Together with 36 other pupils, Jonas sails to the Caribbean and back again on a three-master. The students learn things in practice that are not taught at school: getting to know other cultures, teamwork, perseverance, and independence. During the trip, school will continue as usual. In October 2022 Jonas started his journey on the Atlantic Ocean with School at Sea. These are some of his adventures:
A special holiday season
Last Christmas, Jonas was in the hospital because he had been operated on because of his collapsed chest. Because his heart and lungs had too little space, a metal brace was placed and he had to rehabilitate for 3 months.
How different it is this year. Perfectly healthy, celebrating the holidays on the Atlantic Ocean and on Dominica. The journey from Tenerife to Dominca lasted 27 days, most of which Jonas saw nothing but air and sea. But it certainly wasn’t boring!
Via Marinevesseltraffic.com you can see where the Thalassa (the boat they sail in) is located. Further offshore the students are dependent on messages from parents with a maritime subscription to a tracking system.
The parents got quite a chock when they saw some special movements. In the middle of the two continents they saw the Thalassa sailing back. The first thing that shoots through your head is: man overboard! Fortunately, it turned out to be a rescue of a turtle. A few hundred nautical miles later the ship was sailing back again.
Eventually a storm developed on the route where wind force 8 was provided. To get around this, they first sailed back a bit, then descended a few hundred miles to the south to continue the journey towards Dominica. After 27 days they arrived in Dominica on December 20th!
Turtle in distress
Right in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, a few attentive students saw something special in the sea. It turned out to be a large turtle with net and plastic junk around a front leg. As a result, she could no longer dive. With a special maneuver the ship turned around and after a few attempts the turtle could be hoisted aboard the Thalassa.
Altogether there was 1.5 kilos of rubbish on the leg. This made a big impression on Jonas, that so far from civilization animals suffer from our waste. After the animal was freed, she was put back and immediately went into hiding.
Jonas got a phone once a week to call up in Tenerife. Now there is complete radio silence. Fortunately, ship logs sometimes appear and we receive 500 words a week in a txt file in the dropbox.
At the Rastafarians, the children slept in their hammock and, under the guidance of Moses, were introduced to the way the Rasatfari’s live. Part of this religion is growing the hair (dreadlocks) and smoking weed that allows them to get closer to their god. Of course, the children did not do this.
They did visit the waterfalls where you could swim. Jonas asked his new Rastafarian friend if you could also get behind the waterfall and you could.
They also made a trip to boiling lake. A tough hike of 13 kilometers through dense rainforest and over mountain ridges with an abyss on both sides.
Boiling Lake is with a diameter of 100 meters the second largest boiling lake in the world. The lake looks like a huge natural hot tub, but with a water temperature of 95 degrees, it is not exactly advisable to take a bath here. They did manage to boil eggs in it. The clay turned out to be extremely suitable for face masks as can be seen in the photo.
There is continuously a vapor curtain that covers the lake and in between you can hardly see the bubbling water. That makes the lake one of the most mysterious places in the Caribbean.