The Gazela Primeiro, an 1883 Portugese fishing vessel, is owned by the Philadelphia Maritime Museum and is being used as a living museum, allowing modern day sailors to experience yesteryears' sailing life. The Gazela winters in Portland, Maine and sails each year with a complement of 40. The author shows and tells of shipboard life and the trip from Portland to Norfolk visiting ports along the way. The officers and training crew are Maine windjammers teaching Naval Sea Cadets from Philadelphia and Kansas City how to "let go and haul" while tacking ship. In three weeks, the crew experiences weather that goes from force 8 to a three day calm; she's greeted by a one fire boat salute in New York City's Harbor and is narrowly missed by a modern day cargo ship. Excitement, thrill, and hardships are packed into this three weeks aboard the Gazela Primeiro.

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