cautious at first by the size of the opening, we entered an awe-inspiring cave. The inside was a greenish color and daunting stalactites dangled from the ceiling, some even fusing with the stalagmites that erupted from the ground. The inside was filled with neat little tidal pools containing mollusks and other tiny sea critters. Later that day, we went to a different site and speared fish, lobster, and conch for dinner. Annie, since this trip is for her independent senior project, helped dissect the conch.

Day 5: We spent the night anchored off the coast of Bell Island so that we could explore the Land Park. The Land Park was vast and abundant with gorgeous wildlife. The only way to describe the appearance of the park was Sound of Music Bahamian style. Barefoot, we walked along a narrow sandy path to reach the beach. The beach was on the small side, but that didn't mean that it wasn't amazing. About 20 feet out from the shore were large rocks that the waves pounded against, exploding in fireworks of foam and spray, leaving the rock crevices to drain the remaining water. Walking among the rocks we found bits of sea glass and dead coral, Mary found a heart-shaped piece and Jenny spotted a lizard. After the beach and with Tevas strapped tightly, we hiked with much gusto in the rocky hills of the Land Park. At the top, we found calcium formations that had formed jagged cliffs. On our land excursion, we were joined by Bill and Vicky, who took pictures of us enjoying the huge waves and exploring the different paths. We then snorkeled in some other caves and headed back to Boundless. On Boundless, we decided to sail to Staniel Cay, the legendary wild pig island. When "wild pig" was uttered, the image that appeared in our heads was of a huge and ferocious pig with tusks. This image was only somewhat accurate. When we took the dinghy to the island, no pigs were in site. We walked along the beach for while, snorting like pigs and possibly becoming the laughing stock of the boats in range. A brave quartet consisting of myself, Mary, Jenny, and Mrs. Armor, wandered into the forest, armed with only a Ziploc bag full of lettuce. We walked about 150 feet in, snorting along the way, before we gave up hope and returned to the beach where the rest of the group was waiting. On the way out, I brought up the rear, pretty disappointed that I hadn't seen a wild pig. With one last glimmer of hope, I turned around and saw my very first wild pig. I whispered to Mary who was right in front of me, and then I didn't need to warn the others for Mary ran to the huddled remainder of the group screaming her head off. The group saw the pig and rushed toward it in a series of "Aww"s. Much to our relief, the pig did not have tusks, nor was it ferocious, at least not yet. She was large and stout with bristles of hair that were Fred Flintstone- esque. She liked getting her head rubbed up until the point that Biz rubbed it. When Biz rubbed it, the ferocious side of the pig showed itself and she swung her head angrily in my direction, attempting to nip me, which is wild pig code for "I'm gonna bite your pointer finger off!". The group scattered, even Annie who hadn't been too close to the pig. What happened in my body in the next nanosecond was remarkable. You know the fight or flight reflex? Well I decided to take flight in this instance, and fly I did indeed. It was a moment of superhuman ability due to a flood of adrenaline. Similar to those mothers who lift cars to save their kids due to adrenaline, I jumped ten feet, no exaggeration from the beach and into the dinghy in pure fear of getting my finger bitten off. The metal floor of the dinghy never felt so good.

Thank you for listening to my rants of our fantastic expeditions. Check back later on for more exhilarating stories from the Boundless crew! P.S. Father and Mother, if you ever see this, I'm having a blast! Love you both! p.p.s

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03/01/2011 | Capt. Jeff
Just got back to Nassau with the St. Margaret's students! Had an incredible trip and we were all so busy exploring, snorkeling, and sailing that we only had time for one blog! Sorry folks! The group is in Nassau now souvenir shopping and flying out tomorrow. Great trip...
KCD group gone to the land of long showers!
01/18/2011, Coral Harbor

Hi everyone!

I hope everyone from the KCD trip arrived home safely last night and really enjoyed your looooong shower at home! :) After you left in the taxi for the airport I went back to Boundless and fell asleep! That's the sign of a great week! I wish you all could have stayed longer. There are so many more islands here to explore. Parents, thank you for sending a great group of kids and I'm sure that by now they've told you of all the adventures we had during the past 5 days. We snorkeled over coral, speared lobsters, gathered conch, saw a Nurse Shark and a Stingray, snorkeled on a sunken drug plane, and picked up several "creatures" off the ocean floor! All in all a great trip with lots of good food, laughter and exploration. I am flying home to Virginia for a month leaving Boundless here in New Providence, Bahamas. I'll be back in February to do a whole sling of back to back trips with some great schools from around the U.S. I'm already looking forward to the next KCD trip...perhaps in Maine this summer??? Keep in touch crew!!!! Capt. Jeff

If Once You've Slept on a Boat

If once you've slept on a boat You'll never be quite the same. You may look as you looked the day before, you may go by the same old name.

You may chat with a neighbor of this or that and close to your fire keep but you'll hear ship whistle and lighthouse bells and tides beat through your sleep.

Oh you can't say how and you can't say why such a change upon you came. But once you've slept on a boat you'll never be quite the same!

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Who: Capt. Jeff
Port: Chester Gap, VA
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