For nine weeks this fall, 22 Proctor Academy students voyaged aboard the schooner Harvey Gamage along the eastern seaboard of the United States. While unfortunate weather patterns prevented the voyage from heading to the Caribbean as originally planned, the student crew had a life-changing experience as they studied Marine Biology, Maritime Literature, and Navigation and learned to independently crew the 130-foot tall ship. Read an excerpt from a journal entry from Andover’s River Turnbull ‘22 below:
“With my final logbook entry of the trip, I thought it would be valuable to reflect on one of many memories that this trip has produced. I am very new to this, but the thrill one gets at sea in ‘perfect conditions’ is truly indescribable (but I will try my best).
“We are under full sail, the wind propelling the boat through the night. There is no sound but the swells and the creaking of the ship’s wooden skeleton. Even with the inherent stress of a four-hour watch, there is a collective peace among the ship’s company as we soar toward our next destination.
“The deck is fully illuminated by the tapestry of the night sky. As beautiful as the display is, the emergence of the sun from behind the horizon is equally spectacular. And all at once, warmth chases out the frigid night air as the smell of a freshly prepared and delicious breakfast permeates the boat. You see the smiling (and hungry) faces of your shipmates as they flood the galley where we recap events from the night, retell strange and spontaneous dreams, and struggle to contain our laughter.
“As much as we may romanticize a return to normalcy, it is hard not to acknowledge these moments as the ones we will miss the most when it is all said and done. The stories we will share with our friends and family for years to come will long outlast the hardships we have faced: the lessons we take from the most challenging moments will remain with us through high school and into the next chapter of our lives, or wherever the wind decides to take us.”
This winter, Proctor will launch a new Winter Ocean Classroom program that will depart from Charleston, South Carolina and voyage around Florida, the Florida Keys to the Gulf of Mexico with a final destination of Mobile, Alabama. Fourteen Proctor students will be joined by nine students from the MET School in Providence, Rhode Island, a charter school network.
Their curriculum this winter will center around the history of involuntary servitude and American slave trade. Andover’s Lily Menard ‘22 will take part in this program. Proctor will once again partner with Sailing Ships Maine to provide this programming. Learn more about this new program at ProctorAcademy.org/Off-Campus/Ocean-Classroom.