On this boat, in the heart of the sea…is my girl, Cope.
A daily text, tells me where this boat is sailing…
This boat is hunkered down in the harbor of Connecticut near Mystic as Hurricane Joaquin shows off a bit.
The boat is a schooner named The Roseway, of The World Ocean School.
A cheery image for any parent, no?
In the Heart of the Sea is being turned into a movie and coming out this December, starring Chris Hemworth. It’s likely to be on the DO NOT WATCH list, alongside A Perfect Storm…and all other disastrous ocean films.
Before embarking, Cope and her crew stayed together at a campsite in New Hampshire. We had our practice good-bye. Cope said, “This is just preparing you for when I go to college!” (said a bit too gleefully.)
I do not like this, not one bit. Let’s move on and not dwell on such things.
The crew travelled to Hurricane Island in Maine, then off to Gloucester, Massachusetts: the true embarkment of their ocean adventure (and the true embarkment of A Perfect Storm!)
“Mom, come see my bunk!” Cope is up front by the bow (gotta use my ship language correctly!) Her father, The Professor, says that she’s sure to get lots of waves and ocean swells. And if the ship leaks, she’ll be sure to get wet. Isn’t that SUPER FUN????! One of the items on the packing list is Dramamine. And foul weather gear. And flippers. And a special knife for “rigging.”
How do they shower?
1. A bucket of sea water is dumped over head.
3. A bucket of fresh water is dumped over head.
Done! Also: they swim a lot.
Each crew member is part of a watch group for 4-8 hours, 24 hours a day. I keep imagining what it will be like for these young sailors, sailing under the great light of the moon at 3 a.m., feeling the wind as the sails shift, speaking with dolphins, and watching the sun set and rise while pulling ropes on that beautiful schooner.
I do not worry about hurricanes, sharks, or pirates. Or cannibalism. I am excited, and yes, a bit jealous of this great adventure. If only I could fit into Cope’s pocket and see all that she is seeing. Cope is a lover of words and brought her journal. I imagine a stunning novel could come of it. What happens to a crew of 22 teenagers on a small ocean boat, together for 2 months? Oh, the possibilities…
After touring the boat (which was very crowded with parents and siblings) and chatting, we heard: “Okay, folks. I have to be the meanie. You have five minutes to say good-bye. FIVE!”
Perhaps I should have been better prepared. But I found myself a bit speechless. What advice would you give as your child as she sets sail for the next two months?
When I see this picture (which I don’t like of me, but why does it have to be about ME?) I can’t quite believe I’m a mom who has a child this old. Old enough to sail the ocean without me. Who is looking at me and is SO EXCITED TO EMBARK. (Thank you, Lindsey for the shots!)
Yes, I’m sure I was full of advice, but the only thing I could say was, “I love you so much.”
The siblings took the good-bye the hardest (though one sibling is excited about “exploring” her older sister’s room.) The boy misses her the most. He comes home wanting to tell her all about his soccer game and homework and high school and… she’s not there to tell. And then, I swear, the boat started to move! This was getting real. Can you see her? She has two girls sitting on her lap. And yes, there are BOYS on the boat, too! That boat kept going and going…and darn it, I wished I had my white handkerchief. Dave Pilla, Ocean Classroom coordinator and maritime expert shouted, “Hip-Hip…” and we all yelled back, “Hooray!” three times for good luck. And then that Roseway fired a cannon shot that rivaled a pirate ship. We waved and waved until that boat was out of sight. Cousin posse; we shall not remove our ocean bracelets until our girl returns. The Roseway is headed to Mystic Seaport, the NYC Harbor School, Baltimore, Georgia, and Charleston. From there they will have 10-12 straight days at sea as they make their way to the Caribbean and eventually San Juan, Puerto Rico. Of course, this is all dependent on the weather. And Joaquin.
I’ve been given lots of advice since my girl sailed away. My two favorites: “Don’t be such a baby.” Ha. For real. And: “It was very comforting to know Logan (her son) was always under the same moon as me.”
I thought of our girl as we watched the lunar eclipse on Sunday, as the bright light of the moon was shrouded in darkness and eventually a blood moon. I think of her as the sun sets and the sun rises on our fields of green and the weather begins to change and leaves fall to the ground. No matter where she sails, she is with us always.