Thursday, March 18, 2010

"What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor......"

The fifth graders at Savannah's school went on an overnight field trip. I decided it might be fun to go with them.? We stayed on a ship called the Spirit of Dana Point, and had to eat, sleep, and drink like sailors on a ship from Boston to Cadiz, Spain in the late 1700's. Okay....we really didn't get to drink like sailors! But the rest is true! The kids were arranged in crews that took care of different parts of the ship and each crew had one of their own as their mate that was able to boss them around. The parents and teachers were actually Safety Officers who just stood back and watched unless one decided to try to do a header overboard. The Captain and his crew were amazing and had all of us afraid to step out of line or out of character. We even had to go out with our crews on night watch. Each crew had a two hour shift, except for the galley crew. They had to go to bed first and then wake up first to make the captain and crew's breakfast .... slop for the morning (oatmeal...sticky, icky oatmeal). My crew had watch from 10pm to 12am, which to me was the best time. We stood on deck, all in strategic places to watch for privateers, pirates or forces of nature (or the occasional drunk who might wander from the bars above us on the cliffs). The last shift was 4am to 6am or whenever the captain was done with them. Most of the students slept the whole time unless they were on watch and watch was definetly the hardest part. The kids had to stand completely still for two hours and not wake the captain. They had to do one more job while on watch. They had to keep a log. They were all asked to write for ten minutes of their shift. They had to write about what they saw during the watch and also what they had learned from the voyage. They couldn't wait to write. They wanted to write longer!.Bunking was interesting. We were all, I mean all, bunked together in a small bunk room. That means 30+ boys and girls and 4 Security Officers all together in bunks....ugh! The heads or bathrooms (2) were down there too. The shift switches were interesting, but the kids handled them well. Even the most "interesting students" were afraid to go against the captain's orders. Most of the students slept the whole unless they were on watch and watch was definitely the hardest part. The kids had to stand completely still and not wake the captain. We were awakened by crews rowing in the long boats singing shanties and then by clanging pans! The crews were knowledgeable and if they were not working on the deck they were getting lessons on the life and times of the sailor and what was happening in the world at that time. By the way my Adams Elementary School family, John Adams was elected President while we were on the boat! Amazing! We found out through letters that were written to us from home. The experience was amazing and I don't think Savannah or her classmates will forget it for a long time!
Sunrise soon after we woke up!
Savannah galley crew working in the galley.
Mouse, the cook, giving orders to her men. We were all men during this
time. No women allowed on ship!

The Spirit of Dana Point at the Ocean Institute

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tooth #4



Syd lost her fourth tooth the other night.  Yes, there was drama again!  I finally convinced her to let me pull it, and it almost fell out of her mouth into my hand.  I am happy to report that the tooth fairy kept his/her distance and left money in Syd’s room while she slept with her sister.


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