It was a dark and stormy 15th of June! But fifty students newly admitted to the East Carolina University Honors College, boarded the 72-foot schooner Jeanie B at Washington, NC for a cruise down the Pamlico River. The first band sailed in the morning in fair conditions. On return they were treated to lunch with the second group of sailors at On the Waterfront restaurant, hosted by owner and Pirate alum Billy Dunn.
The Jeanie B has two masts, a blue hull, white sails, and is a floating educational platform. Students serve as crew, raising and lowering sails, commanding the helm and handling lines. Most climbed the ratlines to reach the top of the main mast. Instructions for the landlubbers are provided by Captain Paul Del Rio and Mate Charles, also a licensed captain. Students busied themselves trimming sail, tacking ship due to blustery weather, while the afternoon crew heaved to and enjoyed a swim on calmer waters.
The students signed up for this event from across the state and beyond, as part of the kick off events that bring incoming Honors college students together before fall classes begin. The day before, they participated in the first Honors College orientation day. The Jeanie B has become the adopted “official vessel” of the Honors College. Students find her an ideal place to help smooth the transition to ECU so that when classes begin they can “hit the decks running.” What better introduction to the Pirate Nation. Arrgghh!!