sailing with students

DSC00112Why go sailing with students? When does a group of individuals become a unit? Why not go to a city or a beach and stay in a hotel? Why a boat?

I’ve been on several class trips and have organized a few, but I keep thinking of a scene in Nick Hornby’s ‘About a Boy’, when the parents pick up their kids from the police station. They leave home as individuals and end up as a group, as friends. They have a vehicle, a common goal and a task. Somehow that unites them. They enter the car, go to a petrol station and reenter the car as a group.

The same miracle happens with class trips. However, often not everyone participates and trips are more and more seen as holidays, not as a chance to experience time together. Team spirit, feeling as a group, is vital for students. It’s an essential  experience.

Sailing a boat requires collaboration. If you don’t pull that rope, you stay in the harbour. If you don’t cut these onions, everybody’s meal won’t taste as nice. I feel that we all come back as different people, who belong together because they’ve shared a sunrise, smelly socks, a chilli; bad pasta (yep; buy Italian one), a spider in a sink … . Sailing did just that for my students, my colleague and me. We entered a bus, were left alone on the harbour and got on a boat. We set sails, cooked, slept, ate, quarreled, sang. Leaving the boat and entering the bus, everything felt different. Somehow, along the way, we ended up as a crew, a group, friends.

I know it’s nothing new, and people have experienced it for thousands of years; but that could be said of every love story, too. Anyway, for me it’s been a special experience which I’d like to share.

Plus, being an Foreign Language teacher, I’d like to give my students the opportunity to tell their stories, to write about their experiences, and thus, encouraging others to sail together, too.

George (48, teacher)

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Returning the boat

Urk -> Enkhuizen

Thursday morning we left the harbor very late, because the kitchen sink drain was congested.

Our last sail tour to Enkhuizen was very short. When we arrived at the port in Enkhuizen, I had to bring the returnable bottles to the supermarket, after that I was eating at McDonald’s. In Enkhuizen was funfair with horse race and much more, that’s why there was a big firework near our applying place. We had a great view.

 

Enkhuizen

Enkhuizen is the port of registry of our sailing ship, the ‘Radboud’, and the home of our skipper’s family. The local community is situatedin the west of the Ijsselmeer near the Markerwaarddjik, a dam in the south of the Ijsselmeer.About 18.500 people live in Enkhuizen. The most popular building is the Drommedaris, a weir gate from the year 1540. Other well-knownbuildings include the churches Zuiderkerk and Westerkerk.

Florian, 15DSC09970

The trip to the Netherlands

 

On our first day, a Sunday morning in September, we met to start our journey. We needed to get up quiet early to catch the our bus. This was very unusual for me because I like to sleep in on Sundays. Mr Fässler told us to be at the meeting point, which was in front of our school, at 10:30 a.m. When I arrived, the bus was already there, next to it were my classmated, their parents and our form teachers Mr Fässler and Mrs Müller. After we had put our luaggage in the trunk of the bus, we said goodbye to our parents and got on the bus. The bus wasn’t very luxurious. It was very cramped and we didn’t have a lot o personal space. There was also a grid from an air-conditioning unit that flapped around. Most of us watched movies on their smartphone or table or listened to music. Some slept.

 

After a few hours of travel, we took a brake of 40 minutes at a gas station. We all went to the Burger King restaurant, which was next to it, after that we started driving again. We arrived at Enkhuizen, a port in the Netherlands aroud eight o’clock. After everyone had got their luggage out of the trunk, we started walking towards the ship, a 50-meter three master called Radboud. We got on board and after a few minutes of confusion everyone found their room, the girls in the back of the ship and the boys in thefront. I had two roommated, but some others had more. Then we went upstairs and met our captain Mr Prins and the mate Nico. The captain gave us saftey instructions for the boat. After we had listened carefully to the captain we were told to go to bed. My roommates and I couldn’t fall asleep right away, because we were talking about our trip to Enkhuizen.

Florian, 15

day 4

Urk – Enkhuizen

 

On our third day we got up early and began our day in Urk. Later we all had breakfast and prepared our lunch, then we started making the Radboud ready to go sailing. Like every other day, we first had to put the covers from the sails. After that, we had to pull up the sail, which is attached to the mast. Two of us steadied the mast while the sail was bing hoisted. This process ahs to be done about four times until we were finally ready to leave the harbout. To get out of our pier and reach the wide Ijsselmeer, the sailing boat used a motor.

 

When we reached the open sea, there was just a little breeze and we hadn’t much work. But hten the wind got harder and we had to pull on the ropes and change the position of the sails. In the meantime we mostly sat in the lounge, because we were not allowed to go to our rooms. While waiting for another turn (jibe), we foten played card games, most of the time the game called Uno. Apart from that we sat on the deck an ate our lunches, enjoyed the salty sea breeze and got a bit tanned. Some of us eben got a sunburn. Unfortunately, some students didn’t feel that well the whole sailing trip and spent the day in their cabin. When we reached the harbour of Enkhuizen, we had to put the sails down. Because it had been the third time, the crew now knew to hancle the situation well and we quickly got to the port. Wen we were in our landing stage, we had to put the covers on the sail. For that day  our work was done and we were allowed to go and explore Enkhuizen.

 

Emilia 15

day 3

Our day started in Medemblik, Netherlands, where Alex, Simon and Me went to the supermarket Spar on the mainstreet, wehere we bought some food like parmesan, bread, eggs or other stuff like milk or a lighter. Wbought the lighter for our gas stove. Mr Fässler had forgotten a lilghter and so he used Timon’s lighter everytime. After we had bought everything, we returned with a cart, which I borrowed from the supermarket. We brought everything to the kitchen where some other classmates waited for us. While we arrived, Mr Fässler was on the way to buy some medicine, because a girl was ill. Before we left Medemblik, all of us had some freetime. Simon, Baturay and I went back to the supermarket and returned the cart. Alex and Peter waited for me on the boat and later we went to a playground to take some pictures and have some fun. Later, we set sails and went to sea.

 

At 13.15 we arrived and the captain told us something about Lemmer, wehere the city is or some supermarkets. Alex, Peter, Pascal an me went to Lidl first, where we bought something to drink. After that we went downtown. I was searching for shorts and so we visited literally every store but seemingly all the shorts were sold out. But then I fount one. We sat down on a bench in front of the river. We met other classmates which bought some ice-cream and everone had one. Before we met the others, Alex bought a new bluetooth loudspeaker and went back to the boat. There, everyone was so excited about the speaker, that half the class bought one, too. After us, our teacher arrived, but he couldn’t open the door to the boat, because Mrs Müller had them. But I had the glorious idea to ask the captain for a key and he had on, so we could enter. The girls, Mr Fässler, Mortiz and I prepared dinner. Spaghetti carbonara where on today’s menue. Mr Fässler added a “little” bit too much pepper and so the food was a little bit too hot. Thank you for that, Mr Fässler. After that, the boys played cards like ever other day. So everone had his sparetime. The gilrs, moritz and me went to the playground at Lemmer, where we played Truth or Dare till it was 11 o’clock. Mr Fässler had to look for us, but he found us. Later everybody played cards. And so ended the third day in the Netherlands.

 

Abel, 15.

What I love about sailing

bdrWhat I love about sailing is that you can just relax and have fun with your friends or even make new ones. It also is a lot of fun to see the waves breaking at the front of the boat, the spray, getting a little bit wet. Seeing the wind blowing into the sails and feeling the boat roll and the wind sweep at your cheek. Helping your classmates or friends pulling the ropes to lift the sails or tying knots. Sleeping ton the boat and being rocked to sleep every evening is nice. However, being woken up by your friends in the morning by loud music was sometimes disturbing. Cooking with each other and doing competitions is fun. Bing in a new town every day and trying their special food and getting to kneo new people is very interesting, too. To put it all in a nutshell: that’s what I personally love about sailing.

Mortiz, 15.

 

 

Radboud Open

It was on a Wednesday afternoon on the third day on the Radboud and we were in Lemmer. Yesterday some of us had trained for the “Radboud Open” – little fun competition. Our teacher had installed `rock rings´ on the boom, mobile climbing holds on ropes and we had to do pull-ups on them, followed by push-up on the ground.

 

At 5 o`clock everybody was on board, ready to watch how our classmate were batteling for the win. The boys began and then the girls. Everybody pulled and pushed as hard as possible, because the price  was a not-washing-up voucher.

 

The best of the boys did more than 20 pull-ups (which counted twice) and over 40 pull-ups. Sadly, only two girls participated, but Ida did more push-ups than the boys. What a shame!

 

In the evening, the winners had all the glory and extra free-time, while the others had to clean the dirty dishes. The next morning, however, the winners also had very sore muscles.

 

Peter, 16

a fantastic day

On our sailingtrip to the Netherlands we took a bath in IJsselmeer. On our first day on the ship we had a lot of fun and some students of my class asked the skipper if he could stop the ship and drop the anchor. We wanted to jump from the ship into the cold sea. Luckily our captain said yes and he stopped the ship. Our maat Nico lowered a ladder from the ship  into the sea so we could climb back onto the ship. A few minuts later, the first boay jump into the water and cried: “The water is freezing. I’m ice.” But more boys wanted to go into the cold water and after 10 minutes the first girls came on to the deck, beceause they wanted to jump into the water, too.

In the end, our teacher didn’t want to be a looser and also jumped into the water; Yeah, we had a lot fo fun. Even one girl, who had been worried that her now would bleed from the cold water,  gave it a go and jumped. And of cours her nose didn’t bleed and she could laugh at herslef. Yes, that was our fantastic Monday where our class jumped from our ship into the cold sea – a day we’ll all remember.

Raphael, 16

Medeblik

Medembli

Our first stop on our cruise was the harbour Medemblik. It was the nicest stop. When we were just before Medemblik almost all wanted to swim because the weather was very nice. That’s why we stopped shortly before the island and jumped into the much too cold water. We arrived a little later, I guess at 14 o’clock. After we had unrigged the boat, we arrived at the harbour and saw the big crowd. On Medemblik it was a kind of church anniversary with booths, horrible music and many drunken people. So we didn´t think, and jumped into the jungle and explored the beautiful little town. There were really nice houses, with much nicer doors. Fascinated, we visited everything. I discovered a carousel and my friends wanted to it immediately, because it was not a normal carousel. The seats consisted of four movable steel cables and a board out of wood, in which you had to sit down and then you were turned around by two employees while you flew through the air. 

Mia and Ida rode three times on the day with the carusell, which was  2.50 $ per ride. After that, we were in another shop that called itself a fun house. But that was not really fun and then we took a look at the island and took pictures. We passed two men made of metal and took the chance to climb on the two and made a photo shoot. 

Later we noticed that on the island was also a railway and a horse race which we watched a bit. We also noticed that the people there are very open. They immediately recognized us as Germans, even ifeven if we did not say anything; they always said „oh German“ – we were very surprised. There were also many cats we all caressed and many people had horse figures  – apparently this horse race was very popular. We returned to the ship about 5pm and helped with the dinner. It was Asian vegetables, that we ate at 7pm. It tasted delicious. 

Later in the evening, we went around a bit and Mia had the whole time a catchy tune. The song called „In my feelings“ so then she began singing the song with the word „Kiki“ . About 10 meters away from us were still other young people, who sang „do you love me“ loudly back and then we delivered a singbattle.  Since then we called them the Kiki gang. We went a bit to the party people and because it was already night it smelled of alcohol. 

At some point, we looked for a bench and talked a bit. But then Ida saw a great striped cat and we all looked at it.  Ida touched the paws of the cat, which hissed and we almost had a heart attack, because we were so scared of famous cat. After this blatant incident, we slowly went back to the ship and hung out on deck and suddenly there were fireworks. Great. It took about 10 minutes, and was really nice. Then Florian played a bit on his trumpet and a group of people stopped to see who`s playing. The only one who did not like that was Fabi.  He had to clean the kitchen and freaked out because Florian still played on, although he stormed up from the kitchen and complained loudly about the music. We finally went to bed and agreed that, it had been a nice day.

Cloe and Amanda

On our trip were many spiders. Especially in our cabins. They weren’t very pretty. They had a big body with long, thin legs and they were brown or black and some had white stripes. We gave the spiders names, to make them more friendly. We had two horrible experiences with spiders. For example, there was a spider in one of our cabins. She came in over night, because we had the window open. She hung inside our window and stayed there. When my friend and me woke up in the morning, we ran outside the room. Both of us were very nervours and afraid, that the spider coud go in our luggage. But Mr Fässler, our teacher, told us to calm down and he walked straight in our room and put the spider away. After that, we called the spider Cloe. Thanks to our teacher we could sleep well the other days, without ugly spiders in our room.

A girl in our class had another horrible experience. We were all sitting close together when suddnely on of us began to scream “OMG, I guess I’ve got a spider on my back. Please take her away.” Everone was scared. But in the end she survived and we put the spider away.  After that we called her Amanda. All of us were scared to sit there again, but it hasn’t stopped us. Because we have always been together,  so we could help each other. It took our fear away, because we knew there always was a helping hand. The good new is that everything went find and no one died because of the horrible spiders.

And if you meet Cloe or Amanda, tell them Hi.

our teachers

Our teachers of the trip

We started our journey on the 16th of September by taking the bus. Apart of our group were our English teacher Mr. Fässler and our maths and chemistry teacher Mrs M. In the bus, Mr Fässler wanted to count the students, but in the end Mrs Müller had to do that job because Mr Fässle rcounted wrong twice. on our boat “Radboud”, Mr Fässler  was allowed to control the whip, whil Mrs Müller motivated the students to work on the ship – and one time she even helped. Together the teacher planned, on what time the students had to be back on the ship, what we had to buy in the supermarket and the birthday party (read about it on another article). But they didn’t decide, where we were sailing. That depended on the wind. Mr Fässler helped cooking and preparing breakfast. While we were sailing, Mrs M. was tanning her skin and got sunburned. On September 21st we were traveling back home by bus and Mr Fässler failed again to count the students. Mrs Müller had to do the job againg. we were all thankful, that the teachers were with us on this trip.

 

Amelie, 15