by clicking the "Next" arrow.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Mindful : December 2013
36 mindful December 2013 education One July morning in the colorful fishing village of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, 10 teenagers gather on the dock to prepare for a voyage. The rain is pouring down, dampening the gear, if not the spirits, of the young people about to embark on the adventure of their young lifetimes. But first, in order to pack in their stuff—personal belongings, food, water, a nd sleeping bags—they have to pump the rainwater out of the bilge of the Elizabeth Hall, a 30-foot whaler-style traditional wooden sailing ship open to the elements. They meet their instructors a nd captain. They lis- ten to a talk about lifejackets a nd safety equipment. They lea rn each other ’s names. Only after that can they board the boat, their home for the next five days, and start rowing for the open ocean. This no-frills sea voyage—a life-chang ing experi- ence for a nyone, no mat ter what age—is much more than just an instructional on sailing. It’s a meta- phor for the challenges they’ll navigate for the rest of their lives, a crash course in self-discovery for young people more accustomed to Facebook posts and high-school politics than jibing and tacking. Ma ny of these kids have no experience with sailing. They leave behind their smartphones a nd any other electronic gadgets—the only electronics allowed on board is a VHF radio instructors use for checking the weather forecast, a couple of naviga- tiona l devices, and one phone, for emergency use only. Everyone sleeps on the oars, under a tarp to keep off the rain. The toilet? A small plywood box with a bucket inside, located in the bow of the boat. This trip is repeated with different teens a half dozen times each year by the Nova Scotia Sea School, based in Halifa x, on Ca nada’s east coast. The trips range from 5 to 21 days. “ Before I went to sea school, sa iling involved a lot of fea r,” says Zoe Nudell, who took her first voyage in 1994 at age 14. Now she’s a captain, leading students through the same journey she came to love so much. Unlike most teenagers who go on these voyages, Nudell had sailed before. But it hadn’t always been a good experience. “ I feared doing things wrong, not being cool. I was also sca red of the elements. And there is good reason for that. It’s really important to respect the ocean and the wind.” Nudell was able to let go of her a nxiety a round sailing when she star ted at the sea school, under- standing that the instructors were capable and invested in her safety. “ What happened when I got to sea school was that I was allowed to make mistakes,” she says. “The elements were just as challenging and frightening, but I was a part of a crew. I finally found myself with people who wa nted me to explore as much as possible. I could trust this situation and I could afford the mental space to be curious, to challenge myself to learn things.” At the Nova Scotia Sea School, real life is the teacher. Instructors get out of the way and let things happen, but they never allow things to get out of control. That leaves room for teenagers to have fun together—sailing a boat on the open sea is about as exhilarating as it gets—but it also gives them some- thing they crave even more: the opportunity to be in cha rge of their lives without repeated adult critique. It’s not an easy ride, though. “At times I was wrapped in a sleeping bag, shel- tering myself from mosquitoes in sweltering heat, while cra mmed between nine other teenagers,” remembers 18-year-old Claire Fraser, who took her first five-day voyage last July. It rained the first day, followed by a heat wave on the second day. It wasn’t easy to sleep on the slim mattress on top of oars that was her “bed” on the rocking boat. She wasn’t that comfortable using the “bathroom”—you conceal yourself, but still. Added to all of the physical challenges was the fact that 10 teenagers had to work together as a sin- gle body. In the end, says Fraser, she liked it. A lot. “I liked learning with a g roup of people, not knowing everyone and not agreeing with everyone, but working together. It’s like being in a job with people you might not like, but you still have to work things out. I thought that was really cool. “ When I first found out about the school,” Fraser adds, “I doubted I would enjoy being dirty for → Previous page: Nova Scotia Sea School instructors and students sail Halifax harbor in June, 2013. On board, from left: instructors Evan Cervelli, David Gibling, and Dave MacCulloch, with students Elizabeth Wile, Jeanelle Sequeira, Dahlia Colman, Krista Grunsky, Joseph Marko, and Jessie Sison. Below: Captain Zoe Nudell has been sailing with the sea school for almost 20 years. She says it takes about three days for a teenaged crew to gel on a voyage. “That’s when I start seeing indications of real awareness and compassion among crew members.”