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“It was really fun, said Alana Fiske, a Port Townsend High School senior.
“My sail hoisting skills really improved toward the end of the trip compared with the beginning.”
The class, called “Maritime Studies,” includes students from all four high-school grades and is intended to expose students to opportunities in the maritime trades and how they can be accomplished, said Sarah Rubenstein, the initiative's program manager.
“We want to expose the students to the maritime industry and show them firsthand what kinds of jobs are available,” Rubenstein said.
The topics of the course include marine trade skills as well as vessel operations and safety.
Spending time aboard the Adventuress, owned and operated by Port Townsend-based nonprofit Sound Experience, allowed students to experience being out on the water and learn about vessel operations.
Aside from the crew and teacher Kelley Watson, eight girls and 12 boys made the trip, housed in separate parts of the vessel, Rubenstein said.
The students posted on Facebook several times to the Sound Experience page but were deliberately isolated from personal technology.
“They weren't allowed to bring their cellphones along,” Rubenstein said.
“This was a team-building exercise where they were not concentrating on life off of the boat.”
There was no cost to the district; expenses were covered through Sound Experience fundraising, Rubenstein said.
“I think this is the beginning of a great partnership between us and the Adventuress,” Rubenstein said.
“It is such an amazing resource. We are lucky to have them so close to us.”
The Maritime Discovery Initiative, a new curriculum begun by the Port Townsend School District this year, is intended to add maritime elements to traditional education as part of a “place-based” learning program.
“It was a great team building experience,” said Henry Veitenhaus, high school sophomore.
“I learned a lot of different things by working side by side with others.”
For more information, visit www.maritimediscovery.org.