Glimpse: All in the Same Boat

At sea school teenagers learn more than just how to sail a boat. They learn how to seize the whole experience. Don’t miss their story in the December issue of Mindful magazine.

Photograph by Aaron McKenzie Fraser

What happens when you get 10 teens into a 30-foot wooden sailboat in the North Atlantic and tell them all to row out to sea? You’ll find out when you read about the Nova Scotia Sea School, which has been teaching teenagers sailing skills on five- to -seven-day trips every year since 1994. For the better part of a week, students share a cramped space with a couple of instructors and learn how to survive on the open ocean without any of the comforts of home—no phones, no electronics, no friends but the ones they make on board. They learn a lot more than tying knots: they learn about compassion and cooperation, and that they can’t escape the impact of their behavior.

“You can’t just say a mean comment and walk down the hall and say, ‘See ya, loser.’ Oh no—now you have to cook dinner with the other person,” says Captain Zoe Nudell, one of the longtime sea school instructors.

—Carsten Knox, Associate Editor

For more than just this Glimpse: