Ocean Sailing and Navigation (9-12)

sail boat

Welcome aboard the 130-foot schooner Roseway for seven days of sailing, where you will learn the time-honored arts of the seafarer.  All students will participate fully in the 24-hour life of the ship, including standing watch with the professional crew and performing all of the daily operational tasks of the voyage – setting and trimming sails, steering, navigation, line handling and knots, and emergency procedures.  The emphasis over the course of the program will be to learn about the teamwork and leadership skills necessary to create an effective community aboard ship.  One of the features of the Immersion Sailing class is the opportunity to make extended passages over open water, which involves standing watches and sailing through the night.  In an effort to connect students with the long and storied history of maritime travel and service, we will be reading selections from various novels, writing in journals, and learning sea shanties, which were the “work songs” of old.

Prior to our departure from Los Angeles, we will focus on the two major academic objectives of the trip: navigation skills and marine ecology.  Navigation studies begin with basic chart plotting, using many of the tools sailors used prior to the age of electronics.  The challenge of pinpointing a ship’s position and plotting its course will progress from simple “dead reckoning” techniques through two- and three-bearing fixes, and we will begin to apply astronomical sightings using sextants toward the end of the voyage.  These techniques will enable students to understand the complex workings behind GPS units which are so common today.  Our marine ecology unit will focus on pollution and its effects on the oceans and marine life.  We will begin by studying the global ocean currents by which pollutants are distributed throughout the world, and students will read about the great “garbage patches” located in the central oceans and discuss various approaches to solving this truly international problem.

Offshore Passage on Schooner Roseway

Dave Badger

Dates of Travel: December 9-16, 2017
Travel Fee: $2900