Pegasus Project Completes Spring Program
The Pegasus Project's Spring 1999 marine environmental education program was completed with two school voyages on June 2 and 6. The school voyages are a joint activity of the Pegasus Project and the Shorebird Nature Center.
On June 2, Pegasus's volunteer crew took 24 fifth-grade students from Berkeley's Jefferson school onto the Bay. The first group of 12 students arrived at the dock just before 10 a.m. They were quickly safety-harnessed, life-jacketed, and briefed on safety by Christine Albertsen. The crew members also said a few words about their professions as they were introduced -- a small step toward introducing a school-to-career element in our curriculum. The students were then welcomed aboard by the Captain for the day, Peter Hayes.
As we headed out to the Bay, we hailed the other half of the class with a shout of "land ho!" They were on the land-school and had climbed the lookout platform of the Berkeley pier to wave at Pegasus.
Shortly after we cleared the breakwater, we raised the mainsail and unfurled the jib. Then the wind blew up to 20+ knots, so we dropped the mizzen. Because the wind was up, the boat was heeling strongly. Jim Gaebe on foredeck persuaded the first group of nervous students to come forward and out onto the bowsprit.
After the first group returned from the bowsprit sporting big grins, the next three rotations went forward without apparent nervousness. "That was the coolest spot," said one young girl student, exhilarated by charging across the ocean waves from the bow.
Patty Donald and Christine Albertsen in the cockpit moved the students safely but quickly forward to the bow in groups of three or four at a time. On the after deck, stern-hand Rich Gillette moved the students from starboard to portside to complete the flow around the deck.
We sailed two long tacks to the end of the Berkeley Pier and then broad-reached back to the breakwater. Pegasus arrived back at the dock right on time under Paul Marbury's skilled helm. The students went below decks for the tour of the galley and forward cabins, including the navigation station, before disembarking to the dock.
The second group was raring to go after attending the land-school. The wind had blown up to a steady 20-25 knots, so we close-reached to keep things relatively sedate. The kids up forward got plenty of spray and bursts of cold seawater over the bow to keep them awake!
By the end of the day, the students all knew how to move around the boat safely and how to keep lookout. They had tasted the ocean salt, experienced the lift of the ocean swell, and felt the wind in their hair that makes Pegasus dance across the waves. They had been to the great marine wilderness in the middle of the city -- a great adventure to relate at school and home.
We bet they all went to bed early that night and had great dreams!
On June 6, the Horicon Elementary School from Annapolis on the northern Californian coast went out on Pegasus, completing the project's program for spring 1999.