Thursday, May 30, 2013

A week on Mystic Whaler

Several weeks ago, I gave Hudson River Sloop Clearwater my 4th volunteer week (over three years). With Clearwater upriver completing some Winter repairs, I was on board the schooner Mystic Whaler for the first time. (For 18 years, Mystic Whaler has teamed up with Clearwater during the busy, Spring season.) The program is the same... two sails a day, about 40 New York school kids in the morning and the same in the afternoon, then do it again tomorrow. All ships (and all captains) are different though and Mystic Whaler was a new experience for me.

It took me a day or two to settle in to a different ship, captain and routine. No pre-breakfast morning deck wash on Mystic Whaler. A private cabin. Candle light dinners. No evening deck wash, either. An easier rig, schooner vs. sloop, with lighter loads, makes sail handling lots easier for our 4th grade guests. I never minded the work and accommodations on Clearwater but neither did I miss them on Mystic Whaler.

I was on board for eight days. We taught 400 kids details about water quality, the Hudson River watershed, life in the river and more. The big picture though is that keeping the river clean is important. The bigger picture is that the river is just a metaphor for rivers everywhere, watersheds everywhere and our planet as a whole.

Why isn't there an equivalent program in Boston?

Dinghy war update!

So far, so good and the dinghy is pretty much holding air. If I check for a leak, there's just the smallest hint of a bubble... next slow day at the marina, I'll add another patch but I seem to be safe without it.