Season 1, Episode 6

Tall Ship

Marcus and Ed take on the challenge of sailing a Tall Ship off the coast of California to a chain of islands and then returning back to port.

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Ed and Marcus arrive at Oxnard Marina in California. Captain Steven says their challenge is to sail his traditionally rigged Tall Ship, Bill of Rights, from the marina to Anacapa Island and back -- a 30 mile round trip -- in under eight hours.

First, Marcus and Ed must climb to the top of the ship's 108-ft tall mast, walk from one side to the other, then climb back down. Whoever completes the task faster gets to be the ship's Captain. (The other is First Mate.) Ed slips on his way down, but regains his footing and wins.

While Marcus reads Tall Ship manuals, Ed gets tips from the crew about what makes a good captain: clear communication and proper use of commands during tacking (sailing in a zigzag pattern when traveling upwind). Separately, Captain Steven also advises Marcus on proper tacking technique.

Once in open water, Captain Steven turns the ship and crew over to Ed and Marcus. Marcus orders, “Hands to gaskets” and “Haul away.” The crew unties, unfurls, and raises the sails. Ed fails to go fast enough when tacking so the sails go limp. On a subsequent attempt, Ed gets the hang of it and puts the ship on course towards Anacapa Island.

As they reach the island, Captain Steven warns Ed and Marcus of an upcoming storm. The wind picks up so Marcus and Ed take down the jib topsail to prevent it from ripping. Without the front sail, the ship's speed slows dramatically.

With seven miles remaining, Ed and Marcus bring down the remaining sails and use the ship's engine to get safely back to harbor -- forfeiting the original challenge of sticking to wind power. That said, the guys keep ahead of the storm and arrive at the marina with 30 minutes to spare. Since Ed and Marcus made good decisions under extreme conditions, the Captain says they still win. Marcus and Ed praise the crew for their "steely determination," while Ed admits that, "Sailing through that storm scared the living daylights out of me."