Official Vessel of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Ernestina Logbook Page

Auburn Middle School Sail
Day Sail 9:30am-1:30pm

Tuesday, May 27, 2003


The first of four days of sailing for the 7th graders of Auburn Middle School began chilly and gray, with a northerly wind making it feel more like late fall than the beginning of summer. The pleasantly breezy but unseasonably cool weather did nothing to dampen the spirits of the 40 students who, raising the foresail and jumbo, sailed out into Buzzard’s Bay for an intense day of experiential learning.

The students on board participated in several plankton tows, enabling them to examine plankton and other marine life under shipboard microscopes.

The day’s education stations included lessons in the fine art of taking the helm of a vessel, being the lookout for the ship, how simple machines make it possible for us to sail the Ernestina, and how to properly handle the lines that raise and lower Ernestina’s sails.

Other lessons included water chemistry testing, looking at both salinity and temperature and how those may impact the marine environment in Buzzard’s Bay.

After spending the morning rotating through these stations, the students broke for lunch just before noon. After lunch, there was an opportunity for the students to observe a few moments of ‘silent sailing,’ where they were able to reflect upon the tranquility that comes with a sailing vessel gliding gently over the water’s surface.

As stations resumed, the students were right back in the swing of things, continuing the morning’s lessons and learning about the history of Buzzard’s Bay and Cape Cod, and about the history of sailing ships like the Ernestina. These history lessons included focusing on sea shanties, or songs that would be sung on sailing vessels during different work tasks.

As the end of our sail approached, we struck sail inside the hurricane barrier and tied up alongside the State Pier, completing the circle that was our journey. As we gathered together for our last meeting before the students departed, the crew was treated to sea shanties sung by different groups of students.

Program Coordinator: Kristen Sharpless
Captain: Amanda Madeira

Plankton Station with scopes for a closer look...

Out on the bowsprit with Mate Fred Sterner. The gate in the hurricane barrier is dead ahead as we cruise in the channel to New Bedford.

In this image you can see three learning groups working...

Plankton Station keys to examine what is out there this time of year...

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.

Click on a month to view the complete schedule:

Copyright 1997-2003
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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