Life aboard a fully-rigged Tall Ship is (probably) unlike anything you have previously experienced. Life at sea is busy. Balancing classes, homework, and watches is a challenging exercise in time management. If you are up to the challenge, you will build routines that you will value for the rest of your life.
Most of your spare time at sea is spent on socializing with your friends and the occasional game night, movie night on deck or swim call. At A+, we encourage initiative and responsibility. The clubs are therefore all organised by the students and vary from year to year. What clubs there are and how often they meet depends on student initiative. Clubs typically vary from baking club and yoga club to photo club, podcasting club, and different sporting clubs.
Students can also participate in the democratic process of running for, and electing a Student Government. The purpose of this group will be to coordinate Student Activities, to liaise with shipboard staff and faculty and to assist in the overall good functioning of our ship community.
Here is one example of what a day might look like at sea:
- 0700-0730: Wake up: Your wake up call comes and you begin your morning routine. You stow away your hammock or tidy your bunk, and get ready for breakfast.
- 0800: Colours: At 0800 sharp, students gather to hoist the flag and hear maritime-, faculty- and/or student announcements. The students assemble in watches and are given their shipboard tasks for the day.
- 0815-0900 Daily cleaning: Students are assigned specific duties related to the care and maintenance of their home, the Sørlandet. This includes cleaning and tidying, deck scrubs and work in the galley.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks are important parts of the day. Our chefs on board plan the meals with the intention of creating a healthy and balanced diet, and meals are designed to let students experience different cuisines from around the world. Students who are vegetarian or have dietary restrictions are asked to notify the medic and the chefs will accommodate your needs. The students help in the preparation of every meal when they are on galley duty.
- Classes: Classes are interspersed throughout the day. Students attend classes for approximately 4-6 hours between 9 am and 6 pm. At select times of the week students have study hall, where teachers are available to assist with individual academic work.
- 1800: Fitness: Fitness activities will vary depending on the conditions. Typically, we offer aerobics, crossfit and yoga on deck, as well as jogging in port, or swimming at anchor. Students will also keep active through sailtraining that can be physically demanding.
- Down time: Every day includes time for students to relax and socialize or to have some alone time. Social activities, movie nights, card games, or musical interludes are all part of daily life aboard.
- 2200-0700: Rest time: Between 10 pm and 7 am, it is quiet time below deck. Students climb into their hammocks and rest up for the next day’s adventure. All students sleep in the banjer, men and women separated. With a bedroom in motion, a hammock is the bed of choice.
In port you’ll have more time to explore new cities and countries. When you’re not on field studies or doing lab work, you will have time for relaxation and exploration with your friends, or to prepare some of you academic work. The balance, approximately 50% of available time, is intended for students, in groups of 4, to explore the culture and rhythm of a new environment, enjoy local food, visit museums, enjoy local beach recreation, such as swimming and snorkelling. This will also be a valuable time to do research on your extended essay and for seniors to finish up college applications. Reasonable curfew is enforced aboard the vessel to ensure students are well-rested and alert for all activities.