Friday, May 24, 2013

Tall Ships Sailing

We went on a field trip through Oregon Connections Academy (Leilani's school) to Coos Bay to go on what they call "tall ships."  They are sailing brigs.  The one we went on was "The Lady Washington."  It was used as "The Interceptor" (Bristish ship) in the movie, Pirates of the Carribean
Waiting to board the ship.
Waiting to sail.

When we started our trip, the sails were not down and ready to go.

As soon as the trip was underway, the kids started to learn how to help hoist the sails, and how to tie knots and loop the ropes for the rigging.

The video shows one of their first lessons.

The crew was very patient with the kids, as they taught them how to sail.
Once the sails were up, the kids were divided into three groups to learn about sailing, trade, navigation, etc.
 In the navigation section, they learned to read charts,
 how to use a sextant to navigate by the sun and starts,
 how the compass was able to roll around and stay upright on the rolling seas,
 and how to plot how fast you are going and in which direction you are going.  They also learned that only the ship's captain or officer could navigate, because they were the only ones with education...and you use a lot of math and science to navigate a ship.
This kind of ship is steered with a tiller instead of a wheel, so they learned some of the pros and cons of that too
Robert decided to sleep during the classes, which made life a little easier.
 In the next section they learned about the life of a sailor.  This tilly bag was all a sailor had to put his personal items in for years at sea.
 They learned how to splice broken rope,
 and how to use a metal pick like tool to undo knots.
 They were not impressed with the hardtack,
 or the salt pork,
but they were impressed by the rope crafts...
 and the carvings on whale bone that the sailors did.
 They learned that the sailors were uneducated, so they didn't have numbers on the cards that they played with - they didn't know that 7 meant seven.  They would just count the pictures on the card to know how many were on it.
 They were glad to find out that the sailors did carry toothbrushes with them sometimes.
 The last section was on trade routes in the 1700's and 1800's.  They sat inside the ship for this part.
They learned that the sailors on this ship would trade copper, guns, jewelry and pots to the Indians on the west coast of North America for the furs of sea otters (there are no more in Oregon...they were all trapped out), beaver, etc. and then take them to China.  In China they would trade for tea.  Then they would sail back to the east coast (most often Boston) and sell the tea to the people living there.
This is what the tea looked like.  It was pressed into an embossed brick, and then broken apart when they sold it.  I had no idea that was what it looked like.
When the lessons were over, we returned to the top of the ship to prepare the sails for the end of the trip and docking.
 The sailors climbed the rigging to take in the top sails.
 The kids worked down below.  By this time, they knew what they were doing, and didn't need the help of the crew.
It was a great day!  Very fun and very educational.  It was well worth the drive down to Coos Bay, and I hope we get to do it again sometime.  I would recommend it to anyone!