Ocean Classroom 2020 Was Successful In Spite of Hurricanes

Crew faced COVID restrictions and weather detours

By Scott Allenby

On September 17, Proctor’s Ocean Classroom program set sail for the 27th consecutive year. Twenty-one students, including Andover’s Katie Bent ‘21, boarded the schooner Roseway, a 135 foot, century-old tall ship in Boston Harbor for a ten week adventure down the eastern seaboard. Students not only studied marine biology, navigation, maritime literature, and seamanship skills, but learned to crew the Roseway themselves in watches. While unsettled weather related to hurricanes in the Atlantic prevented this year’s crew from completing a ten day transit to St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, Ocean Classroom made the most of their altered adventure by sailing out into the Gulf Stream and exploring ports of call along the way.

Katie Bent shared the following journal entry from aboard Roseway on November 3, 2020 off the coast of South Carolina:

“As I woke up and emerged on deck the cold air swarmed our group muster. Who knew the south was cold? To be honest I don’t remember being woken up this morning- all I knew was the weather was cold. Ciaran was making patriotic scones for election day which were really good. Everyone was in a good mood despite the cold wind, the sun began to come out and the weather got warmer.


 We got ready to leave Charleston, our JWO Jamie told me to go start the small boat and warm it up. I stepped into the boat and my socks got soaked. There was water in the small boat… instant panic but the plug was in. The water was from last time. Anyways, we waited for Jamie and Captain to tell us what to do. They told me to go into the small boat and as I was driving with our med officer, Cafferty, porpoises were splashing all around us. We picked up Ollie and Hannah on the dock like an Uber, but a small boat Uber.


Later on after watch we took bucket showers with the infamous Maui shampoo which smells so good! I am almost out of it, but that is fine. Next came Navigation Class in which we used sextants with assistance from Mr.Terry. Today was also Torie’s big 18th birthday! We had a smoothie birthday cake for her because she loves smoothies. We had a second dog watch where I was JWO. It was our first watch with a rotating crew, and it was so much fun with bioluminescence everywhere! Ms. Miller-Shelley, Ollie, Tierney, and I were talking about a sign that the hurricane would pass and right after our conversation we saw the moon rise above the sea. It looked like a ball sitting on a table. I was JWO which was so much fun and involved lots of navigation. Tomorrow I am the galley assistant which I am excited for. Our cook Sean is so funny and is a great cook! Overall, today was a great day!”

Read more from Proctor’s Ocean Classroom adventure here: blogs.proctoracademy.org/topic/ocean-classroom