Young sailor learns the value of teamwork on tall ship
A young Bermudian studying on the high seas encourages anyone looking for adventure to do the same.
Elijah Samuels, 18, flew to Norway last August and joined more than 60 other young people, aged 16 to 19, aboard the Sorlandet.
The vessel is the oldest full-rigged tall ship in world still in operation and is home to the A-plus World Academy, which allows teens to earn a high school education and receive college credits while sailing to 17 different ports across ten countries and three continents throughout the academic year.
Elijah is believed to be the first Bermudian to participate in the initiative. He heard about it while scrolling through social media last year and learnt more when the ship docked on Front Street for a few days.
He graduated from the Berkeley Institute last year and chose to enrol in the programme as a gap year option.
Living on the ship for the past eight months, Elijah has learnt the value of teamwork.
He said: “I learned how to work alongside people that have completely different backgrounds. To run a ship together; it takes a lot of work – we say ‘one ship, one crew’, so everyone is sticking together.”
Some of his favourite duties include working with the sails and stowing the lines.
Sorlandet arrived in Bermuda from Puerto Rico on Tuesday and will depart next week.
While here, students will help plant endemic trees on Trunk Island.
Elijah believes that every young person in Bermuda could benefit from the programme, regardless of their sailing experience.
He said: “I think this is an opportunity that should not be overlooked, even if you are not looking for a career in the maritime industry.
“If you are interested and looking for something to do after high school, definitely apply, because it will be beneficial.”
Adam Rule, A-plus World Academy’s director of admissions, said the team wanted to accept another Bermudian into next year’s programme.
He said: “I know that there is at least one student from Bermuda who will benefit from and enjoy this kind of experience.”
The main thing that Mr Rule looks for in prospective students is a sense of curiosity and ambition.
He added: “[These kinds of students] ask more questions about the sailing and get out more in the ports that we go to, so students who have that adventurous spirit are the ones that I am looking for.”
Mr Samuels encouraged teenagers who were accepted into the programme to keep an open mind.
He said: “There are so many places to go and things to see that would open your eyes to new interests that you would not have even thought of.”
Elijah has applied to several universities in the United Kingdom and dreams of becoming a yacht pilot.
He thanked the Centennial Bermuda Foundation, the Department of Workforce Development, his family and A-plus World Academy for making this experience possible for him.
People can board the ship and learn more about the programme at an open house tomorrow at Pier 6, from 2pm to 6pm.
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