Stella Maris Maritime School

After initially meeting the students at the Stella Maris Maritime Academy I was asked to return and teach another class, I jumped at the chance. The first class I taught how a GPS works and demonstrated some fundamental navigation features so I decided to expand on navigation.

Back home I participated teaching in the Friday Harbor Power Squadrons classes for many years. Also I worked at teaching women navigation at our yearly Selene Rendezvous so I had the fundamentals of teaching this topic. The trick is to teach it to a class of non English speaking kids??? The translator was of great help and I used a lot of hand signals so it seemed to work. I have never seen a group more excited to learn.

I started the class with the three basic questions of navigation: where am i? where am I going? How do I get there? If you look at navigation in those simple terms it gets easier I have found. So we broke out the chart, I brought my nav tools, and we plotted a course around Komodo National Park. Once I demonstrated how, the kids jumped in and took to it like old pros.

The chart work done we moved outside into the blistering sun and set out on courses unknown. I had three compasses and divided the group into teams. They were instructed to do square course, 20 paced north, east, south west and return to the original spot. Counting out, una, dua, tiga, off they went.

I had search the internet for seamanship books in Indonesian, first trying to find an Indonesian copy of Chapman’s, no luck. I did have one antique book aboard, English of course, and wanted to leave them a gift. I sent the class inside and hid the book in the field then set a course to find it, again the teams took the three compasses. Marching to and fro the teams crossed the field and one team came right to the hidden book.

I was shyly asked if I could take some of the students out on Furthur, again no hesitation. Sam and three beaming Brit friends had just arrived and were eager to join in this adventure. I shuttled the kids and a few teachers to Furthur, hoisted the anchor and off we went into a blue sky day. The kids took turns driving the boat and were given compass courses to follow and follow they did, diligently. Again the enthusiasm was profound and again we had great fun.

This is the Indo way, everything they do is done with a great level of effort and energy but always it must be fun. When you see the boys doing hard labor they are laughing, when the students are learning they are smiling. Everything is taken seriously, to a point. The Indonesians have mastered taking things to that point but not beyond being fun.

We passed by our friend Emmi on her ship and she took some great pictures, here is the Stella Maris School and the Furthur crew all enjoying a great time together. Twas a day of joy!

1 thought on “Stella Maris Maritime School”

  1. Brian,

    What a fantastic way to give back to the people who, obviously, have given you much happiness! The Universe smiles upon you. I hope, one day, our wakes will cross.

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