Category Archives: Africa

I’ve been through the desert on a “Camel” with no name


Hi All… Allie here!

The port program in Morocco is pretty amazing!

We started off our adventure at 530am on the 27th on a coach bus! We drove through Morocco for about 7 hours stopping at markets, blanket weaving places, pottery places, for lunch.

Then we ended up at a hotel for the night. The traditional toilets here holes in the ground, very different!

Also the pop is made with sugar instead of corn syrup so it tastes so much better. On day two we drove a few more hours to the edge of the Sahara desert to ride some camels. We rode them for probably two hours to a camp out place where we stayed in tents for the night.

There was live traditional music and dancing and a Bon fire! We explored the dunes which included running down them, falling down them, rolling, sliding, and flipping! The sand in the desert is so fine and soft, as I’m sure you’ve heard before. But it’s so fine that it gets in the crevices of our hands and no matter how many times we wash our hands, they still look dirty!

So after the very relaxing night in the desert we got back on the camels and headed back To our bus.

Last night, we stayed in a hotel again in a valley. Activities for this morning: hiking. Because that’s about all there is to do here!

Next stop Canary Islands! I’m ready to go snorkelling!!!”

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Dakar, Senegal

So were back in the Africa! I lost my iPod in the Canary Islands, so all y pictures were lost and it was hard to get a hold of my dad to update kozyboat!

But we are now in Senegal and for this port program we are staying with Senegalese students in their homes.

Max and I have the same girl. Her name is Amina and she’s twenty. She took us around town yesterday and out to the beach for a fresh cooked fish on the beach.

Our host students are best friends with another host student so we were able to meet up with some girls from our boat, Alex and Jasmine. There is no running water here so we use a bucket of water to shower. But that’s still better then having a shower on the boat because captain has called off all showers due to low water levels…

The toilets here are holes in the ground!

French is the main language here so I’ve been getting a lot of practice! They also speak Wolof too but I can only say a few basic words.

Yesterday we went to an orphanage and played with the kids. They are all under 16 years old and were very happy to see us.

They have 10 kids per house and one “mother” who look after them.


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Ocean Crossing !!!

Good morning –
I received word an hour ago from our agent that the ship and crew have left the dock and were motoring out of the port bound for the other side of the Atlantic Ocean – destined to arrive at Fernando da Noronha on October 31st!
The sail to Fernando will be one of the best of the year – consistent, reliable following tradewinds and currents will push them across the Atlantic toward South America in very warm weather. It is not unheard of for us on this crossing to make distances of 180-200 nautical miles a day and have such consistent winds the sails put up soon will stay in the same configuration for days.

I know the faculty will be speaking to the crew to try and put in perspective for them that they are leaving Africa and in 12 days will arrive in South America by tall ship, and this doesn’t happen by accident. The crew will have worked together, relied on each other, followed through on daily responsibilities and sailed Gulden Leeuw day and night across an ocean – an impressive feat and group of students.

During the sail the crew will also hit the doldrums which is a low pressure system at the equator where prevailing winds are super calm and water often like glass. Not only will there be lazy days poking along in blazing heat waiting for the wind to show up again, very likely they will be able to have a swim call or two. Going for a swim literally in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in water that is a very clear blue and bathtub temperature in approximately 5000 km deep is a pretty exciting and something that a very small percentage of the world will ever experience. Wait for the pictures.

Speaking of the doldrums and the equator, there have been rumors of King Neptune (God of the sea) grumbling from the deep that a crew of Polywogs are approaching his equator, which is not acceptable until he grants them passage after a thorough inspection. I can’t say much more than that, but I hope the Gulden Leeuw crew of Polywogs are respectful of his kingdom and follow the wishes of his court. Good luck! Enough said.

Julie (Port Programs Coordinator) emailed us this write up on the port programs in Dakar which I will pass along for your reading pleasure. Looks like it was a great experience for the crew!
Our time in Dakar has been quite the cultural experience.
Friday, we had shore leave until 18:00. In groups of 6 everyone went out to explore the city. Many people headed over to Goree Island, a beautiful island off the coast of Dakar that was the largest slave trading centre in Africa in the 15th to 19th centuries.
Friday evening, we had a few guests aboard. Eric Dadmun from the Peace Corps came to speak with us about his experiences serving and working in Senegal. He even taught us some of the local language Wolof that we could use with the youth the next day. We also had 4 members from the Canadian Embassy, Catherine, Martin, Caroline and Sandra, come on board and tell us about some of the work the Embassy is doing in Senegal.
Saturday morning we headed out to the SOS International Children’s Village. SOS Villages work with children who either have no parents, or have been removed from their parent’s custody and provide them with a home, house mother, education, healthcare and support. The day started by the children greeting us and sharing a song, we learnt about some of the barriers the village has experienced and about their goals of providing a sense of community and family for the youth. Following the introduction we were taken through a few of the homes, where up to 15 children live with their house mom and care for one another. We then spent some time doing activities with the kids, singing songs, art and playing sports. It was a wonderful morning learning about some of the great work that is being done to support youth in Senegal, and we had a lot of fun playing games and getting to know the children.
After lunch we met up with our home stay families from the Student Youth Travel Organization (SYTO). After a quick get to know you, we headed off in pairs with our hosts for the evening. Everyone had such unique and different experiences with their host families, some went to the beach, others saw local live music, others toured the city and museums. Sunday night we had a lot of new stories and experiences to share with each other.
Our last night in Senegal has been eventful, we all met up with our host families at a Saber Dance party in the suburb of Medina. There were percussionists on the street, who welcomed us as they played and everyone in the area gathered around and danced. We learnt a few new Senegalese dance moves to add to the Class Afloat Dance repertoire.
Next stop, Fernando!
Have a great day.


 Allie Arrives in Africa!
4500 miles, leaving Dec 5th 2015 and Arriving Jan 5th 2016

It was pretty wierd standing in Argentina as the boat pulled away.. someone on shore shouted to the kids.. ‘where are you going next?”… they replied “AFRICA”… Obviously fully knowing the destination… I think every parent still looked at each other shaking their head trying to grasp the concept… Well they made it!

Couple pics from a friend that travelled to meet them on the other side… and some sneaky webcam shots as they were coming up the coast (Gotta love Surf Shops!)



Ships Log January 25 2016

Ships Log….Log Keeper: Samuelle

Last night everyone got dressed up and enjoyed a formal Sunday dinner with the whole crew – our first one this passage! To add to the fun, a pod of whales were breaching near the ship, a pair of sea lions played in our wake, and a shark casually swam by. It was a wildlife spectacle! After the meal, we had a jam session under the night sky with guitars, keyboards and drums. Our Engineer, Robert, sang the blues with his harmonica and guitar, and we had performances by Alexa and Mikayla, and our host Drew. Marcus mimicked a fireplace with an app on his laptop, and Jaden set up some battery candles to add to the warm ambience. What a great night!



This is our last port in Africa!

Our crossing over was very rough. And I mean VERY rough. All the new crew was hanging over the side. Including some of the new maritime crew! But we managed to go to class everyday and still have a lot of fun on the rolling seas.

We spotted wildlife every day, including whales, sharks, sea lions and jellyfish. So far this is a great start to the new semester. This town is literally in the middle of a desert. And a fairly new desert too. I learned today that due to people changing the direction of the river, the sand no longer got washed out to the sea and instead gathered in dunes around the city. The river change occurred in 1960!

We started out first full day with some sand boarding down the dunes! The sand here is more course then the sand in the Sahara Desert, and it’s also very sparkly because there is so much salt in it. Sand boarding works by the guides taking you on the back of their quad to the top of the sand dune. Then you lay on a board and slide down! Then they pick you up on their quad and bring you back up again.

For port program we did a black township tour. We visited the villages that you see on tv in those “save Africa” ads. The people made huts out of anything they could find. Most of them would have a wheel barrow or a bike on top for a roof. Here we played with the kids in the kindergarten and walked through the village talking to the locals and learning about how they live.

For my anthropology field trip today we went in a land rover through the dunes. We stopped at a burial site for natives who used to live in the desert. We were holding the artifacts that you would see in a museum – human remains, giraffe skulls and vertebrates. It was unreal! We also saw a huge flock of hot pink flamingos!

We set sail tomorrow for St. Helana, another secluded island in the Atlantic Ocean. I’m really looking forward to this port, hopefully it will be like Tristan.

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