High School on a Ship
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Break on Barbados

By Siv Anita Årsnes | Feb 19, 2018 | Field Studies, Students

What is better after 12 days of school than to see paradise with your own eyes? Our adventure continued at the morning 9th of January as watch one woke up to see light in the horizon. The island was so small from this angle that I took it for being a cruise ship, but it was in fact Barbados! We took down the sails so that we could be able to sail in to anchor without the use of the motor. It was no point in making plans for this morning, since everyone that did not have classes were supposed to help with the anchoring.

After my first class, I went up to help and I was struck by how beautiful everything was. I had never seen a sea this clear before and it was like a mirror of the sky, an intense light blue. The beach covered almost the whole coast and it looked like Bridgetown arose in between the jungle. We had finally done it! We crossed the Atlantic sea only by using the sails, and we did it in only 12 days! You could see on all the students faces the proud expression because of what we had achieved.

The next five days was used to finish the schooldays that we were supposed to have before arriving for real. Even so, the feeling of weekend was already in the air… or the sensation of rain. What we did not know before we came here was that it could get wet, and that happened fast. Rain showers were a typical thing here, so the sun sail was as much used to hide under to cover for the rain. This was the perfect time to sharpen our drying techniques. We quickly discovered that if you let the clothes dry until twelve, then it would get dry before the rain showers started.

Every single lunch was also dedicated half an hour to swim call! Here the crew also came up with the idea of attaching a swing rope to the fore course to give us more fun. The crazy part was that the water was not cold at all. It was the warmest I have encountered so far on the trip, and we could see all the way to the bottom. The weather was also slightly warmer than the other places and I want to claim that it was even warmer that the Sub-Saharan desert!

The 14th of January surprised the teachers and crew us with the news that we were allowed to go in to land already after we were finished with school that day at six! The problem with having school on a ship is that you have schooldays every single day when you are at sea and then you have weekends in port. What we did not think about was that it was Sunday. When it is Sunday on a small island, everything is closed. Everyone rushed out of the ship with their groups in search for good restaurants with Wi-Fi so we could see what had happened in the world the last 18 days. Instead, almost the whole school ended up eating on a 24/7 fast-food store with cheap food compared to the normal cost in Barbados.

The next two days were dedicated for most people to the beach. Everyone were snorkeling and swimming for several hours and just enjoying the sun and the food. I could see that it helped on the mood a lot to get this little weekend before we should continue for five days until our next destination; Columbia!