November started with our arrival to the Maldives where the students had lots of time on shore leave. They were able to experience the island of Male and some travelled to different islands to enjoy the beaches, snorkelling and scuba diving. They are all becoming quite the experienced travellers! Maldivian students visited the Sorlandet and gave a presentation on their culture including the history, religion and education, and our students had the unique opportunity to share their own culture.
During our sail to Mauritius the students were hard at work balancing study and sailing time. They wrote their End-of-Term exams and continued to develop their seamanship skills. We made a special effort this sail to continue developing a sense of community and teamwork through various new activities such as Sunday games and group discussions over tea. When under sail we put out the trolling lines and managed to catch a few fish including a tuna for our chief cook Bogdan!
In Mauritius, the students experienced the culture and geology of the island on our day of field studies during which we visited significant landmarks such as the Black River Gorge and the Seven Coloured Earth. Along the way we visited a workshop where skilled artisans make scale models of famous tall ships including the Sorlandet! The rest of our time in Mauritius was dedicated to giving the students time to explore the island on their own which they made the most of by hiking, zip lining, and hanging out with tortoises. Our departure from this port was special as it was the first time we left port sailing under wind power alone.
During the sail from Mauritius to Durban, the students continued to focus on their Jungmann training and some even progressed to Matros. We received the exciting news that AB Celina Diaz was named Sail Trainer of the Year by Sail Training International. Given the relationships she built aboard and how much she contributes to the community everyday, we were all happy to see her efforts being recognized.
Starting from the last Sunday of November, when the first candle was lit as per Norwegian tradition, the Holiday spirit came alive. The following week, we decorated the banjer, drew names for Secret Santa, and watched a presentation on Norwegian Christmas Traditions lead by Nora K and Laila. Each watch is taking turns baking Christmas treats for everyone on board and we are handing out Calendar gifts every morning at colours.
We're about halfway through our stay in Durban, South Africa and are looking forward to what’s to come!
“Students of Sorlandet: Herman Woll Wessel”: My interview with Herman W marks the beginning of a series of interviews with students to document their journey and convey their perspective of this crazy journey we’re on together sailing around the world!
“The Maldives: Many Islands, Many Perspectives”: Our time spent in the Maldives consisted of mostly shore leave so everyone’s experiences varied. One sentiment that seemed fairly consistent however was the culture shock we experienced.
“Making Memories in Mauritius”: Mauritius is probably most known as being the former home of the extinct dodo bird. Much of the tourism on the island seems to focus on this famous extinct creature as well as taking in the volcanic landscape. Many students took in this landscape during their various adventures in port.
Many more Christmas activities have been planned for the rest of the month by Student Council
Most of the faculty with the exception of Mr B and Mr Hall are going home for an early Christmas Break and will return before we depart for Cape Town
The students and some of the staff are taking part in a Learning Optimization Program led by Terry Davis. This will involve spending ten nights off the ship participating in various activities, including a multi-day safari!
When we return to the ship, we will be welcomed again by the first rotation of crew who will be with us until Fortaleza
Sadly, we will be saying goodbye to Mr. B after this port , as he will be returning home to Canada. He has made a great impression on both staff and students alike and will be greatly missed by all.