For more than 50 years the schooner Tabor Boy has taken young students at Tabor Academy in Massachusetts to sea under sail.
The remarkable 92-foot training ship has played a significant role in helping the academy transform adventurous teenagers into confident young adults.
In the December issue of Soundings, Jim Flannery wrote an in-depth article on the challenges facing sail trailing programs today. Accompanying it was a story by Peter Mello, who sailed aboard Tabor Boy in the 1970s.
Filmmaker John Rice, who directed the documentary “Tabor Boy: 100 Years at Sea,” has written an article on the making of his film about the 50-year-old schooner and the sail training program, which was launched 100 years ago.
Here’s a taste of the imagery in Rice’s documentary.
“I suppose the beginning of production on my documentary about the sail-training schooner the SSV Tabor Boy began when I was 15 years old,” Rice explains in his essay. “It was then, as a new student at Tabor Academy in Marion, Massachusetts, that I first went offshore on Tabor Boy, a tall ship of the finest kind.
“For seven weeks, I sailed to Bermuda, the Bahamas and back to the U.S. I was young and green, but nevertheless was immediately given responsibilities that would transform my life. I was asked to take the helm of the 92-foot schooner at night in heavy seas with eyes steady on both the compass and a rough and steep following sea. I had to manage with the fear of going aloft in the rain to furl the heavy cotton square sails that seemed to weigh a ton. I was tasked with all the mundane chores of life at sea, like washing dishes for a crew of 22, chipping paint, making baggywrinkles and polishing brass fixtures for hours. It was a hard journey, but it was also exhilarating to feel for the first time the rhythm and joy of going offshore.”