As we head offshore, we have scheduled a boatload of training opportunities for our professional crew of 28. Since there is no academic program for students, we have the flexibility of adjusting our schedule a bit, which includes standing watches in a staggered pattern to allow people to work with new people each watch.
One recent session of training was for Sextant 101 - a look at how to use a nautical sextant, how to adjust the shades and mirrors, and how to bring the sun down to the horizon. A subsequent session (Sextant 102) discussed calculations for the noon sight for latitude. This training made me happy because I got to wear my celestial navigation t-shirt.
Another opportunity we have is to deploy some drifter buoys for NOAA. They are interested in drifters to help refine the winter storm track in the North Atlantic, so we partnered with NOAA to take on 9 drifter buoys and we are deploying them between New England and Bermuda across the Gulf Stream.
For us, the buoys are anticlimactic because NOAA makes them sailor proof...simply unwrap and throw in the ocean, cardboard included.
Overall the trip is going well, we had to motor for the first few days, but we are sailing under the double reefed main and both staysails as we await some bigger wind from the Northeast.