The Privilege of Sailing

(Cross posted in The Tabor Boy Project and the Sea-Fever blog)

Those of us who have sailed on the SSV Tabor Boy are, by nearly anyone’s measure, “privileged.” We were privileged to have been given an opportunity to participate in a unique life changing experience and we took advantage of it. Most of us were also privileged in that we grew up in middle or upper middle class families that could afford to send us to Tabor Academy, a school that offers an incredible education and so many other valuable life forming experiences.

That sailing is often equated with privilege is unfortunate because young people from every socioeconomic background can benefit from participating in the sport. In fact, an effective argument can be made that those less “privileged” would have the most to gain from the experience.

There are few activities that teach young people so many important lessons about life the way sailing does: cause and effect, problem-solving, math and science, teamwork, sportsmanship, respect and much more. Participation in a sail training program elevates many of the social characteristics of sailing and creates a very effective platform for learning about leadership in the process.

In last month’s Cruising World magazine, Kitty Martin wrote a great article about a school approximately 200 miles away from Marion and a much greater distance divide in so many other respects. However, the common thread between the 2 schools is their strong connection to the sea and the incredible power that it has to change young lives. Continue reading The Privilege of Sailing

The Tabor Boy Project – Storytelling and Living History

The Tabor Boy Project

I just launched a new website called The Tabor Boy Project. 

Part storytelling project, part social network, all experiment!

As long as humankind has gone to sea, incredible stories have been told upon a ship’s return to port.

A community is an accumulation of stories told. In keeping with this long maritime tradition, The Tabor Boy Project is an online community that invites you to tell your sea stories, photos and videos.

Please visit and join in the conversation. If you have EVER sailed aboard the schooner Tabor Boy in any capacity (student, crew, parent, guest, Sea Ranger, etc.) you MUST tell your story. 

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Sea Stories – Changing Lives, Saving Lives

Over the past few years there have been several great stories of young people participating in sail training programs and ending up in a real adventures saving lives at sea. A few come to mind:

Sea Scout vessel Argus rescuing a scuba diver left behind

St. George’s School’s Geronimo rescuing a Polish sailor that had fallen off an ocean bound freighter

Sea Education Association’s rescue of some Haitian refugees.

Last week, a group of students from the Riviera Beach Maritime Academy were participating in a educational sailing adventure aboard the three master schooner Denis Sullivan when one of them spotted a flare on the horizon. It turned out to be  from three fisherman in dire need of help.  Riviera students on educational voyage help rescue imperiled boaters (Check out all of the comments) and Youth, school reap rewards for rescue.

In the January issue of Soundings Trade Only, Beth Rosenberg wrote a great article about the Riviera Beach Maritime Academy. At this charter school, nuts plus bolts equals jobs. This is a great program that demonstrates a valuable partnership between the maritime industry and traditional high school education. It helps fill a niche that benefits employers and the youth involved.

For young people, going to sea under sail is truly a life changing experience. The risk of the adventure can be directly correlated to the impact that it will have on the participant’s lives long into the future. Saving human lives in peril is a time honored responsibility and obligation of going to sea and the Riviera Beach Maritime Academy students will never forget their brief experience aboard the Denis Sullivan.

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NY Times – Museum Review – USS Monitor Center, Newport News, VA

In today’s New York Times, Edward Rothstein wrote a great review of the recently opened U.S.S. Monitor Center at The Mariner’s Museum in Newport News, VA. (A Celebrity Warship Gets a Hall of Fame to Call Its Own)

Gary C. Knapp for The New York Times

The Mariner Museum and U.S.S. Monitor Center’s website is chockfull of interesting and educational information. Also, be sure to visit the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary website.

According to the article, the museum has only been drawing about 60,000 visitors a year; however, with this significant addition, they will surely draw many more in the future. The Monitor is not only a Civil War “Celebrity Warship”, but she also marks a major turning point in naval history about which Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote:

“All the pomp and splendor of naval warfare are gone by. Henceforth there must come up a race of enginemen and smoke-blackened commoners who will hammer away at their enemies under the direction of a single pair of eyes.”

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The Lookout (February 4, 2007)

Look-out (noun): 1. the act of looking out or keeping watch; 2. a watch kept, as for something that may happen; 3. a person or group keeping watch; 4. a station or place from which watch is kept. 5. an object of care or concern. (Dictionary.com)

Five links to blogs, posts, articles or websites that we found interesting, useful or just fun.

1. The World Economic Forum website. Lots to explore. (Leadership)

2. A World Economic Forum session that I found particularly interesting was Wisdom of Youth. Panelist’s included H.M. Queen Rania of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom and the moderator was Jonathan Charles, Correspondent, BBC World Affairs, United Kingdom. The highlight was the participation of 5 youth panelists from around the world. There were also some interesting comments and questions from the audience at 41:20 of the Webcast. (Education)

3. The Work Space on the World Economic Forum’s website. Check out Visualizing A Successful Enterprise in The Future Series.(Interesting)

4. Acronym Finder (Tool)

5. Drip Wars – A Pollock, in the Eyes of Art and Science (NY Times, Sunday, February 4, 2007) Technology vs. intuition. (Essay)

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