Walcott’s mention of “each phrase go be soaked in salt” represented well my experience of trying to take notes on the wave- and rain-soaked deck so that I could document the specialized language used aboard the sailing ship and could write the magazine article the way the editor requested. There was no way that I could rely upon my memory for this detail. Given the volume of sea water sloshing about, I couldn’t use the Notes app on my iphone nor could I use a regular notebook. Each moment on the rocking deck and in the hold brimmed with characters, dialogue, and action. I needed a reliable note taking tool.
I pitched a story about a historic Maine schooner leading a secret life as a floating college science classroom to Portland Magazine. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to capture a slice of one of the few semester-long full-time and full-immersion field science programs in the country.