Ahoy everyone! Capt. Jeff here on board the S/V Boundless! On board with me is a group of students from MMA (Massanutten Military Academy) from Woodstock, Virginia. The group arrived Sunday after a very long day and night of train travel from Virginia to Portland, Maine. After two days of training on board we set off this morning in thick, heavy fog down the Maine coast on our way to New York City. We hope to arrive in NYC in about 7 days from now and spend 3-4 days exploring the city. Along the way we'll make many stops and we hope to be in Cape Ann, Massachusetts this evening. We'll anchor for the night there and all on board are looking forward to the barbecue chicken dinner later this evening. And now, from the rest of the crew...
Greetings from the North Atlantic. This is Coach Wymer and I have to tell you the kids are having the time of their lives so far, even during the training. They've seemed to really take to being a part of the crew and learning what it takes to manage and tame the sea. We've gotten to watch some seals in the past few days, but they've been watching us in return mostly. They were curious of us and a delight to watch how they regarded us. We've even seen a few dolphins but they haven't been seen long so I sadly I couldn't get some pictures of them. We're in whale territory and everyone's keeping watch because seeing a whale is something we are all hopeful for. Plenty of time though. I'll write more later and let the cadets write a bit to you while I stand on the bow and marvel at the expanse in front of us. Wish you all were here!
This is Jack Crawford. So far the trip has been good. In our first destination, Goslings, there were an excessive amount of seals. All of us were taking pictures and since my camera was water proof, I started taking pictures under water. As I lifted my hand out of water I felt my camera snatch off the cord that was around my wrist. I believe that it was a seal that snatched it off. Either that or it just ripped off itself. Next we went to Cliff Island. There, we went to an ice cream shop. In the morning at Cliff Island, it was really foggy, but we still set sail. Now we are underway. Meaning we're on our way to our next destination. I'm really looking forward to going to New York and going to the Broadway show. Until then!
Good evening people! This is Ben Pang on Captain Jeff's Ship! So far it's been pretty fun we saw many creatures that live in the ocean, including seals, dolphins and I am looking forward to see whales in the later days on this ship. Because I am a crippled it was pretty hard for me to walk around the ship and do all other things and try to keep up with others. Except for that, until now it's been quite fine. If you are a male I think you need to look at this, because boys need to sit down while they release nasty stuff which is quite interesting if you have never been on a smaller ship before! If you are planning to come on board with Captain Jeff, I will recommend you to bring lots of sunscreen, as you can tell it has been sunny all day!
Good evening, this is Li. In this morning, we sailed in fog. It's very hard to sail. We began at low speed, and I was a lookout point to help other people find the right way. It should not be left unsaid, the weather is very cold. During the voyage we saw whales for three times, and caught by a storm. Totality be going to says, today's voyage is very successfully. This is the first time I sailed in the sea, is a very exciting trip, and I have learned a lot of things.
Hi its Georgia. Today is our last day so we have to do a big clean and Olivia and I had to clean under the floor and that was full of all of our scraps from the last week and it was really gross, but by far I had an amazing time and I will never forget this TOOTALOO!.. I LOVE MY BEEFAGE BUDDY. ( that's Olivia) Georgia.
Heyy its Olivia again... I had the best time ever on this sailing trip!!!! It was absoulutly positivily the best time of my summer!!! I had an amazing time especially with Abby and Georgia and Mia! I love guys. I can't wait to see my family esp my baby sister Amelia! Ttyl peace and blessings I LOVE YOU MY FAVORTIE BEEFAGE BUDDY:)) (that's Georgia)
Yola its abby again, today was the last day on boundless I really don't want to go. A whole week has gone by and its only felt like a day. Its weird leaving again, but I hope to be back soon. I will miss the boat and everyone on the boat. Bye for now
Another successful adventure on Boundless. The seals at The Gosslings are a high point of any trip to Maine. Great weather with sunny, clear skies followed the boat all week. We are safely anchored in Portland at the Portland Yacht Services Marina. We will be home in our own beds in less than 8 hours and all that will remain from the trip is a lifetime of memories. Thanks Jeff, Liz, and Jenny for everything...see you in the future!
Hi my name is Georgia and I am from the Fulton School at St. Albans, MO. My classmates and I are sailing for a week on Boundless. This is my first time sailing with Different Drum Sailing and having a great time. I LOVE BEEFAGE!!!!!
Hey it's Olivia, and I am having the best time on Boundless!! I wish my family could share this amazing experience with me, because I miss them so so much especially my baby sister!!! I love you guys:)
Hi its Abby, this is my second time on Boundless and am having a great time. I miss my family though, I wish they could come on this adventure with me they would really enjoy this. Bye for now
Hi my name is Robert and I am having a great time on this sailing adventure. I miss my family but I would kinda wish they were here too. TTYL.
Was up it's Jack, I'm having fun on the sailing adventure. I miss my family and wish they were here. Bye forever
Hi my name is Mia; I am one of the sailors in Maine!!! I am having a great time sailing, learning about the boat, cooking, exploring islands, and even sleeping! We have been having some bad storms like last night we had tons of rain!!!! But other than that it has been great outside. Sailing so far has been awesome! And I can't wait till the rest of the week!!! - Mia Schroeder!!! P.S. I miss my mommy, daddy, and Pinga, Emma, Taco & Nacho, and Oliver and Winston (all pets).
We have enjoyed the cool Maine coastal breeze for comfort and cold salty water for swimming. I liked hiking on Jewel Island to the WWII submarine lookout towers. We have made plans each evening for the next day and have made adjustments depending upon the direction of the wind and the time of high or low tides. Places we have visited include Cundy Harbor, Quahog Bay, Cliff Island, Snow Island, Harpswell, a Mica Mine, picked blueberries, dined with lobsters, spaghetti, hamburgers, and birthday cake. Jennifer turned 9 years old yesterday.
I have had a great time on the boat so far. The temperatures have been in the 60's at night and 70's during the day. Jewel Is. was my favorite place because I got to climb up WWII towers that reached above the trees. I could see Halfway Rock and all the islands along the Maine coast. The swimming is cold, but fun. We had kayak races today. I miss you mom and dad! Ryan
Hi the sailing trip has been phenomenal so far but I do miss my family. I have learned so much and I am having a great time toodaloo for now. Elliott
Today, we didn't go sailing at all. It was one of the few full days that we ever spend on land. We went to the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, Maine and saw the changing of command. Right when we got off the dingy, the band started playing. We thought it was all for us... While at the museum, we took hot showers. HOT SHOWERS. It was great. Leah, Mai, and Myla actually took two hot showers, one in the morning and one at night. For lunch, we went to the Cabin and ate pizza. By the way, Jeff seems to know everyone here. He talked to three people that he knew before we had been on land for five minutes. We all made new friends because of Jeff's social capabilities. We also stocked up on candy at the local candy store and Jenny got on a sugar high. Being with Jenny while she was on a sugar high was a whole new adventure.
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!
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...
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
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.
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
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
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.
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