Students onboard with Pride of Baltimore II serving as floating classroom

"This all hits home for them," he said.

"It's a lot more hands-on, but you still get to learn stuff," said student Beth Walker, speculating that 1812-era deckhands probably were more muscular than she and her classmates.

Students in a GPS world even got a chance to test-drive the Pride, navigating only by compass and horizon.

"Look at the compass. What's it at?" Capt. Jan C. Miles asked Jacob Ambrozewicz, one of two students with a hand on the wheel.

"Hmm, 322," Jacob replied.

"And you want to be at…?" Miles asked, coaxing the answer: 320 degrees. "Go a little to the left," Miles said.

Jacob turned the wheel, watching the compass' heading move.

"I really like this," Jacob said as he piloted the Pride. "For once, I'm actually the boss."

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