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Life On The Water -Tall Ships Part 1: Public Programs

#tallships #sailing #education #programming #ghhs #theseafarercollective #tradeskills


What is life REALLY like on the water? From tall ships to tugs, fishing fleets to cargo, The Seafarer Collective will be sharing glimpses of life from across the maritime industry in our blog series, Life On The Water.


Where do we even begin with tall ships? The romance of billowing canvas and a following sea? Nothing but the open ocean and a night sky of stars to guide your ship by? SOMETIMES, yes, life onboard tall ships means just that - sailing and all the magic that comes with it. A vast majority of the time however, tall ships are all about serving the public that keeps them afloat. Educational programming, public sails, deck tours, vessel maintenance, chores, and the basic tasks of communal living make up the days of most mariners onboard traditional vessels.



Life onboard tradition sailing vessels can change minute to minute - between programming, weather, crew needs, vessel projects, and the needs of the ports, there is a lot of variation in the schedule. Flexibility, patience, and adaptability will serve a crew member well. Take care of yourself while you’re onboard so you have the energy to be flexible when it is necessary.


Below are rundowns of "average" weekday and weekend schedules of a GHHS ship that is in program (e.g. in a port and open to the public or schools that have booked an experience). The days are full and fast paced, and when executed well, guests gain a true appreciation and understanding of our trade's traditional roots.


Weekday In Program

0700 Wakeups

0700-0730 Breakfast and Muster

0730-0830 Chores and Vessel Prep

0900-1100 Education Sail

1100-1130 Docking and Securing Vessel

1130-1200 Lunch

1200-1230 Vessel Prep

1230-1530 Education Sail

1600-1700 Vessel Tours

1700-1730 Clean Up and Securing Vessel

1730-1800 End of Day Muster

1800 Stand Down and Dinner


Weekend In Program

0800 Wakeups

0800-0830 Breakfast and Muster

0830-0930 Chores and Vessel Prep

1000-1300 Vessel Tours

1300-1330 Lunch

1330-1400 Vessel Prep

1400-1600 Adventure Sail

1600-1730 Break or Maintenance

1800-2000 Evening Sail

2000-2030 Clean Up and Securing Vessel

2030-2100 End of Day Muster

2100 Stand Down


Education Sails (1-3 hours)

  1. 30 minutes before sail starts the Shipboard Educator (SE) goes to the dock to organize passengers - the rest of the crew prepares the vessel

  2. Passengers are loaded onto vessel, SE gives the safety speech

  3. Crew handles dock lines and vessel leaves the dock

  4. Crew works with students to set sail

  5. Students break into three groups (called Watches) and begin the Education Station Rotation

  6. A crew member teaches one of the three stations to a group of 5-10 students

  7. After all three stations are completed, the students and crew work together to douse sail

  8. The vessel return to the dock, crew handles dock lines

  9. Passengers offload



Adventure/Evening Sail (2-3 hours)

  1. 30 minutes before sail starts the Shipboard Educator (SE) goes to the dock to organize passengers. The rest of the crew prepares the vessel

  2. Passengers are loaded onto vessel. SE gives the safety speech

  3. Crew handles dock lines and vessel leaves the dock

  4. Crew sets sail, sometimes with the help of passengers

  5. During the sail, crew will maneuver the ship, chat with passengers, shoot the deck guns, talk about the history of the vessel or area

  6. Crew douses sail, sometimes with the help of passengers

  7. Vessel returns to the dock, crew handles dock lines

  8. Passengers offload

What happens when it is time for larger maintenance projects or a yard period? Stay tuned...


Coming Soon: Life On The Water - Tall Ships Part 2: Traditional Maintenance




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