I’m Coming home!

I packed my bunk in Cape Town and jumped on an airplane to come home.

30 hours later and I was saying hi to waffles.

I left it a surprise to everyone that I was going to come home for semester break. So I showed up to the school and the news got around pretty quick.

Not much has changed at Northern, but it was fun to have crazy sailor stories to tell my friends.

It was strange from being in the ocean with no land in sight and just a few days later at home again.

Crazy how far you can travel in just hours.

My parents had a few parties with friends showing up to say hi.

It snowed while at home so it really did feel like Christmas!

Just heading back to Detroit now to fly back to Cape Town South Africa for semester 2!

New maritime crew and 4 new students are coming onboard so it will be cool to show them around.


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33 Days at Sea

Wow 33 days at sea and so many exciting things happened!

So I left my parents in Argentina and set sail on the longest passage yet.

This passage was full of beautiful sunsets and perfect storms.

The green flash was becoming a normal occurrence as the crew would watch the perfect sunsets off the stern of the ship. I saw the green flash three nights in a row! I even saw it from from aloft!

We had to do some loopdy loops in the ocean to await for the perfect weather window to get into Tristan.

But was it ever worth it! Tristan is so green! The first thing I did once I got to shorewas lay in the grass!

We had students from the island ages 8-14 give us a tour. We saw the volcano, the potato patches and some penguins!

I helped plan the winter formal dance for the crew onboard. Everyone dressed up, had a fancy dinner (WITH napkins!), watched the sunset and then danced on the for’deck.

Christmas and new years was also in this passage. My parents gave me some Christmas cards they received for me and a stocking to open on Christmas!

Exams were during new years, so most of the crew had to be woken up 10 minutes before the new year so we could celebrate. After hugs all around I headed back to bed.

Students took over the ship for 24 hours. Sailing all by ourselves, we rigged and raised a sail that we have never raised before.

With a goal of staying on an impossible course we doused some sails and set others trying to stay on course and sailing above 5 knots.

My dad wasn’t lying when he said we would be able to smell land. We really could! It was the best smell I’ve smelt in a while! We could even hear the waves crashing on the shore.

Then the first mate told me my dad was talking to her this morning and he already found a webcam pointing at us. Haha!

After landing in port the crew ate anything BUT BEANS!! After sailing for so long, you begin to run out of fresh food. Then the meat. Then pasta… so you eat beans.

For every meal. Every day!



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 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!)



Next Port: South Africa

Well after many weeks of travelling across the Atlantic, the crew of the Gulden Leeuw will now be in constant company into port.

Scheduled arrival date is January 5th..

The ship will have a 2 week hiatus as the crew get a nice break before starting Second Semester

Returning to the ship January 17th, they will have some port time to explore Cape Town as a group.

Heading out of Cape Town, they have one more stop in Africa, before heading back across the Atlantic towards the Caribbean..     2 small islands will have landings through their crossing.

See the red track on the following map.glSSGLJAN3

Log Keeper on Gulden Leeuw – Allie Kozachuk


An update (below) from the ship, from Allie!

Good morning –
Please see below today’s daily report. The crew have been handed control of the ship for 24 hours! Something every crew works toward over the course of the semester!!!!!


Gulden Leeuw

”All hands to the foredeck!” Olaf, the second mate called everyone out of class to countdown our crossing over the Greenwich Meridian yesterday. Everyone’s been busy studying for exams and getting the last sailing in before semester break. Captain and the maritime crew handed the ship over to the students at 1800 last night. Overnight the students have been in charge of sailing the ship to maintaining a speed over ground of 5 knots, maintaining a balanced sail plan, navigating, lookout and solving any problems that arise while we’re on watch. It’s a way we see how much we have learned this semester about sailing and ocean safety.

UTC DATE/TIME: 06:45 – December/28/2015

BOARD DATE/TIME: 06:45 December/28/15
POSITION: 34º 52.118’S 1º 58.185’W

SEA STATE: Slight to moderate waves 0.5-2.5m
SAILS CARRIED: Flying jib,Outer Jib, Inner Jib, Fore Stay Sail, Main Stay Sail, Main Sail, lower topsail, Upper topsail, T’gallent

Allie Kozachuk


LandFall Tristan Da Cunha !

Well it was a pretty crazy, but the ClassAFloat 2015 students made landfall to the most remote Island in the world!

Although the boat safely anchored outside the island..  The waves and wind prevented the tender from being launched


The weather forecast was looking very favourable…  but being so open to elements there was no guarantee..  The last time the ship was at this island they had to sail past.. there was no way to safely make it to shore..

Waking up at 4am, Timbo decided to add $10.00 to his skype account and attempt a call to the island.

After adjusting country codes, and typing in 14 more numbers, a distinct British phone ring begun (Ring Ring……..  Ring Ring…..  you know?)

On the other end a soft voice answered the phone…   Miss Iris Green… the Post Mistress of Tristan Da Cunha

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Talking for 10 minutes or so, I enquired if our Christmas packages arrived to Tristan..  She said 6 or so arrived but many went to the wrong island (St. Helena).. and some were still in Cape Town.

I then asked if anyone from the Gulden Leeuw made it ashore..

“Yes, about 45 students are outside my office right now”

Timbo ” If you see a girl that looks like her name may be Allie, can you tell her Dad Called.. Merry Christmas”

About 2 hours later my phone called..  Iris Green let the students use the post office phone to make a Christmas call…

Very Cool!


More details here:


Gulden Leeuw

We made landfall yesterday! Everyone was excited to go and the line for the dingy was long. We were all on land and laying on the grass by 09:00. We were led to the Post Office and Tourism Centre where everyone bough post cards and sent them off to loved ones for Christmas. There was also a small cafe in the centre with a musuem and a family tree of all 270 islanders. This is where we met Dawn and the St. Mary’s students and were taught about the 1961 volcano eruption. Later some students even went on a hike to see said volcano, while the others went exploring. It was very kind of them to open up their stores on their Christmas break. Time flew by and we all had to head back to the ship by 18:30. We set sail by 20:00 and started our journey to Cape Town.

1 day till Christmas! It’s Christmas Eve!



Next Port – Tristan Da Cunha (Hopefully!)

The Class Afloat crew and families are all crossing their fingers that the Gulden Leeuw will be able to successfully visit their next port this coming weekend. Weather/sea conditions must be perfect for anchorage.

Located in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Tristan de Cunha is an archipelago of small islands considered THE MOST REMOTE PLACE IN THE WORLD!

Surrounded by rocky terrain and choppy waters, the island is only accessible by boat with its closest neighbors, South Africa and South America, 1,700 and 2,000 miles away respectively.

There are approx 275 residents living there.  7 surnames00_tristan 2 tristan-da-cunha Tristan-da-cunha_erwin_vermeulen tristan2rristan-da-cunha-map


Arrival Argentina !!!

Too fun watching the kids come in today….   A ton of fun getting to know the parents here in town before their arrival!

A very cool experience for all!

A little inside information… I asked Allie how she managed to get to the top of the mast for entering the port…

After a long day of classes, cleaning the boat to from bow to stern for the parents….

A call was made for 12 volunteers..   just 20 minutes before dinner…

Normally this is for a sail change…     Allie volunteered, but being very tired and hungry went to the coordinator and asked…   Im ready to help, but really if this is going to take too long, I must have something to eat first…  he said… ‘sit down’

To the 12  volunteers, he stated.. your all going to be aloft for entering the port!

Allie is center top mast… enjoy !!!!