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Ocean Classroom: A View from the Keys

Scott Allenby

Proctor Academy's Ocean Classroom program has arrived in the Florida Keys after a 400 mile voyage from northeast Florida. En route to Mobile, Alabama to see first hand the last slave ship to arrive in America (the Clotilda) and to continue their studies on the history of involuntary servitude, injustice, and the Civil Rights Movement in America, the crew of students from Proctor and the MET High School (Providence, RI) are well on their way to becoming true sailors. Read more from their voyage below. 

Ocean Classroom Sailing Proctor Academy

Hi Everyone, my name is Catherine Lugo. I’m a senior from the MET High School, and I wanted to talk about my experiences so far. We’re currently anchored in Key West but I want to talk about our journey from St. Augustine, Florida, underway, and then briefly about Key West. 

We arrived to St. Augustine, Florida on January 26th, and I was so excited to finally take a shower, do laundry, and explore the city. But first we got a tour of a fort close to the marina, Castillo De Marcos. When we got back, we split into our watches and did our daily chores. After chores we were basically free to do anything. Caroline, another of the Ocean Class students, and I went to shower and do laundry. We went to explore St. Augustine after and we found this really cute Paris-themed macaroon store where we got some pre-dinner desserts. We walked around a little more and ate at Barefoot Bill’s. After dinner we went back to the macaroon store and bought gelato. We went back to the ship and hung out with some of the ocean students.

Ocean Classroom Sailing Proctor Academy

We left St. Augustine the next day. The departure from the dock went smoothly and we were able to be on the ocean that night. Our journey from St. Augustine to Key West was about 400 nautical miles which was originally going to take us seven days but we were making around 6-7 knots so it only took five days. We were cruising!

Even though it was a short time underway, it was hard. Since we were going 6-7 knots it was very bumpy, splashy and windy. It was hard to walk around doing boat checks when the boat was tipping to one side (I fell and got soaked by the water running across the deck). When it wasn’t splashing it was hot during day watch. Before leaving St. Augustine, we got assigned new watches and watch officers. So mine is 12-4 which in my opinion is the hottest part of the day. Even though my watchmates and I struggled it was a great experience to overcome and persevere. (Note from the deckhands: Catherine’s watch also got to see a pod of ten dolphins glowing in the bioluminescent plankton as they played in the bow wave during one of our night watches, which was super cool!) 

Ocean Classroom Sailing Proctor Academy
  • Ocean Classroom
  • Off-Campus Program