FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How long has your program been running?
We launched Ocean Passages in 2015 after two decades of experience running high school and college programs aboard Tall Ships. Over these many years in sea education, we learned the particular value of experiential education aboard traditionally-rigged sailing school vessels.
On the ship, who does what?
The ship can support 26 students (“trainees”) and nine crew members: captain, three mates, cook, and four deckhands. Everyone collaborates to keep the ship safe and sailing, from standing watch to basic navigation. It’s all about the teamwork – we work together, eat together and do excursions together.
Can I join a voyage later than the listed start date?
No. The numerous safety and logistical considerations require everyone to participate as a cohort in initial safety orientation training.
What’s the age range?
Trainees must be between the ages of 13-19 to participate in our sail training programs.
Do I have to know how to sail and swim?
No sailing experience is required; we’ll teach you everything you need to know. Swimming proficiency is required to do any snorkeling.
Is there any time on land?
It depends on the voyage. As the program dates approach, we’ll analyze weather and consider educational goals with the program director to develop a float plan.
Can I track the ship?
The ship’s course can be tracked on our website, but our tracker does not provide minute-by-minute updates, so please don’t be concerned if it hasn't been updated in a few hours. It’s more so a great way to track the ship's overall progress throughout the trip.
Another way to track our ship is using AIS online (which updates every few minutes or hours):
Go to www.marinetraffic.com
In the search box on the top right of the page, type in “Harvey Gamage”
Select “Harvey Gamage: Sailing Vessel (US)”
Scroll down the page a bit and click on the words “Show on live map” in the Google Map box
A large Google Map should appear with a pink dot indicating Harvey Gamage
Our OP tracker follows the overall course, while AIS will show you the ship's current whereabouts. Both are valuable resources when tracking the ship!
Do male and female trainees live together on the ship?
Yes and in close quarters. Both trainees and crew are required to sign the ship’s Code of Conduct, which is based on strict principles of mutual respect.
What should I bring – and what shouldn’t I bring?
It depends. For all of our programs, once you’re enrolled, you’ll get a packing list detailing precisely what you need and some recommended additional purchases. Everything you bring has to fit in your bunk.
Should I bring my cellphone on the trip?
We want our trainees to disconnect from the electronic world to have the best experience on board. Once they board the vessel, all phones will be collected and stored in a dry-storage box for the duration of the trip. Participants are encouraged to bring their own camera, but it’s important to note that the ship is damp and sometimes wet, and the activities we participate in may result in the damage or loss of any electronic equipment if not cared for properly. (Disposable cameras work great, though!)
What’s the food like aboard the ship?
We’re partial but if you’re asking – the food is great, maybe because things always taste better at sea. And there’s plenty of it. Everyone eats together three times a day. Once notified, we can accommodate special dietary needs.
Can I shower on the boat?
We will teach you the tricks of saltwater showers with a light fresh water rinse, but we do not currently have any fresh water showers on the ship.
How much do your programs cost?
Program tuition is $1,250 and includes all meals and lodging.
If I were sick or injured, how do I get medical care?
Ocean Passages is committed to the safety of its crew and trainees. Treatment facilities aboard consist of a medical kit administered by the ship’s medical officer, who is trained to at least the level of Wilderness First Responder (WFR). The medical officer will hold all medications, prescriptions and otherwise, and will hand out medicine as needed. The medical officer and captain maintain close communication with the Ocean Passages office for any and all medical concerns. If needed, we immediately initiate medical evacuation.