Dear A+ Families and Friends, I apologize that this first email out to you has taken so long in coming! Life has been moving along swiftly onboard. The students started off the year operating under a three watch system, meaning that they were divided into three watches that stood four hour day and night watches. This allowed the students to get more maritime training at the start of the year, before the academics started. On September 4th, we transitioned into our academic schedule which operates under a six-watch system, with two hour day and night watches. It’s been wonderful to see the banjer once again transformed into a school.
We are now in our third port into the program. Our first port, Stavanger, included us visiting the Norwegian Petroleum Museum, Basic Safety, and helping clean-up a local beach. Throughout the port, we discussed the effects of the oil industry on Norway, sustainable living, and economic benefits vs environmental costs.
In our last port, Bergen, we helped out at a local Volunteer Day, where the students assisted in running activities for local children, serving meals, and setting-up and cleaning-up from the event. We also visited the Bergen Maritime Museum, had designated library time for those needing time for university and scholarship applications, heard a talk by Gunnar Garfors, and attended a private concert and tour at the Edvard Grieg Museum. The concert was incredible and led into some great watch group discussions on nationalism and music.
We currently in Ålesund and have a full port schedule in front of us. The students will hear a Norwegian Shipowners Association talk given by Elin Jeanette Barstad, take part in a fire safety course, and attend an Amnesty International Event. For our Field Experience, we will be learning about the local history, including the Ålesund resistance during WWII, the 1904 fire that razed the city to the ground, and the importance of the local fishing industry. Following the museum, we will discuss on a micro and macro level, the fishing industry, exploring its economic, cultural and environmental importance.
Then we are off to Dublin! We are all excited to get some actual time at sea under us, as we’ve only had short sails so far. On the upcoming sail we will also be holding our Student Council elections. The Student Council is an incredibly important part of the community onboard, and they actively work throughout the year as advocates for the students and positive change makers. It is a time-consuming and challenging position, and we look forward to seeing how the elections go.
Thank you for all the continued support!
Emily J. Waugh
Dean of School
A+ World Academy