Official Vessel of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Ernestina Logbook Page

Date: Wednesday, August 29, 2001

Greens Farms Academy Five-day Program Portland to Gloucester

Weather Conditions:
Wind: S Force 3
Seas: <1 ft
Clouds: 30% cu
Temperature: 22 C
Pressure: 30.09"Hg

Images are during morning trips ashore to explore on Richmond Island. See the chart of our anchorage from yesterday.

** The following events are fictitious.**  Some of the events are based on true experiences, however no damage was done to any people, places, or things.  Everyone on the Ernestina is healthy and happy as of 8-29-01...
and we are headed for Gloucester.

Yesterday started out as a normal day, until we got the unusual chance to converse with our associates on the Harvey Gamage.  Since the invitation had been received, the excitement on the Ernestina had been building until finally it was time to make the short journey to our fellow schooner.  The unique chance to socialize had been seized and everyone on the Gamage broke out into a chorus of traditional sea shanties.

As the evening was winding down, the night took a turn for the worse.  A crack of thunder rang out. Out of nowhere the trip back to the Ernestina became a life threatening one. Each time the lightning flashed throughout the sky our hearts jumped.  Our worries  were realized when we all watched, as if in slow motion,  the main mast was struck.  The main mast toppled over taking the main boom and gaff down with it reeking utter chaos.  The boom and the gaff did a 180 of death taking out the foremast and sending it into the ocean.

The main mast turned our beauty of a home for the past three weeks into a massive display of burning splinters slowly sinking to the bottom of the ocean.   The first thing that ran through out minds was, were the crewmembers who had been left behind alright. We didn't find out until the next morning.  We  saw them drifting ashore and you could feel the tension leave.  We figured it would be some time until the other ships would come for us, so we explored.  It was interesting to see the parallel between the adaptations the marine life made according to its misfortunes as we have had to do with ours.

With the supplies we found on the island we were able to construct the skeleton of a boat using our expert line skills and some elbow grease. Despite the setback of the Ernestina blowing up, we were able to sail through the night and reach our destination.  Not only were we on time, but we completely smoked the Gamage and the Howard. z

C watch who put this write up together, took the creativity theme to a whole new level.  Within this compelling story, thought, are shards of true. The said evening was filled with song and camaraderie as participants from all three boats gathered on the Harvey Gamage.  As the evening dissipated  we all headed to our perspective boats.   Distant storms cast beautiful light displays and golden hues on the horizon - no burning torches or splintering masts, or even 180's of death.  To tell the truth, all were warm and dry and SAFE in their bunks as the evening unwound.    The story resumes on shore the next morning locating crew members from the imaginary Ernestina looking for shelter on shore as they are cast into a new, unusual and sometimes harsh environment.  I can only imagine this bit of drama was inspired from
our beach walk and class we had that next morning where we combed the rocks and sand for critters and discussed the adaptations individual species had developed to make them comfortable and able to live in the sometimes extreme conditions of a rocky coast tide pool community.  As for rebuilding the said destroyed boat of theirs, well, this can only be the students way of showing their pride in the skills  they have worked so hard to develop and master this past week.

Each has proven their competency in knot tying and line handling and as a group have begun to understand the greater picture and take over in part the responsibilities of raising and striking sail.  And I say with pride, if it came down to it, they probably could rebuild this schooner from the skeletal remains of a wreck if they ever needed to.  This crazy story did end quite accurately with the long awaited sail through the night, which in case you were wondering, was a pleasant evening beneath the stars.

24 Hour Plan: We plan to sail in company with the Harvey Gamage and the Lettie G. Howard through the night to Stellwagen Bank and to anchor in Salem Sound Thursday night.

Captain: Amanda Madeira
Program Coordinator: Inette Rex

We would like to thank Lotus and IBM for donation of software, hardware and funding to enable regular electronic updates from the ship.

NOAA Chart is provided courtesy of Maptech using Cruising Navigator 4.3 and grabbing the image using Grabit Pro 6.02.

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Copyright 1997-2001
Schooner Ernestina
89 North Water Street, P.O. Box 2010, New Bedford, MA 02741-2010
phone 508.992.4900 -- fax 508.984.7719

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