Sailing on a tall ship is an adventure that a lot of people won't ever get to experience. Being able to live on one is an even greater privilege. The adventure that helped me flourish the most was my journey on the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, 106-foot long replica vessel that is recognized today as America’s Environmental Flagship. A regular day begins with wakes ups at 0630, followed by a deck wash at 0700, and then breakfast at 0730. Many of the duties that were required of me as a crew member helped me develop a greater sense of maturity and responsibility that I could not have obtained elsewhere. The most rewarding watch that had the greatest effect on me occurred when I served as a Relief Engineer. In that role, I had to make sure that the generator from the night before was no longer running and that the batteries were fully charged before we go underway. I was also responsible for performing a boat check every 30 minutes while under way. This responsibility consisted of checking the oil pressure, water temperature, battery levels, and the RPM for the engine. Being responsible for the lives of 50 passengers and 10 crew members caused my maturity level to skyrocket and advance well beyond my years

Clearwater was a once in the lifetime experience for me. I was given responsibilities that volunteers on the boat weren't allowed to do! As a crew member for Sloop, I deepened my love for the water, as well as enhanced my commitment for environmental causes, near and far. These experiences are pretty unique for a 17-year old girl attending a small public high school on an island in the middle of the NY Harbor. No, not Manhattan, but Governors Island.