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spotlight on rocking the boat and world ocean school

Ship’s Log Denis Sullivan
December 20, 2023
St. Croix Atlantic Standard Time
84 degrees
Dolphins sighted over the high side

Beyond helping participants master the skills of handling small sailboats, the Sailing Program has begun efforts to give every apprentice the chance to have an adventure travelling aboard and learning to crew a tall ship before they graduate from the program. The most recent opportunity came in late December when three Rocking the Boat sailors had the phenomenal chance to crew a replica three-masted Great Lakes schooner in the US Virgin Islands.

Through the annual Winter Ambassador Program of the World Ocean School, a group of young people spent five days aboard the Denis Sullivan, working together to sail the ship and explore both the waters and islands of St. John and St. Croix. Three of our Job Skills Sailing Program apprentices—17-year-olds Hector, Michelle, and Vincent—were sponsored to spend five sunny days on the ship with young people from around the country. But it was no cruise. The students were also the crew, working morning until night raising sails, coiling line, and taking bearings while standing watch.


Sailing program participants who return from an immersive trip like this acquire skills at a rapid rate and something even more valuable; a confidence from having tested themselves and broadened what they are capable of. In the ship’s log, Michelle wrote, “There were a lot of ‘firsts’ in this trip and I'm extremely grateful for the memories I created, the new adventures we've explored, and most importantly getting the opportunity to meet everyone here.” And Hector reflected, “This opportunity feels like a once in a lifetime moment.”

Participating in Rocking the Boat, whether on distant adventures or daily programming here in the Bronx, is an experience full of “firsts” and fantastic moments. Stay tuned for the next examples—our spring semester starts the first week in March!

This trip was made possible by the Charles Hayden Foundation, a long time supporter of Rocking the Boat and the World Ocean School.

rocking the boat
812 edgewater road
bronx, ny 10474
phone: 718.466.5799

Rocking the Boat is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Download Form 990.