A journey propelled by the spirit of adventure and, more tangibly, the wind.
The Island School’s Expeditionary Summer Program is a partnership with Hurricane Island Outward Bound. This course is not only academically rigorous, but takes place in a physically intensive environment. As such, accepted students must exhibit an impressive eagerness to learn, adaptability, and perseverance.
Our classroom is made up of sandbars, palm forests, cliffs, and coral reefs. While sailing to a new place each day, the theme of exploration is always close at hand.
After an initial week rotating through academic lessons and sailing training, we move onto the decks of 30ft Sharpie Schooner pulling boats and begin our expedition with an intensive open ocean sail across the Exuma Sound. Out on the water, the boat acts as a closed system. Students will learn about the importance of reducing and reusing the resources allotted on the boat. This mobile classroom will also teach students many lessons in sustainability and beyond. Throughout the 18 days at sea, students develop sailing and navigation skills in a multitude of open water conditions. Training includes understanding points of sail, weather patterns and tidal effects. On board, everyone is accountable for the success of the sail with rotating skipper responsibilities.
The Island School campus acts as an initial means for students to learn about marine ecology, conservation, and how sustainability can be tied into their daily lives at home. When on campus, students will camp in platform tents and drink rain-collected water extracted from cisterns with solar-powered pumps.
The 'solo' experience is a staple of both The Island School and Outward Bound courses and the associated solitude will afford students a pause for reflection during an otherwise busy expedition. At the end of the expedition, students have the opportunity to reflect upon and solidify their experience with a 48 hour solo.
Research & Conservation
Another unique aspect of this course is the opportunity to spend time in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea park. This 176 square mile sanctuary is the world’s oldest marine protected area. During the program, students will be assigned to research project in partnership with the Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI). Students are presented with three research topics concerning the three most economically prominent species referred to as the “Holy Trinity” of Bahamian fisheries; Nassau Grouper, Caribbean Spiny Lobster, and Queen Conch. After learning the taxonomy, ecology, cultural significance, and economic importance of these species, students choose to take on the topic which most interests them. Under the tutelage of head researchers, students will gain the tools to collect data independently across study sites throughout the Exuma Islands. This baseline data will be built upon in future years to identify differences between populations due to the species’ susceptibility to overfishing.
For more information email Ami Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org