EcoClipper in the Classroom
20th October 2020
By: Matthew Bonvento
Maritime Educator, Researcher, and Safety Writer

A brighter future

What do you get with a virtual room of students combined with EcoClipper’s Chief Communications Officer and two EcoClipper Ambassadors? A brighter future. Recently Hannah Hurford and Valentin Zumbusch took time out of their schedules to discuss the significance of sailing cargo, starting EcoClipper, the passion behind sailing, as well as what it takes to be involved in this very niche market. And this is one of my greatest joys as a teacher, educating my students in not just what is, but what the world can be if we look to make it a better place.

Sailing career

This discussion inevitably led to the skills necessary to become a tall ship sailor. As someone who has spent his career sailing modern cargo vessels, I was astounded by the answers. The modern day tall ship sailor, plying the oceans and carrying cargo must have a variety of skill sets, both traditional and modern. Wooden vessels require a carpenter and someone who knows how to maintain the hull. In the same breadth these modern tall ships require someone familiar with electrical equipment and solar panels, as this is how on board electricity is generated. Why do we need electricity? Because no one wants to live off of hard tack, weevils, and stale water. Although the idea of rum everyday sounds great, eventually your liver will catch up with you. Modern navigation techniques are coupled with celestial navigation to ensure that the vessel always maintains a safe voyage. 

This is one of my greatest joys as a teacher, educating my students in not just what is, but what the world can be if we look to make it a better place.

Work on board

Cargo operations are conducted much differently on a traditional sailing vessel then a modern cargo ship. On a modern vessel, cargo is loaded/discharged by stevedores. On a sailing vessel, the crew handles the cargo operations and takes pride in the use of traditional equipment. These unique vessels take pride in the furl of their sails and the happiness of the crew and passengers. This uniqueness is new to the modern cargo sailor. Our hearts harken back to a time when we were more connected to the sea and spray. This experience is one that we all dream of when first putting to sea.  Although the modern vessel provides it share of experiences and challenges, the sense of being at sea is removed slightly by the noise of the engines, smell of exhaust, and the monotony of the routine. I would not trade the life at sea that I had for anything, but I also welcome the challenge and joy that EcoClipper will bring to my life when I can finally set sail on a new adventure.

by: Matthew Bonvento
Maritime Educator, Researcher, and Safety Writer
Interested to stay updated with in depth information about the sailing cargo industry?
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The History of the Half Block Model

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