Posts Tagged ‘marine biology’

The Tall Ship American Pride

June 11, 2009

I had the arduous task of being a Safety Officer on the American Pride ship for Larisa’s Marine Biology field trip to Catalina Island, California.  We spent three nights and days on the ship learning all about sailing, the “head”, and of course, Marine Biology.  This is why there were no posts here for a few days.  We had an absolute blast…. I’ve never slept on a ship that didn’t include a midnight chocolate buffet.  There certainly wasn’t any chocolate on this ship.  I don’t know how old it is… but it’s a three masted schooner…. there were 43 of us and 9 crew. 

We slept on the ship the first night in the Long Beach port.  The ship was pretty steady, hardly rocking at all.  I slept like a baby…. the baby that wakes up and wants to cry.  :o  Larisa was brave and slept on deck.  Not me.  No way.  I’ve seen seagull droppings….  need I say more?  The berths contained a “mattress” (term used lightly) that was a single bed size, but only 3 inches thick.  AND the whole berth was only about 2 1/2 feet tall. AAANNNDD we changed our clothes lying in them!  Truly a sight to behold.  Thankfully there were little curtains so no one had to behold it.  It was a remarkable experience to lie there in the darkness and listen to the waves on the side of the ship…. right on the other side of the wooden planks next to my head.

The kids did lots of experiments and disections as well as kayaking, snorkeling, tide pooling and eeling.  They also got to jump off the rigging into the freezing water.  They loved it.  I loved being warm on the deck.  The eeling was pretty awesome.  I’ve never seen eels come out and attack a mesh bag of rotten fish.  Cool!  But the highlight of the trip for me was the hundreds and hundreds of dolphins  that “played” with our ship most of the way back to Long Beach.  The water was so clear we could see them swimming white belly to white belly, mama and babe.  Again, so cool.

I was so excited about the dolphins that I wasn’t paying attention and ran into the anchor.  I have a dark purple bruise on my leg that still hurts.  If you come over, I’ll show you.  AND Larisa and I are still swaying to the waves when we close our eyes.  It was the easiest chaperoning job I’ve been called upon for.  These homeschoolers were so respectful and obedient and NICE!  What a joy!