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.
students on board participated in several plankton tows,
enabling them to examine plankton and other marine life under
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.
lessons included water chemistry testing, looking at both
salinity and temperature and how those may impact the marine
environment in Buzzard’s Bay.
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.
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.
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
Program Coordinator: Kristen Sharpless
Captain: Amanda Madeira