Ship’s Log August 18th, 2016
We sailed into Duluth from the Apostle Islands arriving at 09:00 hours. After entering the harbor under the lift bridge, we docked behind the Great Lakes Aquarium. Once we arrived, we were inspected by the Coast Guard as well as by the FDA. Both groups cleared us. Now it is time to get the boat ready for the guests coming on board for the parade of sails. First, Deckhand Nelson, Shelly, and Lori put on pfd’s (personal flotation devices) and got ready to prep the head sails. This entailed climbing onto the monkey deck and then laying out onto the head rig. We then untied the outer jib, the inner jib, and the standing jib.
Now we are ready for the parade of sails! We motored back out of the harbor, underneath the lift bridge, and grouped up with the other tall ships. There were hundreds of private boats milling around the tall ships with security boats attempting to maintain safe perimeters around the tall ships. We were amazed that Captain Tiff was able to maneuver the S/V Denis Sullivan into position, raise the sails, and guide us safely back under the lift bridge. After spending six days on the boat with 31 people, it was amazing and a bit overwhelming to see over 300,00 people on shore to welcome the tall ships into port.
So why did 17 educators choose to spend a week on a tall ship? What did they hope to gain from this experience? Sailing and teaching have many commonalities. The captain is the leader of the boat; the teacher is the leader of the classroom. All subjects traditionally taught in a classroom can also be learned on a sailboat. Physics is taught through learning how sails and the boat react to the wind. Algebra is taught through navigation and plotting the ship’s course. Communication skills are utilized every day while working with the captain, mates, deckhand, and other teachers. Life skills are utilized when maintaining the boat, cleaning the galley, and being respectful of everyone else. Books, poetry and prose related to sailing and ship life is plentiful for teaching literacy skills.
We all learned and grew as educators on this voyage. We are excited to take what we learned back to our classrooms and make sure our students thrive and get to the end of their voyage.