SMUS Sailors Ahoy!

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Photos by Richard DeMerchant

by Sena, Grade 8

The SALTS trip was an extraordinary experience! During the Spring Break, a group of approximately 25 Grade 7 and 8 students participated in a five-day voyage to the Southern Gulf Islands on a 138 foot gaff-rigged schooner, the Pacific Grace.

Everyone had to take part in every aspect of life aboard, so we learned how to raise and lower sails, steer the ship and anchor watch at night. Furthermore, we had to learn chart work, navigation, different knots, rules of the road and what to do in emergency situations. By the end of four learning sessions, we had to take a test to pass the junior SALTS qualifications. Yes, a test… we had to take a test during Spring Break! But it was worth it. Some of us passed and got our Junior Sailor Certification. Our brains were loaded with information.

While off watch, time was available for individual pastimes such as swimming, hanging out with friends and climbing the shrouds. Yes swimming… in the freezing cold water. Some brave souls decided to jump, but I on the other hand wimped out. We had the chance to go offshore once, where we played games and enjoyed walking around the beach. During the evening, we had “mug-up,” which included cleaning our bunks, playing lively games and singing. However, the best part of the entire trip was getting to know everyone. By the end of the trip, everyone on the Pacific Grace became a family and we all enjoyed the time we had together. I have lots of great memories and new friends!

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