High School on a Ship
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The most eventful week yet!

By Katharina Sommerfelt | Oct 11, 2017 | Shipboard Life

We left Cadiz on a Saturday, and every Sunday we have family dinner with all the teachers and the crew. All the tables are set and we do also get ice cream for dessert. The Sunday after departure, we had our first movie night outside. Imagine lying on deck with all your shipmates around you, sharing popcorn while watching a movie projected on one of the sails under the stars. We watched “Jaws,” which was an ironic choice considering that we live amongst the sharks all year long.

A couple of days later, we sat inside and had class when our dean, Ms. Cooper walked in with an eloquent smile. A few seconds later she yelled, “Swim call!” I have never seen so many students change into swimsuits and shorts in such a short time. When we have swim call, we brace the main yards in a certain way so that we are laying still. The sun was shining, the water was flat and the temperature was perfect. When I think back to the last swim call we had on our way to Cadiz, this time it was actually possible to stay in the water for more than 20 seconds. When we are at sea, we have school normally every day except the day we arrive in port. It can be quite challenging to have school consequently for two weeks, and these breaks are very much appreciated. 

If that was not enough, later that day we got a visit from pilot whales! At first, I thought I saw a dolphin far away, but it was much larger than a normal dolphin, moved very slowly and it was alone at first. When it came closer, he had brought with him some friends. Everyone rushed from side to side to get a glimpse of the whales, the ship was close to tipping. They stayed around us for more than half an hour, and it was almost like they made a show for us. Later that day, when I was on deck, a sea turtle swam by! You never know what you will see, from whales and turtles to dolphins and tunas. 

On this part of the voyage, from Cadiz to Toulon, we expected no wind, but when I was standing on helm last Saturday it changed. In a few minutes the speed increased from around two knots to eleven knots. This is the fastest speed we had in the last two weeks. It is so exciting to be on this ship, something happens all the time.

When we were mustering this Sunday, we were all wondering why the teachers were dressed for winter in the middle of the Mediterranean? They gathered in the middle of the main deck, and after some excited murmuring they turned around and told us that today was snow day! No school, and the teachers were cooking the dinner! This was a pleasant surprise, as we were all getting a bit overwhelmed by school at this point.  Even though we did not have school, we had deep cleaning. This is something we have once every week, where every corner of the ship is cleaned until it is shining. Dinner was delicious, but it was weird and unusual that the teachers served us dinner, and not the opposite. All the teachers wore their cute aprons, and it was a nice change. 

This last week I have experienced so much it is absolutely crazy. Considering that I have only been here for about a month I am exited for the rest of the voyage.

Cheers, Katharina Sommerfelt