The Ship's Log

January 18: Luther College – Last Day Aboard Roseway

Logged on Saturday January 19, 2013

Today marked our last day on this voyage of the Roseway in the Caribbean Sea with Luther College students. Needless to say, all of us are quite sad to be departing tomorrow bound for snowy, freezing Iowa. The day was amazing with gorgeous weather, sunny skies, clear sailing and some good ‘ole competition. As usual we woke up at 0730 hours to an unusual melody closely resembling the solo number of the “Pirates of Penzance” play we performed for the crew last night. It was quite successful as by the end everyone was peering over their bunks with sleepy eyes to witness Rodney and Ian (Roseway crew) serenading us. After, we had a delightful breakfast of coffee cake, cinnamon rolls, and, of course, coffee. As per usual, Rod kicked butt. After morning chores we gathered our materials and had class discussing David Walcott’s poems on the Caribbean islands. We spoke of the importance of literature, the parasitic aspects of it, and the integrity of the islands. Next, we hoisted the largest main sail on the East coast (no big deal), and set sail bound for St. Thomas. We had a good long morning sail on the open seas where we saw a giant sea turtle. He was beautiful. After a lunch of burrito casserole we had our deckhand Olympics. These games consisted of three categories; coils, knots, and pins. We all excelled in the areas, but in the end, the C Watch took the gold medal. We anchored in the harbor at around 1500 hours. The afternoon was relaxed- some people swam, others read and napped, but we all showered! A group of us played the famous WWC- Water Wiffle-ball Cricket. It was awesomeeee! For dinner, Rod whipped out a delicious chicken dumpling. Now people are working on chores and soon we will have the closing ceremony. I hope there are no tears! I know I speak on behalf of Luther when I say we are all very sad to go, but re thankful for the wonderful time spent and friends made aboard Roseway! Her majestic, aging body has been a tool for education, hard work, laughs, fun in the sun, good stories and life long memories! We began our journey in a hotel at the top of a hill on St. Thomas island overlooking the bay and beautiful Caribbean and we end our journey on the sea now looking onto the land upon which we began this adventure. As the sun sets and we reflect on the past ten days we are eternally thankful to the Roseway crew, the boat herself, and the Caribbean Sea for her endless opportunity and mystery! Until next time!

January 17: Small Boat Sailing in Coral Bay

Logged on Saturday January 19, 2013

As our time on the Roseway draws to a close, crew members are taking advantage of all opportunities provided them. Today, that meant small boat sailing. By 0900, dinghies from the KATS (Kids And The Sea) organization found their way to the Roseway. Within 20 minutes, Luther students and KATS instructors were on the water sailing Sunfish.

For  those of you who have never seen a Sunfish sailboat, imagine a canoe. Not an overly big canoe, just an average one. Now add a mast, sail, line to sheet in the sail, and a rudder. These vessels are great training devices for beginning sailors, and their capsizing ability is great fun for passengers. After the initial training session, several students including Ashley, Robert, Joel, Chase, and Ben opted to solo sail. Several more partnered up and sailed together.

Some of the students opted out of sailing and spent the afternoon on shore.  This included swimming and talking about life after Roseway and school.  Lots of plans have been made and it will be interesting to see what unfolds.  Another joy to the afternoon was the presence of a little 2 year old boy named Audi.  He has the perfect British accent that just melts your heart.  He spent 2 minutes teaching Dylan and Kelsey K how to “tie a knot”, which consisted of him wrapping a line around and making it pretty.  After a while, it was his nap time, and he just passed out right on the beach.  Everyone thought he was the cutest thing of the day.

Back on the Roseway, it was time for the 3 S’s, (swimming, snorkeling, and showering).  A few went snorkeling and reported back the findings of fish and secrets of the sea.  Others swam a lap around the Roseway and took pictures from the water.  Everyone was grateful for a shower though.

After swimming and drying off, Ryan took another leap in the sea, to chase after his book that fell in the sea!  It was quite the picture as he jumped in, and lost his pen in the process.  People were shouting directions of where everything was from the ship and he just got confused.  Success was reached however!  The book is drying currently with no lasting damage and the pen still writes!

Nap time became a part of the day before dinner as well.  Scattered around the ship were different piles of people sleeping the exhaustion away.

As the sun drops below the horizon, our awareness of our time on the Roseway is quickly coming to an end. Some of us have debated what we miss about home. Significant others are high up there, flush toilets a close second (the one pump kind, not the 30 pump), showers in third, then Ipods. To make up for the last one, our crew has taken to breaking out in song at every available opportunity. Even as they work, strains of Sweet Caroline, Disney Songs, and other pop hits sound around the ship.

To all of our Luther friends and families, we love you, we miss you, and we’ll be home for Groundhog’s Day.

January 15: Bound for U.S. Waters

Logged on Wednesday January 16, 2013

Viva la French toast! The morn greeted us with golden-brown slices of french toast and syrup. It was delicious. The warm sun kissed our faces as we munched on this breakfast superbly crafted by Rod. After said feast we broke into our watches and completed morning chores. We are quickly learning the ropes of the chores and it is becoming a bonding experience with the crew. Next we mustered and read the metaphoric poems of the sea which had been written during the previous night watches. There were a variety of metaphors comparing the sea with women, love, beating hearts, diamonds, sapphires etc. It is safe to say that the Luther crew is quickly falling more in love with the sea with each passing day. She is mesmerizing and we understand why people are called back. After the reading we had class discussing David Walcott’s poem called “Sea Grapes.” We talked about obsession versus responsibility and the tension the two possess. The Roseway crew contributed to the conversation and it was great to get their perspectives. We spoke of the purpose of life and finding the desired balance. Finally, we hoisted the sails and took off bound for Cruz Bay on St. John’s Island. When we arrived, we spent the majority of the afternoon enjoying the town, shopping and hangin’ out. At about 1700 hours the Roseway crew came back to the ship to indulge in a taco Tuesday dinner. We were all very delighted by this as Luther College back home has a taco Tuesday as well. Once again Rod kicked butt! After dinner, as expected, we had evening chores and muster. Another splendid day spent on the Caribbean!


January 14: Sailing Jost Van Dyke

Logged on Wednesday January 16, 2013

Hello from Jost van Dyke.  Today was a full day of sailing from Beef Island to the Bubbly Pools on Jost. The Bubbly Pools are little tide pools found among the rocks on the coast.  Waves come crashing in and take anyone sitting in the water for a rough and tumble ride.  We ended the day on the island sitting around on the dock outside Foxy’s Taboo.  Plus, Kelsey R got to see her boyfriend’s cousin.  It was a great surprise, and there were many stories swapped.

Some of the Luther students got to climb up into the rigging.  Man, there’s a view up there.  Plus a few shaky knees.  The wind bounced us all around the higher and higher we got.  No whales were spotted sadly, or animals of any kind actually.  Just boats and islands, and lots and lots of sea.  The sea was this beautiful light turquoise, a color that even the captain commented on.

Ended the night with another fabulous meal by Rod, rice and beans with cornbread.  (Ryan helped flip sausage.  Apparently Rod never lets anyone touch his meat.)  Almost everyone went back for seconds.  Another night of anchor watches.  Should be an interesting night.  Everyone seems to be starting to lose steam.  4 ½ days left with the Luther students on board.  There was some talk tonight about what everyone was missing back home.  Common answers were boyfriends/girlfriends, showers, bathrooms, pets, and tv.  We’ll all be sad to leave, but excited to return home with millions of stories for family and friends.

Missing everyone back home!

Signed the A-team,

Kelsey K, Kelsey R, Robert S, Ryan B, Nick G, Ryan B, and Sarah S

January 13: Norman Island and the Willy T

Logged on Wednesday January 16, 2013

Waking up this morning, it was a very nice day. Unfortunately, we had to do “soles and bowls” today- washing the toilets and the floors. We also read our riddles that we wrote last night. They were all incredibly clever! After that, we sailed from Beef Island (where we were anchored last night) to the Indians, where we snorkeled a ways away from land. We got a chance to look at a lot of coral and fish. There was a cave in the coral and most of us got a chance to swim through it. We saw some “Dory” fish and a sea turtle! The turtle was about 3 feet in diameter, and we got a lot of pictures from the boat. After snorkeling there, we sailed just a few minutes away to Norman Island, the place that Treasure Island was based on. We got to snorkel through caves there and see more coral and a whole bunch of schools of fish. We then sailed just a few more minutes to the other side of the island where we are anchored for the night and we’ll be headed in to eat at Willy T’s soon!

C Watch: Ashley, Dylan, Chase, Zach, and Audrey

January 12: The Baths at Virgin Gorda

Logged on Tuesday January 15, 2013

Ahoy! The day has been a shnazy one to say the least. We started off our day with a delicious breakfast from our wonderful cook Rod. We haven’t had a meal that hasn’t wowed us yet. Afterwards we had a glorious rendition of the poem that we created the evening before, during our night watches. The time of day during our creation lent an interesting topic for our work. Afterwards we had morning chores, a continual joy to us all. Then we hoisted all four sails of this beautiful schooner and let her fly across the water toward the Virgin Gorda, the Baths. While en route we split into our watches A,B, or C and did our rotations. The rotations consisted of reading and relaxation, nautical skills and navigation, and boat watch and check. We had a wonderful time hanging out in the engine room and watched over the bow and we even spent a large bit of our time reading Youth by Joseph Conrad. ‘Twas glorious! Upon arrival at the Virgin Gorda, the Baths we had lunch! Rod made us a spiffy meal of baked potatoes with a variety of toppings; it was reeeeeally something. Soon we jumped on the dinghy and cruised on over to the beautiful shores of the Virgin Gorda where we spent the majority of the afternoon. There we played in the sand and salty water on the beach and in the caves. We also had a chance to eat some sugary snacks at the nearby restaurant/bar. As we left the island, we were accompanied by a refreshing light rain.  Getting into the dinghys required coordination some of us lacked resulting in submersion into the ocean. WETNESS! When we got back onto the boat we showered, cleaned up the deck and had class.  Class brought about the discussion about alienation of humans, a modernist view: Hemingway.  After class we sailed to our destination where we anchored yesterday evening.  During transit we learned about the different pins on the bow and other various parts.  This is in preparation for our Watch A, B and C nautical battle!  When we arrived we prepared for dinner-which was positively delicious.  We had homemade pizza and spaghetti.  Finishing dinner we all split into our watches to accomplish our evening chores. We had a pile of dishes to scrub, but all helped and it was well worth what our taste buds experienced. Tonight will include studying for our nautical battles, reading, writing and enjoying one another’s company.  Today was a great day aboard the Roseway!

January 11: Poems at Beef Island, Tortola

Logged on Tuesday January 15, 2013

This morning started with another fabulous meal by Rod, consisting of sticky rolls and bagels. During our active watch, our crew enjoyed an adventure atop the bowsprit, complemented by Ryan Barrett taking the helm and Kelsey K., Kelsey R., and Nick G. going on a boat check. All hands agreed that riding the bowsprit was amazing, and we reenacted the Titanic pose (where Jack holds Rose above the bowsprit. Well, minus the holding. And Leonardo DiCaprio wasn’t on board. But we did hold our arms out to the side.) Robert stood bow watch, ensuring that we didn’t run into other vessels.

Boat Watch A also had a reading and reflection time. Kelsey K. practiced the knots learned yesterday and Robert read a book on knots, successfully tying a clove hitch one handed. Ryan spent time reading After the Storm by Hemingway, and Kelsey R. attempted a slumber on deck while watching for other vessels. Novel went and did his own thing. During our seamanship lessons, we all learned to take a bearing, plot our position on a chart, and read the charts.

We dropped anchor just off shore of Beef Island, where we snorkeled amongst the exotic sea life. (No cows, just fish.) Marine biology lesson for the day: sea urchins are bad and so are lion fish. However, all the exotic colored fish are beautiful to behold. After snorkeling, some of us took ocean bath.

Dinner was tilapia, homemade honey mustard sauce, homemade bread, potatoes, gravy, and green beans. (Notice the abundance of “homemade”) For having a galley a miniscule fraction the size of Sodexo’s kitchen, Rod never ceases to amaze. Every meal set before us is delicious, and all of us go back for more.

                                                                                                                        Awesome Possum

The sunset was pretty

              As we looked outside

             Even though our feet were gritty

           We were satisfied

To any Luther cohorts or family that may read this, we miss you and hope you are excited for our adventures.


January 10: From Maho Bay to Jost Van Dyke to Tortola

Logged on Thursday January 10, 2013

C Watch: Chase, Audrey, Zach, Dylan, Ashley, Ian, and Rodney

Last night we had our first anchor watches. They were one hour shifts where we checked on the boat and wrote a letter from one character of the Odyssey to another about our current voyage. When we read them this morning they were hilarious.

We woke to have a great breakfast and do morning chores. There was plenty of rain today. We waited in an attempt to avoid the rain but as soon as we started getting ready to set sail it began raining again and continued for most of our voyage to Jost Van Dyke. Once we arrived at Jost Van Dyke we waiting while our captain cleared us for customs because we are now in British waters. For lunch we had a delicious meal of pork chops and potatoes. While at Jost van Dyke, we explored the strip and then went swimming. Getting back to the boat that afternoon we took our first showers on the boat and set sail again, this time for Tortola. The water was much choppier this time and, as Watch C, we got our first chance to do boat checks and bow watches—made especially exciting by the rolling waves!

Right now we are writing the ships log—it’s important to document that since you may have had no idea.  After supper we’ll be going into Tortola for a while after we do more chores. While there we’ll get the chance to swim, explore the shops and see some more of the culture.  We’ll also have our second round of night watches. Maybe with some practice we’ll all get better at falling asleep quickly once our shifts are over.

January 9: Luther College Joins Roseway’s Crew

Logged on Thursday January 10, 2013

Watch B: Nate, Joel, Ben, Kaitlyn, Rachel, and Mariana

All of us packed into dinghies and headed to the Roseway.  For some it was a wetter ride than others; the first group was soaked.  As each of the groups arrived onto the boat we took tours and familiarized ourselves with the boat.  We learned where all the safety items were and general  boat structures. We had a brief orientation and ate some awesome burgers for lunch.  After lunch we hoisted the anchor and set sail away from St.  Thomas toward St. John. It was a bumpy ride but provided a once in a life time learning experience. Once we arrived at the lagoon we were anchoring  in for the night, we lowered the sails, dropped the anchor and dived into the beautiful Caribbean Sea. Most of the Luther students went snorkeling on a nearby reef for about a half an hour while dinner was being prepared. We saw some fish resembling the beloved character “Dory” from the Disney film “Finding Nemo.” For dinner was had breaded chicken, broccoli, bread and potatoes. It was simply delightful! What a wonderful “virgin” day for us all on the Virgin Islands. Now we are wrapping up with evening chores, completing our required readings and getting ready for our first night on the water! We look forward to tomorrow and the adventures it holds.

We are heading into international waters today so it may be a few days until you hear from us again.