Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Thor Heyerdahl

Have you ever read the book Kon Tiki?  If not, you should.  It's an incredible story written by the late Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdahl about his journey across the Pacific.  On a raft.

Anyway, this post isn't about that book, but about a boat named after the famed seaman.  The "Thor Heyerdahl" pulled into Port Louis last week after crossing the Atlantic and is truly a sight!  I wandered over to snap some photos, when a young German boy asked me if I was interested in a tour.  Well, yeah!  Paulo was lovely and articulate as he explained to me that the ship was a school, and all the passengers were students who worked to keep it running.  The mechanic was a student, the engineer was a student, the cooks were students, the bosuns were students...They mended the sails, tended to the rigging, whipped lines, varnished the rails and everything else that needs to be tended to on a tall ship.  The goal of this "school" is to make these young men and women totally self-sufficient, capable mariners.  They know how to navigate by the stars, they exclusively hand-steer, manually raise the sails and pretty much run every function of the ship, with the guidance of their "teachers".  Aside from the maritime study, they are also studying the regular subjects and have lessons and homework just like any other student.

Something tells me, however, that these students are getting a LOT more out of their school than most of their peers at home and abroad...

Lots going on here! 
Can you jump the halyard please?
I remember looking into a "semester at sea" when I was in college - but this ship seems way cooler than the program I found (which was not on a sailboat, and no where near as involved as this).  For more on the boat and the school, visit this site (it is in English).


One learns more from listening than speaking. And both the wind and the people who continue to live close to nature still have much to tell us which we cannot hear within university walls.

-Thor Heyerdahl


Love,
Brittany & Scott

3 comments:

Crew of s/v Island Bound said...

Holy rigging and rat lines! I'll never again complain about the cost of replacing our halyards.

Jessica said...

This story seems familiar.....let's hope they don't run into any white squalls.

Phil said...

Hey there,

that's a very nice insight into one of the projects of the "Thor Heyerdahl". Actually I was on this ship during last years student-voyage to the caribbean and it was the most livechanging experiance I've ever had.
@Crew of s/v Island Bound:
There are a little more than 100 ropes and I would bet that those students by then knew each ones name and function :-)
By the way the projects website is now http://www.kus-projekt.de/en_index.shtml (in english).

Sail more, work less ;-)

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