Dancing in Dakar

Posted on 12 December 2018 @ 6:59pm

Dancing in Dakar

Arriving to Senegal was very exciting for everyone since we had the port presentation in La Palma, excitement had started to build up. It was very shocking the first time we went out of the boat: the area we were in was very different from what we are used to seeing in other, more developed ports. The streets where all full of sand and everything seemed to be under construction. Anyhow, our snack bags were full since the first day on land, as per usual.

Dakar, Senegal: Not Just Another Port

Posted on 12 December 2018 @ 5:15pm

Dakar, Senegal: Not Just Another Port

As our time in Dakar has come to an end and we prepare for our first Atlantic crossing to Fernando De Noronha we are all excited but sad to be leaving such an interesting port. We were able to spend five full days exploring a city that many of us never had visited before. This port was extra special because we got a more local perspective of the city, since a lot of our port program was shared with the students from the LCB school. On our first day with them, we got to visit their school and we had conversations about the similarities and differences between our two cultures. They were able to come aboard the boat and we got to show them around our home.

Sailing the Gulden Leeuw

Posted on 11 December 2018 @ 1:20pm

Sailing the Gulden Leeuw

As we sailed out of Valencia and into the pale blue Mediterranean, I was preparing myself for a lengthy ten day sail. But time seems to pass a lot faster out at sea, where the constant activity of school and sailing keep you busy during the day, and night watch, despite only being two hours, seems to blur the separation between one day and the next. I’ve come to enjoy my time at sea, almost as much as time in port.

It’s a Dry Program

Posted on 10 December 2018 @ 6:43pm

It’s a Dry Program

During our sail from Madeira to Morocco, right after we got out of the shelter of the islands, open water lead to some very rough seas. This caught us by surprise. I was on watch at this time, my watch and I were setting and managing multiple sails. The wind kept picking up as we got further out to sea. Suddenly we heard a loud crash! The inner jib had torn, sending the sail flying to the starboard side of the ship. At this point, the ship had been keeled over so far water was spilling into the breezeways. A crew member and I were told to go on the bow spread to pack the sail. Climbing up there was unreal, feeling the force of the wind on my body was terrifying yet exciting. When the job was done, we climbed back down only to hear a second sail had been ripped, the Mizzen. That was the beginning of our small yet rough ocean crossing. 

Sailing from Morocco to La Palma

Posted on 10 December 2018 @ 5:27pm

Sailing from Morocco to La Palma

On the 8th of November, we left Morocco to go back to sea. It felt weird at first because we had readjusted to life on land during the past week, but we quickly got back into our routine of daily life on the ship. As much as I was sad because the time we spent in port was incredible, I was happy to finally be back to the boat and sail again. The boat was not rocking so much because the waves and wind were pretty calm. It made the time to get to La Palma, Canary Islands, very enjoyable. Every day, on day watch, we had the opportunity to set the sails and be on the helm to control the direction of the boat. There is nothing that can beat a very sunny day when the water is so blue, and all the sails are up. As we were on watch, many big dolphins were jumping high out of the water. There was a big group of them following our boat, putting on a show for us.

Life at Sea: Sometimes Smooth, Sometimes Not

Posted on 4 December 2018 @ 9:26pm

Life at Sea: Sometimes Smooth, Sometimes Not

The voyage from Madeira to Morocco was only 4 days but felt like an eternity. Shortly after departing Funchal, Madeira, everyone was refreshed and excited for the short sail to Morocco. Shortly after that, the mood changed. As soon as we cleared the islands’ shelter, we were hit by 25 knot winds (40+ km/h) and up to 6m swells. Just 30 minutes into the rough water, the excitement faded, and the breezeways were packed with sick and tired Floaties. A few of us, including myself, felt right at home in these tough conditions and before we knew it, we were doing 9 knots of speed with only 4 sails: the forstaysail, mainstaysail, inner jib, and lower topsail.

How a Four Day Eternity Flew By

Posted on 4 December 2018 @ 6:32pm

How a Four Day Eternity Flew By

After spending an amazing seven days immersed in the marvellous Moroccan culture, Class Afloat set sail towards the Canary Islands, towards our parents. The anticipation was unreal. After the amazing adventures in Morocco, both students and staff were reluctant to leave. Nevertheless, the thought of seeing parents for the first time in two months made us willing to be back on the Gulden Leeuw again. We unpacked our bargained goods onto the ship; sea chests filled up with Moroccan pottery, spices, clothing, and possibly, but probably, illegal dates (illegal as there is no food allowed in the dorms).

Class Afloat Instagram Top Ten: Morocco, Canary Islands and More!

Posted on 21 November 2018 @ 7:57pm

Class Afloat Instagram Top Ten: Morocco, La Palma and More!

CLASS AFLOAT TOP TEN

Selection criteria: Photos must be taken by a Class Afloat student and must have been posted on Instagram (not necessarily taken) during the month for which they are to be considered for Top Ten. 

Madeira’s Landscapes: A Cultural and Culinary Journey

Posted on 2 November 2018 @ 3:46pm

Madeira’s Landscapes: A Cultural and Culinary Journey

Our second stop in Portugal was without a doubt as breathtaking as the first, with it’s beautiful mountains, it’s coastal houses and it’s rich culture.

Mallorca: A Day at the Beach

Posted on 2 November 2018 @ 3:32pm

Mallorca: A Day at the Beach

We arrived in Mallorca, refreshed after only a short sail from Porto. I was on watch to raise the anchor and for arrival in port. I was the jumper which meant my job was to go ashore when we arrived in port. We showed great teamwork as Ellie, Alex and Joe rushed to throw over the dock lines to me on port side with Crew directing. We were soon secured quay side and all of us on watch collapsed in exhaustion from the weight of the ropes and the heat of Mallorca. Others were finishing the last classes of the day, eager to explore the surprise port as I rushed off to English and then Chemistry.