dsc_1215.jpgLast night we took a sunset sail aboard the 137 foot schooner Roseway. Built in 1925 to defend America’s honor in the annual race between the Nova Scotia and Massachusetts fishing fleets, the Roseway stood as a shining example of a fast fishing schooner. Despite her limited fishing history, the oak-built Roseway set a record of 74 swordfish caught in one day in 1934. The distinctive rust-orange sails and dark blue hull are hard to miss even today.

We bought our tickets, met some of the crew of the World Ocean School, and boarded on the Gallows Bay, St. Croix wharf right around 5:00 PM for a three hour tour… a threeee hour tour. After living on the island for months, gazing out at the azure blue ocean almost daily, it was exciting to finally get out on the ocean! Everyone we talked to seemed equally excited to be there.

dsc_1188.jpgAfter the usual safety announcements we were underway, albeit by engine power for the first five minutes until we reached deeper waters. The first mate explained we’d be needed to hoist the sails because the mainsail weighs over one ton! About 10 men and women lined up on each side and gave heave-ho’s on the thick ropes and soon we were “under sail”. The engines cut off and let the evening’s light tropical winds power us. What a feeling of peacefulness!

For the next 2 hours we enjoyed a fantastic sail out on the open ocean while sipping rum punch, champagne, wine and Red Stripe. We talked with the Captain, the founder of the World Ocean School, the first mate and the crew. Almost all the crew lived somewhere in Maine. We chatted with other interesting folks and had some laughs about “life on St. Croix”. One man aboard, Craig Alexander, had recently won the St. Croix Half Ironman Triathlon (last weeks story). Another interesting gentleman I met, at least to a geek like me, is the Executive Director of the UVI Research & Technology Park. All in all we had a great evening.

Click for more information about the Roseway and the World Ocean School…

Below are a few photos of our adventure…