The Ship's Log

January 22: The Voyage Conclusion

Logged on Thursday January 22, 2015

photo copy 3Day 11 – Thursday January 22, 2015  — SEA Watch

Today we moved Roseway from our anchorage to the cruise ship dock  at 09:00, after a breakfast of oatmeal and fruit. After breakfast, we practiced performing our assigned poems for the highly anticipated Luther College Poetry Slam! taking place tonight after muster. At roughly 10:00, Luther students went to El Morro fort and enjoyed the site despite the influx of cruise tourist. Luther students then split off into separate groups to enjoy lunch around Old San Juan, tasting local cuisine such as curried goat and mofongo. Students happily took full advantage of a free afternoon exploring the city. After our day on the town, everyone met back at the ship for a mouthwatering dinner of pulled pork made by the highly talented Dani. Today was our last full day of this trip. It was a very bittersweet day. We are all excited to be home again, but we will all be leaving something great. The people we have met, and the relationships we have made here will always be remembered. As fun as this trip has been, with everything we have done, and everywhere we have been, some of the best memories may just be those we made with each other and the crew of the Roseway. Thanks to everyone for being a part of this great experience.

January 21: San Juan Bound

Logged on Wednesday January 21, 2015

photo 3 copy 8_edited-1Day 10 – Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Today was a really long day of sailing. We are all sunburned and tired from the constant sunshine. After a rousing breakfast of French toast and bacon, the group gathered for class on the deck. We discussed letters written by a 20 year old Norwegian girl, during her voyage from Scandinavia to Australia. Professor Preus has been working on translating the letters, and we agreed that we all wanted to read more. The writer’s tone was clearly one that was young and playful, and we could relate to her enthusiastic attitude and sensory details. After class, we received our assignments for the final poetry slam. Most of us have some individual poems to learn, and others will be working in groups of two or three to perform certain poems. We spent the afternoon on the boat sailing to San Juan, and went  through a  couple of rounds of watch rotations. Some groups learned to make Turk’s heads, and several people took the time on the boat to take naps. Eric and Jessie both told us about their experiences on the Roseway, and went into detail about their lives before the Roseway and their plans for after. Some people got to go back on the bowsprit one last time, appreciating the awesome beauty of the sea and watching the plentiful flying fish. It was Jessie’s 23rd birthday today, so we all had some really awesome chocolate cake. Sailing into the San Juan harbor, it was really different seeing such a different city. It looks really big compared to the other little towns we’ve seen, and the fort looks super interesting. We furled the sails and fire hosed for the last time, and set down anchor for the night. We have yet to perform our shanties from last night’s anchor watch. There is a lot of energy and excitement for exploring San Juan tomorrow.

January 20: Green Turtles and A Sleepy Village

Logged on Tuesday January 20, 2015

photo 5 copy 6Day 9- Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Today, Luther’s students were able to have an extra half – hour of sleep, we mustered and spat our sick rhymes (our anchor-watch raps). After a class discussion about female pirates and gender identification in the 1800’s, we explored the sea turtle sanctuary.  The sea turtles were numerous and spectacular, they were majestic to look at, students were able to swim right next to the creatures to get a good look.  Other examples of sea life seen include a sea cucumber, sea stars, squid, sea eggs, a shrimp, an Indigo Hamlet, a flounder, a stingray, and an eagle ray.  After arriving back on the Roseway, a delicious lunch of chili and cornbread was enjoyed before.  We weighed anchor and set off for the thriving metropolis of Culebra.  Students explored the city, enjoying the Latin Caribbean music, bright colored buildings and murals, access to a post office to send letters home, and the nearby beach.   The beach was over a mile long stretch of fine sand, beautiful blue waters, and an abundance of pelicans.  There were two old army tanks parked permanently in the vicinity of the beach, decorated in the bright colors common on the island.  Upon arriving back on the boat, sunburn patterns were exchanged and admired while Dani prepared a sumptuous lasagna for dinner.

January 19: From USVI to Spanish VI

Logged on Monday January 19, 2015

IMG_7109Today as we sit down to write our ship log, we can’t help but look back and reminisce fondly of today’s adventures aboard the Roseway. After a dark and not-so-stormy night, we woke up, ate muffins, and didn’t do chores in hopes of getting an earlier start to our day. Our day started with heading into  St. John, where we rode in the bed of a truck up to the head of Reef Bay Trail; a long winding hike down the side of a hill into a valley through a pseudo-tropical jungle. After nearly having a head on collision due to stopping in the oncoming traffic lane to debark, we got out and started making our merry way down the side of the hill. As we hiked, our guide, Laurel, showed us a curious array of tropical life. One of these was the West Indian Locust, which drops a very nutritious pot that the slaves loved to eat in colonial times to keep going during their hard days of labor farming sugarcane. Additional interesting plant life that we saw was the bay rum tree, with its useful leaves, and a kapok tree with its impressive roots and spiritual meaning to the natives. In terms of wildlife we saw a big spider that spun a gigantic web, deer, hermit crabs…. Lots of hermit crabs, honey bees, lost hippies, bats, and more hermits crabs. And hermit crabs.

When we got to the bottom of the hill, we got to an old sugar processing plant, where we got to appreciate a bit of history lesson as well. We saw some of the old machinery, and Laurel gave us some insights into the process of how the slaves made sugar. After  spending some time breaking coconuts, naming hermit crabs, and exploring the ruins, we said our goodbyes to our dear guide Laurel and made our way too the shore to meet the Roseway on the other side of the island.

After returning to the boat we ate lunch and set sail for Spain (Culebra, not Europe.) On our way to Culebra, we were fortunate enough to get to climb aloft on the shrouds. (Be sure to check our Facebook Page for pictures!) Other than this we spent some time preparing for the imminent deckhand Olympics.


January 18: A Day at Bay

Logged on Sunday January 18, 2015

Day 7 – Sunday, January 18, 2015

photo 5 copy 5Today was a chill day. We woke up and followed breakfast with our sonnets from the previous night’s anchor watch. It was a change of pace compared to the humorous writings we had been doing before. It’ll be cool to have them all put together into a sonnet cycle, and then printed out and distributed—a cool memento from the trip. The crew also enjoyed the sonnet readings. Then, we had a class discussion about the Equiano and Cugoano readings. The material was more solemn than the other readings, but it was a good preview for our afternoon visiting the ruins of a sugar plantation. It was definitely a worthwhile discussion and assignment, as it prepared us for the visit. Additionally, it was something that many people did not associate with the islands or the ocean—all the slavery and plantations that had been there previously. The ruins were very interesting, but also a more solemn experience. It was very humbling to note how we were walking where slave once walked and suffered. Enough of the buildings were left that we were able to picture what once had been there. After we had wandered around the ruins, we spent some time trying to lure tarantulas out of their holes to get a picture, but most of them were too shy to fully emerge. We also took a really great group photo in front of a panorama view of the sea and some of the islands. It was a great outlook over the bay, and was probably the most complete picture we have taken so far, with all the students and much of the crew. After lunch, everyone went to a beautiful beach. We spent the afternoon playing Frisbee, hunting for hermit crabs, swimming, napping, reading, and walking up and down the half mile stretch of sand. A home for the hermit crabs was constructed, and Lily got pinched by one. A lot of people also ventured out to a huge rock in the bay and snorkeled around it—people saw sting rays and octopi. The tide came in as we were leaving, and flooded one of the little boats. Most of us haven’t gotten dock rock too badly yet. Compared to the first morning, everyone is so much more excited. Everyone is more comfortable with each other and has gotten used to the routine of activities, meals, and chores. The structure is nice, and we always have some time after dinner to wind down with reading, writing, cards, and music. It’s a good time to reflect upon everything we have done and seen that day.  The boat has quickly become a space that is familiar and happy. Nobody struggles to get up in the morning—everyone is always eager to start the day.  The first couple of days, everyone was uptight and sitting still and quietly, but one of these past days, everyone suddenly switched gears into being more talkative and comfortable. It’s been really fun getting to know all of the crew members—they have so much to offer, and they’re all a lot of fun. The more extended time period has allowed us all to get so close and experience so much together. Weather is still warm and sunny, and the food is still awesome. We’ve stayed at the same anchorage twice, and Hannah ate some vegetables today.

January 17: Treasure Island and Beyond

Logged on Saturday January 17, 2015

photo 2 copy 3 Friday, January 16, 2015

Dialogues performed by anchor watches in am before breakfast. After breakfast, we sailed from Virgin Gorda to Norman Island, the island that inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write Treasure Island. After anchoring, Luther and Roseway crew hiked to the top of Spyglass Hill, a famed pirate lookout. Luther buried a time capsule for next year’s student crew. The trip took approximately three hours roundtrip. After the hike, students and crew swam off the starboard bow. Luther then treated Roseway crew to dinner at Willy T’s.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

18 21 667 N / 64 45 124 W

Anchor watches performed nautical covers of popular songs at roughly 07:30, just prior to breakfast. After breakfast, crew raised anchor and all went snorkeling at Indian Caves, where various individulas spotted eels, rays, turtles, and underwater tunnels. After snorkeling, Roseway power sailed to Cruz Bay, Saint John. Perhaps most importantly, Luther students and prof discussed the contrast between youth and old age as it relates to Joseph Conrad’s Youth. Luther and crew checked in with customs and then explored the near vicinity throughout the afternoon. Several Luther students went for a hike, perused the souvenir shops and enjoyed the beach. Various personnel received life lessons from Thomas the smoothie drink specialist. All returned to Roseway at 17:00 to raise anchor and motor to Cinnamon Bay for supper and chores. Makeda learned that the Roseway does not, in fact, have a poop deck on board. All had their fingers crossed for a leisurely night dip in the sea.

January 16: Sir Francis Drake Channel to Gorda Sound

Logged on Friday January 16, 2015

Luteher threeDay 4 – Thursday, January 15, 2015

We woke up and read our riddle poems from the previous anchor watch. People were slightly upset by the bell riddle; we decided it was too tricky and misleading. We had breakfast and had a good class discussion, talking about the Jack London reading. We debated the pros and cons of the “sink or swim” method of teaching. It led to a discussion about parenting and our own childhood experiences with various learning styles.  We went snorkeling in a shallow part of the water. For many, it was their first. People saw lobsters, squid, members of the Finding Nemo cast, and multiple kinds of coral and seaweed. Everything was very colorful and oversized. People got more comfortable diving under and exploring, and people fanned out to adventure to different parts of the bay. Luckily, there were no incidents of fire coral stings. Overall, we agreed that snorkeling was super cool and definitely a highlight. Following snorkeling, we sailed on a broad reach for the first time, and then tried to quickly study small boat sailing as made our way to the Bitter End Yacht Club. Pulling in, it was funny seeing the stark contrast between the Roseway and the huge yachts; we felt small, but really unique. The scenery was incredibly picturesque as we navigated through the maze of moored sailboats and personal yachts. People were much more involved in setting the anchor and managing the lines; everyone is learning about the correct order, and getting more comfortable with being proactive with helping. Instead of standing passively, people are volunteering and jumping in to help with whatever needs doing. The process is becoming much less confusing and intimidating. Knowing what we are doing makes the whole experience more satisfying and inclusive feeling. Small boat sailing was much tougher than many of us expected. We dodged buoys and tried to stay upright as the boats tipped. Much of the terminology is still new. When one instructor asked where the wind was coming from, one of the groups pointed all different ways. Of course, it started raining as we sailed for a few minutes. The drops stung and hurt the visibility, and made it harder to steer and predict the direction of the boat. After sailing, we had a chance to explore the resort and stop into a few of the bars and stores, as well as explore the beaches. Noah made a friend from Canada named Surge. Things were super expensive, and we decided not to revisit the resort after dinner in order to save money for the following days in San Juan and at Willy T’s. Ten reapplications of sunscreen later, everyone returned to the Roseway with sunburns and high spirits. Everyone is excited to go to “Treasure Island” tomorrow. It’s apparently one of the more untouched islands.

January 14: From Jost Van Dyke to Bitter End

Logged on Thursday January 15, 2015

Luther bow spritDay 3, January 14, 2015
18 28 646 N / 64 25 171 W

Mustered at 07:00, breakfast at 08:00. Shortly thereafter, S/V Roseway set sail from anchorage off of Jost Van Dyke, BVI through the Sir Francis Drake channel headed toward Virgin Gorda.

Class was held once sails were set and lasted around 45 minutes. Tacked up the Sir Francis Drake channel, wind direction fluctuated between ESE and SE. All sails were set, no reefing. Although sunburns were suffered, sea sickness was avoided.

Watch groups rotated between active watch, sea-manship, and rest/reflection.  Seamanship consisted of riding the bowsprit and tying knots. C watch was particularly successful in riding the bowsprit, as they located a gigantic green sea turtle.

The sail took around 6 hours to complete. Upon arrival at The Baths at Virgin Gorda at approximately 15:00, the Norse disembarked S/V Roseway to explore The Baths and Devils Bay. Approaching shore, it was discovered that the dinghies were not allowed near the beach so the members of the group had to swim to shore. During the visit, a member of the group was stung on her right foot/ankle by Fire Coral while swimming. Other injuries were minor superficial cuts and scrapes. Additionally, several of the Luther students OPENED A COCONUT ON A ROCK AND IT SMELLED REALLY GOOD AND THEY ATE IT.

Everyone to the ship for supper by 18:30. Crew earned a well-deserved deck-shower upon arrival to the boat. The ship motored North for the night to an anchorage.  Early to bed for an eventful day in the morning.

January 13: Luther College Aboard!

Logged on Tuesday January 13, 2015

photoDay 1 –  Monday, January 12, 2015

No complaints at the 3 a.m. wakeup call, because of the eventual destination. First plane took off at 5:30—a bit hard to be excited that early, but a few hours of sleep on the plane helped. Getting off the plane in Miami made it real, with the warm weather. This has been prefaced with so much planning and anticipation it was hard to believe it was real. Arrived in Miami around 10:30, and finally grabbed some food. The Miami airport felt like a mall. It had inlays of gold marine life in the floor. Taking off for St. Thomas finally made the trip feel real—it was a short flight, sunny, and the last leg of a long day. Flying over the ocean was incredible, watching the clouds and the islands, scattered throughout. The color of the water varied greatly. When we landed, it looked like we were going to land on water—the runway didn’t come into few until just a few seconds before touchdown. Everyone cheered and waved as we descended the stairs off of the plane. It was great stepping on real ground, and then being greeted in the Welcome Center! We took taxis through crazy traffic to get the boat. The drivers merged and honked much more than we are used to in Iowa! Many accents were really thick, but the drivers were interested in what we were doing. We met two of the crew members right away, recognizable through their Roseway tshirts. It was a warm welcome, both on land and on the boat. The crew comes from many different places, including the east coast. Apparently, not many come from the west coast. It was interesting seeing all of the huge yachts pulled up to the dock, followed by the unique, elegant Roseway. It was exciting to get on such a different, unique boat. Yachts, we decided, look vacant and boring. We were proud to be casually dressed and ready for an adventure on the Roseway. We got a tour of the boat, learning some of the terms and names that we had discussed in class. It was exciting to apply some of our class discussion topics in real life. Many rugs on board are made out of old rope, and they serve to cushion the deck when the hatch is flipped up. It’s cool that it’s wooden and creaky, and we were all eager to stay on the boat. Finally launching off the dock was awesome, but it hasn’t really sunk in yet that it’s finally starting. We all felt far from home just being in St. Thomas, but somehow, being anchored a little ways out from shore feels even further. The rocking and fresh air is calming, and being put into groups immediately made the learning process more comfortable. We look forward to growing together in small groups, and being together makes chores like washing dishes and washing the deck much more fun. It has a very family-like feel. The boat feels enormous. The bunks are actually pretty spacious, and the galley is tiny, but has a stove and fridge, and the salon area is also pretty big. The crew quarters are really cool; they have flags hanging down from their bunks for privacy, and they add home-like touch. It felt lived in, not necessarily messy. Dinner was great—pasta, sausage, salad. We’re all excited for the rest of this adventure, and we are all eager to wake up tomorrow.


December 5: St. Croix Kids Set Sail

Logged on Friday December 5, 2014

Sixth graders from Ricardo Richards School follow Columbus’s voyage to St. Croix and compare the navigation technology of today versus what Columbus and his crew had in 1493.

NPS program two NPS program one