Author: Matthew Robertson, Muhlenberg College

A set of lines on the forward port side.

Ship's Log

22°07”N x 128°32”W

Weather / Sail Plan
The main staysail, course, topsail and raffee are up; fresh breeze with a force of 4 from north-northeast, mostly cloudy

Course / Speed
The course is at 210 with a speed of 5 knots

Taffrail Log

Souls on Board

All of this memorization of the lines we’ve been doing has led up to this day; where we were tested on our knowledge by way of the traditional line chase.  The line chase is a relay race where our watches compete against each other by trying to find all of the lines that are assigned to us as fast as possible.  The rules are one person is assigned a line to find and they try to find it and grab it as fast as possible without running.

Thankfully we didn’t have to pull on or use any of these lines because some of them, depending on wind conditions, can feel like we’re lifting a medium-sized elephant.  This wasn’t a race but more a test of our knowledge of the lines so winning wasn’t so much a priority as much as being able to locate our assigned lines.  A watch was the winning team but winning didn’t matter much.  As soon as it was over we were all back on equal ground with each other because we all did extremely well and few to no one missed a line.  This makes me very happy not because I was part of the winning team but because I now feel more comfortable with all of my peers handling the boat while I’m not on watch.

As someone who has never sailed before I’m proud of the fact I’ve been able to memorize so much already within the first nine days and planning to learn and memorize even more information.  Memorizing these lines was no small feat but it’s the start and by the end of this voyage I’m sure we will have memorized every aspect of this ship.  I do still miss home though.  My girlfriend, my dog, my brother and my parents; I miss them a lot but I’m still extremely happy that I’m here.  I’m thankful for everyone that helped me get here from family and friends to professors and mentors in my life. I’m feeling good about this trip and I can’t wait to get home and tell my friends and family many stories about what I’ve already done and plan to do on this voyage.

Sending my love to my friends and family.

- Matthew Robertson, Muhlenberg College

P.S. it turns out I can give my name in the blog. Love you Mom, Dad, Ben, Mommom, Poppop, Sophie, and Lily.

Contact: Douglas Karlson, Director of Communications, 508-444-1918 |

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