SUPER TRAINEE: EXPERIENCED LIFE ON BOARD
Follow along our two-week voyage that is 100% returning trainees. Through trainee recaps, get a glimpse of life on board Oliver Hazard Perry as she sails from Newport, Rhode Island to Portland, Maine.
SATURDAY, JULY 15th TIME: 1711
Dear Family and Friends-
This is our first full day on the Oliver Hazard Perry. Last night we went through safety procedures and created our ships logbook for the next two weeks. We briefed on the voyage plan and met the crew. Then we stood our first set of anchor watches. We weren't all together. We had different time slots throughout the night. During Anchor watch we filled out our logbook and did our boat checks, then we filled out the night observations book with what we observed in the sky and our surroundings. This morning we did our aloft training and we refreshed on the line handling. We filled up with fuel at the Godson Shipyard in Quonset. We then continued our day with port and starboard watches. At 1600 we dropped our anchor in Menemsha off of Martha's Vineyard. We mustered up and sat for our first academic lessons on Rigs and Sails. We are writing our trip update to you now and then we get to create our program watch flag. We are all excited and looking forward to anchor watch tonight, and finishing our preparation for our offshore voyage tomorrow. Captain told us that we are going to sail for the next few days without touching land and hopefully we are going to find whales. Tonight after dinner we are going to play a big game of Pro-Crew vs Trainee "fishbowl." Fishbowl is a combination of charades and taboo. We are all looking forward to tomorrow and our all hands at 0800.
See you in Maine.
Leg #2 Trainees
MONDAY, JULY 17th TIME: 1041
Dear Friends and Family-
The last 24 hours have been packed with excitement. Yesterday we woke up and ate breakfast. Then we met the crew and trainees from the Schooner Brilliant. We got to go on a tour of their boat and then walk them through the OHP. They don’t have showers onboard. It was really cool to see their boat. Then we ran our drills from the safety briefs the day before. Afterwards, we pulled up the anchor and set out for our overnight sail. Last night, we set all fore and aft sails and sailed through the night. A group of us got to climb aloft at night (in the dark) and undo the gaskets and ready two of the topsails. The sky was filled with stars and the night was so clear we could see the Milky Way. While we were standing bow watch we saw dolphins swimming along our midships and bow. There was so much bioluminescence around them that they were glowing and leaving trails of light behind them. After we stood down from our night watch (2000-0000) we fell asleep until this morning. We had breakfast and stood the 0800-1200 watch. While on watch, we set all three topsails and loosened the gaskets for the main t’gallant. We got to be aloft and work with the crew. At the end of watch we met seven in the library for educational hours. This week we are going to learn about planning a voyage. Today we learned what goes into a safety brief, wrote our own, and practiced giving safety briefs to one another. Tomorrow we are learning about the publications we carry onboard and ho to read charts and find information to prepare for a voyage. Donna rounded out the afternoon with another win and we filled our bellies with a delicious lunch.
Until next time….
WEDNESDAY, JULY 19th TIME: 1530
Hello Friends and Family,
We started off the night by sailing through the night at about 2 knots. One of our fellow trainees had a temperature that was pretty high so we decided it would be best to go in to have a doctor look at him. We doused all sails and started the engines. We headed straight for P-town around midnight and arrive the next day around 1400. When we were dousing sail, the Main Topsail got stuck and Nash and Nate investigated the problem. They found the the yard was stuck because it was caught on one of the flag halyards. It continued to be extremely foggy and raining and overcast. At about 0300 the wind picked up and Nate, Adam and #7 went aloft to sea stow all sail as quickly as possible. They were able to furl the mizzen and main and at 0400 A-watch took over. Link had some targets on the radar so the horn began to sound as A-watch finished cleaning up the deck. B-watch relieved A-watch and Mr. Wheeler sea stowed the rest of the head-rig and fore, until more fog came through and he needed the radar again. When C-watch relieved A-Watch, we put the rest away. After we got in, we dropped the anchor. After dropping the anchor we walked around P-town as a group. We all got icecream and then went to play a pro-crew vs trainees game of ultimate frisbee. We had to share trainees with the pro-crew because Adam, Tommy and 7 were the only ones who wanted to play. After returning to the ship and having another delicious donna meal, we had a night swim call and started anchor watch. Tonights anchor watch theme was face-masks and shantys. We even got some pro-crew to put on facemasks. We woke up to all hands this morning, and are ready to get back out there and up to Maine.
Let you know when we hit land!
FRIDAY, JULY 21st TIME: 1450
Dear Family and Friends-
We departed P-town and much to our dismay we found flies had overtaken us. During the day, on our way out to sea, we practiced reefing on the Mizzen Topsail. We set off into our dog-watches and just after dinner we were called up for all hands. We doused all sails and sea stowed all sails. That got us through the night. When morning hit, C-watch and A-watch re-set the sails and shook the reefs. At lunch time, we started out motoring mission towards Bar Harbor so we could go on out hike in Acadia. During the night watches we took it upon ourselves to find every constellation we could because the sky was so lit up. We even reported a red light on the horizon at bow watch thinking it was a bouy. Ten minutes later it rose up into a vibrant yellowish color and we determined that it was a planet. The next morning (this morning) we woke up to another amazing breakfast from Donna and calm blue skies and waters. Since we did such a great job the night before, and we were between watches, we took a well deserved rest until lunch. We had to rest below deck because the flies were still in charge and swarming above. During education hours today we learned how to tie basic knots that we need to work onboard. We also learned the first 18 rules of the road. Tomorrow we will get to practice splicing an eye and hopefully some sounds signals and light signals to help us with our bow watch duties. We should be in Bar Harbor by tonight and ready to set out on our hike in the morning.
Tuesday, July 25th TIME: 1912
Getting to and from shore in Maine was a struggle because of all the lobster pots – we even got one stuck on the starboard propeller shaft. Yesterday we spent the day on Hurricane Island (HI). We spent the morning touring the island and area with Oakley, our HIF guide. Then, in the afternoon, we helped dig trenches for drainage, filled rocks into dugouts, and stack firewood. We also moved drift wood from the shoreline to further inland. It was really interesting to learn about the history of HI and the granite mining industry. We took a walk around the perimeter of the island after we finished our day of service and the rain started. We hopped from granite slab to granite slab as they lined the shores. It was really fun. When we got back to the ship we were wet and cold but Donna warmed us up with an amazing dinner and some hot chocolate that she made from scratch on the stove.
We got underway and sailed through the night. We are still sailing now. Today we used our navigational skills and plotted our own voyages. It was our final project to present the planned voyage and all of our steps. We had to take into account: distance, wind direction, visibility and sea state, magnetic and true headings, ports of refuge, and avoiding or crossing a TSS correctly. It was hard but we worked in our watch groups and it went really well. We all completed our tasks and finished our projects.
We are supposed to get into Boston tomorrow and we are looking forward to some fancy Harbor Furls!
It is almost the end. Sad.
See you soon family,