Troop 985 headed down to San Diego Bay on a beautiful Saturday in late December, ready for an adventure on the high seas. The boys did a program through the San Diego Maritime Museum to earn their Oceanography merit badge. For the new scouts (including Sam), this was their first merit badge!
The program started off on the ferry Berkeley, where our guide James taught the boys about the science of oceanography using exhibits on the Berkeley, as well as about the history of the ferry. We also learned the history of the parents of one of our scouts, as Noah K.’s dad Doug told us how he and Lisa were married on the Berkeley.
Next up, what we were all waiting for! It was time to head out for a sail on the schooner the Californian. The Californian is a replica of a gold rush era revenue cutter and the Official Tall Ship of the State of California. It is manned by a crew of mainly volunteers, who taught the boys how to pull up the sails, secure the lines, and avoid getting their head knocked off by a giant boom. They also gave excellent lessons on tying sailing knots, procuring and examining a plankton sample, reading and interpreting ocean maps, and the types of guns and shot that were used on these ships. We finished with the ship’s guns being fired (no shot, just powder) as we returned to the dock, the skyline of San Diego beckoning us home.
Thanks to Amy H. and John H. for photos, and to Amy H. for organizing the event!