High School on a Ship
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Shipboard life

The school is exciting, demanding, and not for everyone. Not only are you a student at the school, but you also take part in sailing and maintaining the world’s oldest operating fully-rigged tall ship. You will have a day watch and a night watch with challenging chores that will teach you to push your limits and show you that you are more capable than you thought you were.

As part of a crew that needs to work together in order to reach the next destination, you will not only learn about sailing and seamanship but also important life skills such as accountability, leadership and teamwork.

It will be hard, but worth it. With the right mindset you will go ashore more independent, more mature and with a life story that will set you apart in any college application process.

Day watch:

For 2 hours of the day, students will work on navigating and sailing the ship with the officer of the watch. They will aid with routine maintenance with the bosun, take part in hauling, bracing and furling and loosing sails aloft in addition to the physical positions of helming, helm standby, safety, and lookout.

At helm you control the ship, and make sure that you’re following the course assigned by the officer on watch
On helm standby, you’re present and help the helmsman with his/her duties
At safety you perform routine safety rounds to make sure that everyone is safe.
At lookout you scan the horizon for obstacles or situations that the officers need to be aware of.

Night watch:

All students are assigned a 2 hour night watch at some point throughout the evening (8 pm to 8 am). The watches rotate every 5-6 weeks so you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the pros and cons of every watch. You will certainly feel tired, but you will also experience what it means to be dependable, and experience some amazing sunrises. What’s certain; whether helming on the open ocean in the moonlight, or standing lookout during the sunrise in the middle of the Atlantic, you will never feel as small or experience something as great.

Galley Watch

A group of students will be assigned galley duty on an 10 day rotational basis.  Students assigned to galley duty are relieved from regular watch responsibilities for that day and the night prior. On galley duty you will help the cooks in preparing the meals (you will become a master potato peeler), set up for food service in the banjer and in the saloon and clean up after food service.

Idle hands

Every day a group of students are designated as idle hands. These students, who are not in class during this time, are on standby if more students are needed on deck for sail maneuvers. 

Sailtraining

You don’t have to know how to sail in order to attend this high school at sea. Naturally you will learn much throughout the year. Every student will receive a Student Logbook that outlines different sections of sail training. Some of the elements (for example emergency preparedness) will be mandatory for students to learn, while other will be optional for those who take a special interest in sailing. Throughout the year student will have the opportunity to learn basic seamanship, marlinspike seamanship, about sails and rigging, navigation and piloting in addition to emergency procedures to ensure everyone’s safety.

The Sørlandet Seamanship levels

The Sørlandet seamanship training system consists of three sequential levels: “Jungmann”, “Matroslærling” and “Styrmannskadett”. By completing all three levels you can earn the distinction of being a “Sørlandet sjømann” – Sørlandet seaman.

Each level builds upon the latter. The “Jungmann” level is mandatory and covers basic seamanship. Upon completion a student will be an able hand on deck. “Jungmenn” are capable of displaying tasks such as basic ship operation and seamanship, safety procedures and shipboard routines.

The “Matroslærling” will have a solid foundation in ship life and be able to assist the crew in a multitude of tasks. The focal point of this level is navigation at the support level, sail theory and marlinspike seamanship. By completing this level a student can be examined by the Captain according to STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers) A-II/4 .

The “Styrmannskadett” has a combination of skills and intimate knowledge of the ship and the shipboard systems. The focal point of this level is to expand upon navigational knowledge.

Once a student completes the “Styrmannkadett” level , a student may choose to reach for the last and final level: “Sørlandet sjømann”. There are two requirements: completion of all the components of the Sørlandet manual and an interview examination. The interview is paneled by the Captain, the heads of all four departments, the Bosun, and one on board who has achieved this distinction.

At the end of the year the student’s logbook will serve as documentation on their competencies and can be used to apply for a STCW A-II/4 certificate. It is a student’s responsibility to apply for these certifications.

The different levels consist of the following training:

Jungmann

General knowledge

  • General 1: Demonstrate an understanding for fresh water consumption
  • General 2: Describe the ship´s garbage handling system
  • General 3: Demonstrate an understanding of the ships cleaning routines and techniques. Know the location of cleaning equipment.

Safety

  • Safety 1: Command structures
  • Safety 2: Shipboard policies and rules
  • Safety 3: Routines; day at sea and day in port.
  • Safety 4: Life jackets and personal survival equipment
  • Safety 5: Alarms and basic emergency procedure: fire fighting equipment, man over board and abandon ship
  • Safety 6: Locating and using emergency escape routes
  • Safety 7: The importance of and usage of the water/weather tight doors
  • Safety 8: Marine pollution prevention and practices
  • Safety 9: How to properly use a safety harness and safe climbing practices
  • Safety 10: Personal protective equipment and its importance

Watch duties

Watch 1: Helm the vessel under the supervision of a crew member. State what to do when given a new course to steer. Demonstrate how to hand over the helm to another person and define certain helming terms. You will also need to ship´s compasses
Watch 2: Physical watch duties

Deck work

  • Deck 1: Demonstrate basic lashing, stowing for sea and general tidiness
  • Deck 2 : Line and pin control. Palm, make fast and coil and hang a line. Explain basic line handling commands.
  • Deck 3: Beginner knots: Tie bowline, reef knot, figure eight, half hitch, marlin hitch, clove hitch, sheet bend, rolling hitch.
  • Deck 4: Identify and explain the function of all sail handling lines.
  • Deck 5: Describe the Sørlandet’s rig, name all the sail and define certain nautical and rigging terms.
  • Deck 6: Loose and stow a sail. Demonstrate a gasket coil.
  • Deck 7: Actively participate in mooring by assisting with fenders and mooring lines. Know the names of the different mooring lines. Demonstrate correct coiling and tossing of a heaving line. Apply chafe gear and rat boards.

Galley work

  • Galley 1: Discuss galley safety issues with regards to hygiene, safe practices and fire prevention.

Systems and Social responsibility

  • Complete the familiarization sheet from the Safety Management System.
  • Describe and exemplify in day to day life: “Ship, shipmate, self”.

Matroslærling

General knowledge

  • Assumes completion of all Jungmann level items

Safety

  • Safety 11: Demonstrate basic first aid for relevant injuries (for example hyperthermia).
  • Safety 12: Identify fire hazards and how to reduce them
  • Safety 13: Identify and locate firefighting systems on board
  • Safety 14: Explain how to launch and board life rafts. What is life raft etiquette and procedures following abandoning of the ship?
  • Safety 15: Locate and describe the use of all distress signaling equipment on board. Know all international distress signals.
  • Safety 16: Know how to avoid false distress alerts and action to be taken in event of accidental activation
  • Safety 17: Describe procedures for launching the MOB boat
  • Safety 18: Explain how to set up and prepare the ship for heavy weather. Demonstrate how to rig grab lines.

Watch duties

  • Watch 3:Demonstrate proficiency in helming when sailing and by engine. Steer by magnetic compass. Box the compass. Explain what a gyro compass is and procedures to change over from manual to auto pilot. Explain additional helming terms.
  • Watch 4:Demonstrate how to report bearing of a sound signal, light or other objects in degrees and points. Name and describe the lights carried when sailing, using engine and at anchor. Describe the differences between under/over 50 and 100 meters in length. Describe the ship´s day signals and sound signals.
  • Watch 5: Describe color, light, day shape and know where safe water is for the following: Port/starboard lateral marks and cardinal marks. Which IALA region is the ship currently in?
  • Watch 6: Identify various types of sail and motor vessels.
  • Watch 7: Describe anchor handling procedures and capstan use. Describe the three different anchor stows. Explain how to determine if the ship is dragging.
  • Watch 8: Describe maritime flag etiquette and identify the following signal flags: A. B, G, H, O, P, Q

Deck work

  • Deck 8: Demonstrate mousing, whipping, square seizing, eye splice and serving
  • Deck 9 : Discuss different types of pain, varnish, grease and rig coatings. Describe how to prepare, apply coats and square up.
  • Deck 10: Explain the importance of and participate in ship´s maintenance routines. Explain what TM-Master V2 is.
  • Deck 11: Know different types of block and tackles and their advantages/disadvantages. Describe the use of a strop/stopper and the use of the cargo boom.
  • Deck 12: Explain when and why to sending down on bending on sails and how it is done.
  • Deck 13 Explain certain ship’s terms

Navigation

  • Navigation 1 Explain certain navigation terms

Engine

  • Engine 1: Locate different tanks on board and describe their use. Obtain basic understanding of; Main engine, generators/electric systems, bilge systems and toilets

Social Responsibility

  • Describe and exemplify in day to day life: “Ship, shipmate, self”.

Once these tasks are completed a student can undertake Leadership 1. This means leading a watch as an AB under supervision of the AB and Officer on Watch. Effectively explain, plan and execute sail handling and trimming with your watch.