Last week Trilogy had the great opportunity to lead a group of students from Seabury Hall on a four day Winterim. Seabury is a college prep school here on Maui and the goal of their Winterim is to get students outside of the classroom and into some real-life experiential learning. Ranging from acting to volunteer work, students were given the opportunity to choose from an impressive list of courses. Trilogy was honored in its inaugural participation to offer the Intro to Marine Science and Sailing class. As the new Conservation and Education Director I was also excited to share my knowledge with these eager students.
As the sun rose Monday morning nine students and and I made our way to Lana`i on Trilogy VI. Our objective on day one was to conduct an Eyes on the Reef survey of Hulopoe Bay. While all of the students had been to Lana`i before none of them had snorkeled Hulopoe Bay, home to various tropical fish and spinner dolphins. You may have heard Hawaii was hit hard by coral bleaching this summer and we are continuing to monitor the recovery and health of our reefs. Our blog post Coral Bleaching 2016 - the Update from Maui discusses its causes and what you can do to "Think Blue."
Tuesday was filled with an Oceanography class, Basic Sailing Techniques and finished under the stars with Celestial Navigation. The students set out on Trilogy II, a 64ft catamaran with the guidance of Captain Barnes and crew. Light winds and clear skies allowed for a perfect night gazing up at the sky while learning how to navigate by the stars from one of the original crew and navigation experts on Hokule`a, kupuna Uncle Sol Kaho’ohalahala. The Hokole`a is a double-hulled sailing canoe that was built to replicate and retrace the voyage of ancestral Polynesians using only the stars as navigation points as they did when first arriving on Hawai`i. The students were awed and captivated by Uncle Sol’s lesson making this class one of their favorites.
Wednesday we were back in and on the water again. Staring the day with another Eyes on the Reef survey of Mala Wharf allowed the students to compare very different coral reef structures. A quick marine mammal lesson over lunch prepared them for a whale watch. We got to see the humpbacks in action, and boy did they put on a show! A baby continuously breached alongside us followed by a whale mugging which kept us from turning on our engines until the visit was complete.
Our last day of the Winterim was met with excitement for the activities planned and also sadness as it was our last day together. Lunch gave way to a lesson about the Deep Sea followed by a messy squid dissection. Squid ink was put on faces, mantles were stuck to noses and eye balls were popped on each other as we explored the three hard parts and the three defense mechanisms of the squid.
The day finished with Sailing Physics and Techniques in 25+knott wind out of Ma`alaea Harbor. The students were able to put all of their skills from the week to the test and completely sailed the boat by themselves with the helpful and watchful eye of Captain Martin. The week was full of ‘teachable moments’ and laughter and I as well as Trilogy look forward to participating in future programs with Seabury Hall.
By Magen Schifiliti