Nov 8, 2018

Class Afloat Open SailsThough all of us floaties are different, my day starts around 0730, waking up to the sound of Collin’s elevator music gracefully flowing through the galley doors, later nestling itself into my sleep deprived ears. Indubitably, anyone would leap out of bed to relieve themselves from the torture of listening to another minute of that music. From then on it is go time; I must get up, take my chances and pray that one of the two showers are vacant, put my clothes on, then devour my breakfast. This is all done before we muster for colours, a time where I finally have a chance to take a breath. At colours we do role call, ensuring that no one has vanished in their sleep, later going over our plans for the day, and revealing any new announcements. We then assemble in to our watch groups, split up into different sections of the boat, and scrub off all the previous days filth, accounting for every inch.

Our schedules begin at 0900, unless one is blessed with a first period spare; in that case, one has a much-needed chance to regain some lost sleep. Each day has five periods, consisting of classes, watch, and free period. After five days, the schedule has gone through a full rotation, and therefore begins to repeat itself.

Classes here are nowhere close to comparable to an ordinary class setting. Our walls are curtains, making it a win-win scenario for gaining information not only in our scheduled class, but also the neighbouring class; I am used to hearing about precalculus problems in my left ear, while George Orwell sneaks over the curtain and makes his way into my right. Sometimes a gust of wind will throw the boat to the side, tossing books and papers off the table, simultaneously forming a pile of students at the end of a bench. These distractions certainly create difficulties, especially when writing exams, but I am confident that they will only build resilience, making linear algebra classes next year a breeze.

Hard At Work Ryan hard at work in Oceans class. Do not fret, our teacher, Siobhan was quick to get him to his feet.

Watch is work time on the boat, at least for those who don’t slack off. I may or may not be one of these people; it changes from day to day. Various tasks must be completed during watch: rust busting and painting; setting, maneuvering, or furling sails; charting in the bridge; or safeguarding the ship by keeping lookout and doing regular checks. Being watch leader is a coveted position among my watch, initiating a frenzy of students who would fight for the death for the position if it weren’t for the humble first officer Adriaan settling us down. This position basically makes you the captain while on watch. Sort of.

I envision myself swinging from lines from the top of the masts, hair flying in my face, fighting off pirates with swords and cannons, and sliding, slicing down the main sail with a knife, just like captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean. This is at least until the captain comes up from behind, waking me up to give me a command, snapping me back to the dismal reality where the time has come to record data in the log book.

Climb The Sails My dreams becoming a reality. I am just lacking the long hair.

After dinner, when all homework is complete, it is time to kick off our boots; or so to speak since we’re required to wear shoes at all time aboard the ship. This is a time where everyone settles into their own niche among the diverse, constantly fluctuating, Gulden Leeuw ecosystem. Some nestle in to a movie, sharing laughs at old classic, regardless of having home origins on opposite sides of the globe. Others sing, write, or paint, expressing their feelings while blowing off steam from a hard day’s work. I spend most of my free time conversing with friends, reciting stories from back home, or reminiscing about new ones which are ceaselessly created day to day. By now, everyone here understands just about everything there is to know about each other.

Open Book Penelope (left) and Nyre (right) creating beautiful pieces of art with pastels, one of the many activities enjoyed aboard.

The student mechanics and functionality onboard the Gulden Leeuw are ineffable. The only ones who truly understand it are its inhabitants. Though all machines need maintenance, our society works as a well-oiled one; each of us students the gears, interminably operating, day and night, playing our part whether it be small or large, all to keep it running smoothly.

class-alfoat-open-sails-400.jpgCaption: The stunning Gulden Leeuw swiftly gliding through the warm, saline water, soaking up the sunset of coastal Spain. The best English teacher in existence, Marylin and others launched the lifeboat for the photoshoot.

 

Jeremy Oestreicher
October 2, 2018
Jeremy Oestreicher, a 19 year old gap year student from Edmonton, is currently completing a full year at sea with Class Afloat. In this piece, Jeremy is reflecting upon a typical day on board the Gulden Leeuw.

Lifestyle

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Sailboat Under Cloudy Skies

By Joan Wenner, J.D.

Sailboat under cloudy sky by Bill Cox-Unsplash

Have you ever needed on-the-water assistance due to a mechanical breakdown, running aground, taking on water (perhaps from striking a submerged or floating object), having a mishap with another vessel, or have a medical emergency and the authorities are not near, but another mariner answers your mayday or perhaps observes your predicament. Another boater is in the vicinity, but will, or should, that person offer to help perhaps at his peril? What if you were that pleasure craft operator?

Read more about Good Samaritans............

 

  

Boat Reviews

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Read more about the Monte Carlo 52..............

 

John ArmstrongOur Canadian Yachting test team, John Armstong and Andy Adams, were at a Jeanneau media event called “Throttle Down” in St. Petersburg, Florida. The media event was held to highlight the Jeanneau Power Boat Line with the emphasis on their outboard models. 

The media event was scheduled to follow their Jeanneau dealer meetings, held earlier at Thunder Marine International in St. Petersburg. The Thunder Marine location is on the water and has a cooperative agreement with Jeanneau to host the full line of Jeanneau power boats in the water for dealer demonstration to their clients.

Read More about the Jeanneau Media Event...........

Destinations

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ChicagoBy Mark Stevens

Photos by Sharon Matthews-Stevens


From my perspective on the observation deck of 360 Chicago in the John Hancock Building, I have an eagle’s-eye view of this Lake Michigan metropolis.

The city stretched out before us is a forest of concrete. Toward the lake – right below us – there’s a beach volleyball game in progress. White triangles crisscross Caribbean-blue waters in the distance. Sunday morning must be race day – just like home.

 

Read more about Chicago....................

 

Marine Products

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