High School on a Ship
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My first week at sea

By Emma Antoniussen (@emmalanto) | Sep 10, 2017 | Shipboard Life

My name is Emma, I am 17 years old, and I am currently a student at A+ World Academy 2017/2018.

Now that I’m writing this post, a week has passed on the tall ship Sørlandet. We are on our first voyage towards Porto in Portugal, and I think everyone is as excited as me for the fantastic year we have in front of us. This first week has been an experience in itself. We have learned all about how life on a tall ship is, and people are starting to adapt to life at sea. We have gotten to know all about masts, sails, knots, rules, safety routines etc., and although there has been plenty of information and some may have found it slightly overwhelming, it has been a ton of fun. We have all become sailors in these 7 past days.

Now, what has been the most challenging parts? I bet most students would answer this question with the word “seasickness”. The first few days nearly all of the students and the teachers struggled with a bad stomach, which also led to more tasks for the ones who didn’t react, like me for instance. Luckily, it didn’t last long, and everyone is feeling better already. Before I went on the ship, I expected living with a bunch of new people, having someone around at all times would be a bit of a challenge. Especially seeing that I am used to living as an only child, spending a lot of time by myself. Surprisingly, this hasn’t been an issue at all! The ship is filled with kind, funny, intelligent, friendly and outgoing students, and I am already starting to feel like I have 59 new siblings. I can’t wait to spend the 9 next months of my life with these amazing people.

To answer the question, I would say time management has been my biggest challenge. You have to keep in mind that you are not the only one living on the ship, and what you do and how you act has consequences for everyone. Getting quickly out of bed, being fast in the showers, being precise to watches and musters are a few things that I have learned to manage this week, but it is all starting to become a habit.

All things considered it has been a wonderful week. I have learned so many new things and met so many fantastic new people. I have overcome my fear of heights by climbing the rig, I have set sails, I have hauled ropes and I have made a tall ship feel like home. Now I’m looking forward to starting school and getting into schedule. Last but not least, I can’t wait to arrive at all the incredible ports we are visiting, learning about new cultures and traditions from all over the world. I´m sure the upcoming year will be one of the highlights of my life, and that I will have tons of stories to tell and experiences to share from this once in a lifetime opportunity that the A+ World Academy has given me.