“One of These Things is not like the Other”

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“One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just does not belong.”  This tune was sung fervently by some of our students and crew as we motored back into the ocean.

The Harvey Gamage stood out amidst the glitz and glamour of mega yachts in Palm Beach, Florida.  We were the only traditional sailing ship in a sea of shiny and new.  The Gamage came into Palm Beach ahead of a cold front for protection from rough seas.  In port, we did a final major provisioning of food and purchased additional maintenance supplies that might be needed for the next few months in Cuba. 

At dock, some of the yacht crew saw that there were new folks in town and came by to say, “Hello.”  They were impressed by the manual windlass (to weigh anchor), the traditional rigging and the Spartan accommodations.  One crew member from one of the yachts envied our adventuresome schedule and our trip to Cuba but didn’t know if she could do without air-conditioning.  But with breeze in our sails, air conditioning is the last of our hearty students’ and crew’s interests.    

Despite the difference in our boats and lifestyles, we were a welcome addition to the fanciness of Palm Beach.  Just as we were leaving the dock to sail south to Key West, some of the yacht owners came by to take photos of us departing.  They were particularly taken with our use of an inflatable dinghy as a “bow thruster.”

Yet, you never know who you will encounter.  One of the yacht owners saw our ship launched in the Harvey Gamage Shipyard in Maine back in 1973.  To this day, he keeps a framed brochure of the ship from her days as a Maine “windjammer.”  Everywhere we go we are greeted by people who know the Harvey Gamage, who have sailed her or who know people who have sailed her.

At Ocean Passages, we build upon the long legacy of the ship and follow in the wake of the thousands who have sailed the Gamage over the past 44 years.  And as we return to Cuban waters, we are part of a new tradition and history in the making.