Yacht & Coast


See Pythagoras take flight in the main-hold

April 10, 2013 by robert in Featured, Sail with 0 Comments
     ”The day began like any normal school day. But in the afternoon there were high waves and white caps. The ship rocked like never before. Text books flew through the main-hold.”    
IJMUIDEN _ The Wylde Swan returns home this month with a cargo of 30 Dutch high school students who spent 6 months at sea studying and taking the world’s largest 2-masted schooner from Europe to the Caribbean and back. Above blog entry shows how exploring Pythagoras’ Theorem at sea is a lot more fun than in a classroom back home.
The Wylde Swan people say their “School at Sea” program is more than an unusual sail event. Owner Hinke de Vries: “It’s a life changing experience. You learn not only how to sail, but also take responsibility, work in a team. Our award-winning international, professionally trained crew teaches sailing, nature, weather etc. Let me put it this way: when you get off the Wylde Swan, you’ll see a different world.”
The formula offers students a unique opportunity to sail to the Caribbean and back without missing class. They board in mid-autumn, return in spring. During the voyage they complete their normal school year with the help of licensed, on-board teachers. In between classes, they cook and clean, navigate and trim the sails and keep watch. A training fund has been creating enabling students to participate.  
   ”We are in Cuba now. We attended an art work shop and did some work on the land. We also had a Cuban culture evening and visited a museum and an art school. I learned a lot. Then we were off to the ‘casas particularas,’ the host families. I liked that best of all the things we did in Cuba. The family was very hospitable.”  

The Wylde Swan is due back home April 21. On its return voyage, she beat 3 other classic ships on a Bermuda-to-Azores leg of a trans-Atlantic race thanks fierce winds that generated speeds of up to 14 knots and that sent Pythagoras flying through the main-hold.
In 2010, the Wylde Swan _ built in 1920 as a German steam ship that collected herring from fishing boats at sea _ was converted to a Class A sail training vessel. Today, she has the sailing agility of much smaller yacht. The Wylde Swan is also available for charters. She is a frequent guest at maritime events, such as the Hamburg Port days, Kiel Week, Sail Amsterdam, Tonnerres de Brest, l’Armada de Rouen and Cowes Week and many more. On April 30 she will join a parade of vessels in Amsterdam marking the enthronement of Crown Prince Willem as the next Dutch monarch.
De Vries: “We have been offering sail training trips since 1993. This was our first winter trip as a school ship to the Caribbean. There is room for 30 or so trainees on each trip. It’s classroom study wrapped in an adventure. You’ll learn how to sail a tall ship. Our educational program makes math come alive by teaching you to  navigate by the stars.”
PS: The Wylde Swan Foundation is looking for international partners _ universities, colleges, schools, governmental organizations, NGO’s and businesses _ to connect with our vision and help reimagine a shared, durable future.  

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