Start of Second Summer Class

Posted on: August 7, 2023

Today was Bowdoin’s first day underway with our CR-313 Juniors aboard. Departure day is a busy one with much to do with safety, shipboard orientations, and learning the lines. By late morning Bowdoin was under full sail and entering the northern end of the Eggemoggin Reach heading Downeast. The wind was light but forecasted to build and for now, we had a favorable current setting us down the reach. The first lessons of the day included calculating the time of meridian passage, sunrise and send set. This was followed up with getting the sextants out to learn the instrument and work on finding the sun.

By late afternoon five other schooners had been spotted heading west toward home as we sailed by. After a good day’s run of 63NM, the crew worked the ship under sail to our evening anchorage just north of Bar Harbor. It was a calm night, and everyone’s efforts were rewarded with a delicious dinner of homemade mac and cheese, garlic knots, and chili.

Another fine day of Downeast sailing, wind light out of the SW, seas south 1-2 ft, and clear sky with dominating high pressure. 0630 turn to and up the anchor came. Once the anchor was up and stowed, we immediately and purposefully started doing 360s at 3kts with the ship. This was to make sure our heading sensor that feeds our navigation electronics was properly calibrated. Shortly after calibrating, the crew began prepping sail which included a practice reef in the main sail. We won’t need it today, but we are forecasting some stronger weather in the next couple of days, so it is a necessary drill. We started making our way east this time slightly offshore as to have a clear horizon for taking celestial sights. The crew was able to obtain a morning, noon (LAN), and evening sight which tomorrow we will fully reduce. The food has been fantastic and is keeping our crew happy and well-fed. Today for breakfast was chocolate chip waffles and bacon, lunch was chicken caprese sandwiches with salad and dinner was spaghetti, meatballs, vegan meatballs with garlic bread and maybe just maybe there were chocolate Oreo brownies. Sounds luxurious but I remind you this crew is being challenged all day every day, with a full day of sailing and operating the vessel safely they are also balancing academics with new lessons each day and the follow-up work to show for it. Nights are a time for rest however we must stand anchor watches to ensure the ship and crew are safe through the night. This can be a daunting task and Bowdoin’s crew has a strong drive to do what it takes to become the best mariners they can be.

Watching the weather closely, we will ride out the incoming cold front at anchor off of Roque Island and then make a call on our next move. As of now, that will be a departure Saturday morning for Halifax

Captain Alex Peacock

students performing celestial navigation