Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, POLAHS students have participated in the Tole Mour Tall Ship summer program for three years in a row. This spring, POLAHS sailors Darlene Radell and Joshua Maldonado were selected for the $3,000 maritime scholarship based upon thoughtful essay applications, expressing their interest in science and maritime studies. From June 29th to July 11th, the pair helped a professional crew run the Tole Mour Tall Ship - the largest sailing school vessel (SSV) on the West Coast – as it traveled from Long Beach to Santa Rosa.
Darlene and Joshua began each day at 6:00AM and attended classes in Marine Biology before snorkeling, diving, hiking, and kayaking! Check out an excerpt from their personal statements below.
Darlene: “I’ve been sailing with the Los Angeles Maritime Institute (LAMI) and the POLAHS Sail team, so I heard about the Tole Mour trip and knew it would be a great opportunity. In our Marine Biology class I learned that pseudo-nitzschia is a phytoplankton that creates a neurotoxin – it becomes harmful to animals as large as sea lions. Plankton in the water needs to be regularly monitored. I learned a lot of new things about sailing, too. I was the leader for the foresail and outer jib downhaul, and when we struck the sails, I was in charge of the starboard vane for the mainsail. During our downtime, I really enjoyed the on-board art class. The saying, ‘the best trip ever,’ would be an understatement. From new foods to new friends, and hiking on islands untouched by humans, I really grew from this opportunity. This trip made me aware of how everything affects the ocean, and now I am committed to keeping the ocean clean and keeping the plants and animals safe.”
Joshua: “While on-board, every night either the guys or the girls on board had the option to go on anchor watch. You go all around the boat, inside and out, making sure that there isn’t any water or fire inside of the boat. You also plot the coordinates of where you are at that time. Also, when we had a time of 24 hours of straight sailing, groups of us were responsible for three-hour shifts. You switch off from bow watch, when you go off the front of the boat in a harness and look around for other boats, or islands, or even marina malls, to standby, where you drive the ship. Other than sailing, one of my favorite parts about the experience was meeting great friends who were also interested in sailing. One person was even from Sweden! I’d like to thank the trip donor who made it possible for me to participate in a study experience that really changed me as a person. I learned a lot about myself, others, and the ocean from spending two weeks at sea.”