Student reflection - The Grand Atlantic
By Karen Røinås | Feb 3, 2020 |
Dear families and friends reading this, Last time I received the honor of writing one of these letters to you was in the Gran Canary Islands, and on behalf of all the students onboard, I can tell you that we have had an incredible time since. After our sail to Cabo Verde and ten-day stay there, with a joyful Christmas celebration and cultural experiences, we finally had the grand Atlantic Crossing in front of us. Being one of my favorites, this sail was definitely an unforgettable adventure.
Thursday, the 31st of December, A+ World Academy set the sails toward the horizon and left all civilization
behind. To start, we received a thorough safety course, in case any accidents were to occur. Being more than
three hundred nautical miles away from shore, we needed to be prepared to help each other and ourselves.
As well as with emergencies like fire and abandon ship exercises.
From there on, we then had a lot fun with New Year’s preparations. Lead by our lovely teacher and family
member, Bridget, we had, for example, some awesome games up on deck. We had knot competitions, rag
competitions, egg competitions, and not to forget, a very popular cookie-eating competition, made by “Baking
Club” the night before. Unfortunately, watch 4 did not win any of these, however we were very good on the
cookie part. As for when afternoon emerged, we enjoyed a lovely family dinner, cooked by the chef and
steward, Martin and Tomasz. When the time came, we also dropped a beautifully decorated fender down on
main deck, as a miniature “Ball”. Our Dean, Emily, and many students put a lot of effort into this. It was such a
fun and memorable day!
What I would also love to mention is our equator crossing, when we were patiently sailing toward the
beautiful island Fernando de Noronha. We had close to no wind, due to the dolgines, and it was a warm and
beautiful day. At colors, which is our daily morning meeting up on main deck, we were all standing excited for
the day. Out from Aft came our Australian teacher, Kate, storming as Davy Jones. Dressed up as one of Tritons
messengers, she had come from his deep, dark kingdom. He had commanded us to pay for our sins, and the
fact that we crossed into the Southern Hemisphere without his permission. Watch by watch, we were
“baptized”, saw the doctor to take our medicine (a concoction put together by the galley team), and saw the
barber where we could either have a bit of hair cut off, or have our hair dyed with impermanent dye. Many
students and crew lost beards, brows and hair that day. Including our good friend Lena, for example, who
decided that she wanted to go bald for the occasion. What matters is that we survived with our dignity intact.
Again, sailing across the Atlantic Ocean was an amazing experience! We have pushed our limits, learned,
laughed, cried, and celebrated, all in the same period. As for now, we are all looking forward to the Carribeans
Kind regards, Karen Røinås.