So, I was just back in MN for 10 days (posts on that to come later). Sitting at my gate in the Amsterdam airport (leaving for Kristiansand) I noticed quite a few English speaking high schoolers all wearing a shirt which read "Class Afloat". First, because they were talking so loud, I assumed they were American (let's face it, we talk loud!). After further inspection (aka looking at their backpacks), I figured out that they were Canadian. Now, whenever lots of people are wearing the same shirt it always intrigues me (as I'm sure is the goal). I tried to get internet on my computer in the airport so I could look it up, but couldn't figure it out. So...I had to sit there and in the airplane, just thinking about who they possibly could be (okay, I didn't put THAT much thought into it!).
I got home, and then completely forgot about them (typical), until the next day. The mom that I live with/work for is a journalist with NRK, one of the major radio/tv stations in Norway. She had gone on assignment to talk to these "Class Afloat" people and this is what she found out.
- High schoolers from around the world can apply for this program, based out of Canada, where they spend a school year on a boat, learning school subjects AND how to sail. Pretty cool if you ask me.
- It costs a hefty 30,000 Canadian Dollars (almost 29,000 American Dollars)
- Every year they sail a different part of the world. This year, they leave from Kristiansand, Norway, sail down the western coast of Europe and Northern Africa, across the Atlantic Ocean and into the Caribbean, and finally ending up back in Norway next May.
- The ship that this program usually uses sank last year during a "strange weather phenomenon" off the coast of Brazil, where wind from above sent the ship a turnin' and the crew had to sit in lifeboats for days. Sounds fun. This year the class is using a MUCH smaller boat, which could cause a whole lot of drama from how small it sounds. I hope they all like each other.
- Not only are they in cramped quarters, where the communal sleeping space during the night is turned into the dining quarters in the daytime, the bathrooms are on deck. I hope no one gets sea sick!
I know, I know, you are probably saying "jealous? You can't be jealous, you're in Norway!" It's true, but somebody should have informed me of this opportunity when I was in high school (not that I would have had money to go...).
So...now you know. Go tell your friends, and your friends' kids. Maybe they can go on this adventure of a lifetime. I'm sure there are some pretty hefty liability forms to sign though!
Oh and here's the link to their website. I found it very cluttered and hard to read, but information none the less. :)