By Land or By Sea: Adventures with Class Afloat

Posted on 30 October 2018 @ 7:31pm

By Land or By Sea: Adventures with Class Afloat

Small change of plans, we were supposed to set sail to Corsica. Instead we ended up on the way to Barcelona to avoid a heavy storm. So far, Class Afloat has been an incredible experience. All my peers are starting to feel like family more and more every day. Waking up every morning seeing the vast ocean makes me realize how lucky I am to get to experience this in my life.

Even though this planet’s oceans are seemingly infinite, it doesn’t mean that your plastic belongs in it. On board I am taking Oceanography. We are learning lots about this precious planet every day. Marine life is being heavily impacted by our own filthy daily decisions. Turtles are mistaking plastic bags for jelly fish, birds dive down into the ocean for fish and along the way they are eating loads of trash. Whales are swimming in a sea of plastic. You can choose to help the planet or hurt it. In class we are always talking about planning a beach clean-up but so far, it hasn’t happened. Whenever I see garbage around, even if it’s not in my own city, I always pick it up. When I see plastic float by me on the boat, it’s hard not being able to do much to help.   

Our first day in Barcelona was great. We had finished our half day of school, then it was time to step on shore again. Our days consisted of eating way too much food and walking lots, but I’m definitely not complaining. I prefer small groups that allows us to have free time to do whatever, whenever. If we are always in a rush to get somewhere, I feel like I can’t take in the beautiful architecture of these unique cities.

Stopping at a few parks in our journey around the city. There were so many different activities going on around me. Meditation/yoga classes, picnics, people sitting in circles with guitars jamming out with their friends. So many great things that seemed almost like it was part of their culture. At the end of the day when all the energy has been drained from your body you can’t help but appreciate your humble little bunk. Class Afloat has been teaching me to appreciate the little things in life like I never have before as well as helped me realize how many things I think I need but don’t.

Monday October 8th, Canadian Thanksgiving took place on our way to Valencia. The chef on board had the crew fooled throughout the day that we were eating spaghetti and meat balls for dinner. Lining up for our meal, we could smell food that didn’t quite smell like pasta. The students from galley walked up the stairs, placed the food in the mess, and everyone started cheering with joy. They had made a wonderful dinner including mashed potatoes, stuffing, chicken, and lovely roasted carrots. Sitting down with my friends staring at this beautiful plate of food being ready to devour it was immensely satisfying. The table waited, and everyone said things they are thankful for.

That night I went to sleep earlier than usual because I was so tired, I also had night watch from 02:00 to 04:00. It’s quarter to 02:00, I’m woken up by the previous watch. I walk upstairs to the mess seeing the rest of my watch with big bags under their eyes. A flash appears in the corner of my eye but at the time I don’t think much of it. Opening the starboard side door, I see a huge flash and then I hear a loud clash seconds later. Walking up to the bridge deck, I knew this was going to be an exciting watch. Roughly every two minutes the entire sky lit up in bright purple.

After about twenty minutes, it started to lightly rain, and a few seconds after, the sky turned into a torrential waterfall. For some reason it hadn’t occurred to me that I probably should have thrown on the foulies (Foul weather clothing) before stepping out on deck. Soon after realizing this, I ran down the stairs trying to stay as dry as possible and get my gear on. The rest of the watch went by fast as I was listening to music while watching nature’s light show.   

Written by: Class Afloat student, Samantha W.

Featured image: Photo credit Marilyn Tourangeau