Experiences of a Lifetime with Class Afloat

Posted on April 2, 2019 by Class Afloat Student, Anastasia H.

After spending a wonderful time in the Dominican Republic, staying with different families and doing community work such as painting houses and building a playground, we set off on an eight-day sail towards Havana. Before leaving Dominican Republic, many students did some last shopping for snacks such as chocolate and granola bars to fill up our snack bags (all students have our own snack bag, where we keep our personal snacks) for the sail.

We started off the sail with baking club’s top-secret operation circle. At night, after study hall, we met up down in galley (the kitchen) and then we started cutting out the dough, which was already prepared, for bagels. When the dough was cut, we rolled the dough up into little balls that we then pressed with our fingers to shape them like little halos. While we were doing that, we also put a big pot of water over the stove. Making bagels is an art.

When the water was hot enough, Mairead balanced the bagels on her arms and I threw them into the hot pot of water. Brie, the medical officer, stated a timer and Mauricio flipped the bagels around so that each side of the bagels got about 40 seconds in the boiling water. When the bagels had boiled for the right amount of time, we fished them out and then Ingrid and Stephanie sprinkled cheese and roasted seeds on top of them. We then put the bagels in the oven until they became a beautiful golden-brown colour. While the bagels were in the oven, the whole galley smelled like heaven. When the bagels were done, the people in baking club enjoyed having a little bagel party where we each had half a bagel to taste; they were delicious.

Class Afloat Anastasia 2

After our little bagel party, we made the last effort to clean up the galley before going to our bunks and getting some rest before getting up for watch (on the boat we have night watch where we are responsible for sailing the ship). I was extremely tired so I feel asleep immediately.

The next morning, I got up as soon as I heard the music playing in the dorms (we play music for wake ups), because I did not want to miss breakfast that day! I got dressed and ran up the stairs to join the line for food. Everyone was grateful to have homemade bagels for breakfast and people kept telling us how much they enjoyed them.

Later in the day my Global Geography class got interrupted by minke whales! We were sitting in class working on an assignment when suddenly someone shouted that there were whales outside! We all ran outside and rushed to the aft (back) of the boat where we saw a giant group of minke whales. There were whales everywhere I looked, and they were super close to the boat! They were coming from the aft and swimming under the boat. We could see the white shadow of their belly when they gracefully turned around in the water. I was speechless. We have seen whales before on Class Afloat, but never this close and so many at a time. I missed about 30min of class but it was totally worth it for this amazing experience.