For those of you wondering, Jack survived the Age of Sail. Just barely (kidding). After a restless night (for me!), listening to the pouring rain and wondering how wet and cold they all were, I finally got the email from the school yesterday morning that the bus carrying our sailors was half an hour away. Got there a few minutes before it pulled in, so I was waiting in the courtyard of the school when he stumbled off the bus, damp and exhausted.
I think he had a good time, but it definitely had its ups and downs. He didn't like the food (expected that). The vegetable stew (beef stew?) was "gross and disgusting." He ate cornbread for dinner.
He said they were kept busy late into the night and when they finally went to bed, he had a tough time going to sleep (I'll bet). Then his crew was awakened at 4:00 am (yuck!!!) to stand watch on deck, in the rain. They were to "watch for pirates" for an hour and forty minutes. Doesn't sound like fun times to me, either. When finally allowed to go back to bed, he was unable to go back to sleep, probably from being so cold and wet. Then the Captain came in at 6:00 yelling, "Get up, you scurvy dogs!" Time for breakfast.
Unfortunately for Jack, he misplaced his galley gear somewhere between dinner and breakfast, so he wasn't allowed to have hot chocolate and coffee cake like everyone else. He said he cried. Luckily, we packed him some food from home (cold cheese pizza, a chewy granola bar, some Ritz crackers), so that's what he had for breakfast. Seems harsh.
I had planned to take him for lunch somewhere when he got back at noon, cause I knew he would be starving. But all he wanted to do was to come home, so he took a hot shower while I made him a grilled cheese sandwich. It's good to be home again!
His dad and I had written him two "letters from home," which were delivered by the Captain at the ship's mail call. He only had time to read the one from his dad before they had to go back to "work," so he brought home my letter unopened. We read it together last night as we snuggled on the bed for reading time before bed. As expected, my letter made him teary, even though I'd tried to make it very nonchalant. It's a good thing he didn't read it till he got home. It might have only been a reminder to him how much he missed us all.
I know he'll remember this experience for the rest of his life. I wouldn't have wanted him to miss it, even though I don't think he'd do it again. He and his buddies can always talk about how cold and wet they were, but it will always be a shared experience. He did well.