It is such a shame to see the sailing vessel Spirit of South Carolina sitting another school year out tied to the pier. She should be doing what she was built to do — educating the youth of South Carolina.

I used to watch as 25-30 fifth graders and their teacher walked off the ship after a day of sailing and lessons matched to their classroom studies. I could see on their faces that they had fun that day.

What I could not see was a way to quantify their experience.

If you could not put a percentage point to the number of students reached in a positive way, how could you sell the idea?

If the experience could not be quantified, how do you justify the cost?

I was sure a spark had been lit in some of the students. I figured that spark might smolder for years in some before it flared. I do not think that there is truly a way to quantify and put a price on an educational experience like that which the Spirit of South Carolina could be providing.

Colin Bentley

Old Pond Road

Johns Island