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Mindful : December 2013
40 mindful December 2013 education Founder Crane Stookey says the goal of the school is to create a community in microcosm where students learn to take responsibility and work together. A Teenager at Sea Day 1 The wind was small when we started out and the hot sun beat down on our backs. But the weather changed quickly. Wind and water came flying at us. We had to put on layers and rain gear. Tacking was difficult and we didn’t manage to get out of the harbor, so now we are docked in the harbor and waiting to go to sleep, which is desperately needed. I am so tired. And I have to do a watch in the middle of the night. AAHH Help!!! I hope I don’t fall asleep and let everyone down. Day 2 Last night was a night to remember. I was the second last on watch, so the whole night I would wake up wondering when my turn was coming.... I must say, watch went by fairly fast and it was beautiful. The moon was orange in a cloudless sky. In no time I was falling back asleep in my warm sleeping bag. Later, we raised the main sail and I worked the jib with Liz. It was hard but fun. Day 3 Finally we took up our oars and began to row. We rowed and rowed. I was switched to Helmsman, which means I got to steer the boat. Soon positions were switched again and I was made Commander! This job was very hard at first. You had to make fast decisions and not ask people if they wanted to do something but tell them to do it. I even made the decision to put up the main sail. The decision didn’t make me look too good until we got wind an hour or two later. We all voted to go to Saddle Island to walk around and have a fire! This was a treat. The Navigator and I guided the crew to the island with help from Michael and Jo. It was hot. It was sunny. I only had pants on. Then during the clean up the clouds came overhead and the wind picked up...we were still fighting the wind and rocks to get farther from the shore. We were freezing. We all jumped into our warmest thermals and tried to clean the kitchen, which was in shambles from the rocking while being pulled out to sea.... Now I amonwatch.Iamcoldbutitis not too, too bad. The wind has died down and I know once I get back into my bed more people will be going out for watch. Almost 21⁄2 hours more of sleep. I am having fun so far and it puts things into perspective. We have so much in our material world that we take for granted. Day 4 We got a really good sail going and the water was splashing and the boat was moving fast; it put everyone in a good mood. Sailing is a new found sport for me. I only discovered this today. I will be home tomorrow night. Despite the fun, I miss the family. I found my lost socks. They were in the depths of my sleeping bag. I still have the sea glass that Aaron gave me. I was sure I had lost it. This is something you need to experience to know it is fun and exciting (at times). If they made this into a TV show, people would be bored with the hours of rowing and periods of no talking. But when you are here, you feel it. Just it. It can’t be captured in a snapshot, in video, or even in a diary like this one. Day 5 The last day. Sadly. I didn’t really get anymore sleep after my watch. I just kind of laid there. At 5:00 we got up and rushed to dip. Yuk! I hate changing after dip. Anyways we got to sail right away. The sailing conditions were really good and I was slapped in the face several times by the rolling waves. It took longer than we thought and we came in two hours late. I got to use a toilet and eat a hot potato for lunch. Yum. But then it was off to clean the gross boat. I loved this trip. Good Bye NSSS! For this year. His original interest was sailing, but experiential education became his passion. “If I’d been in theatre we’d be doing plays, if I’d been into ca mping we’d be hiking in the woods, and if I’d been into math we’d have a math ca mp,” he says. “ But we would essen- tially be doing the same thing. The fundamental practices of the sea school aren’t unique to sailing. But being out on the ocean is a particularly powerful place to be doing them.” Stookey has carried what he’s learned in t wo de- cades at the sea school into corporate training work. He’s even had success leading the outward turn in meeting and training rooms, where executives face away from each other and pause. His book about ways to cultivate a more engaged workforce, Keep Your People in the Boat, brings a more meditative element to the truism of sailing as a metaphor for navigating life. “I have a lot of faith in the power of stopping,” he says. “In a way, a sea school expedition is a huge stop. Students stop relying on all the things they think their life depends on—physical comforts, TV, the Internet, the approval of their peers. They Anna Boyce participated in a Nova Scotia Sea School voyage in July, 2001.