Recently I went on a trip with my freshman class at Northwest Yeshiva High School that was like no other. We sailed around Puget Sound for three days — without cell phones, showers and iPods — aboard the S.S. Adventuress, a 100-year-old wooden schooner. My initial thoughts before embarking were, “Oy vey, how am I supposed to get through this?”
Upon boarding the boat I was ready to chill with my friends for three days and enjoy the scenery, but that was not to be the case. Within the first hour of the trip, we were hauling up the sails and cleaning pots and pans like real crew. We were given no slack because we were inexperienced and young; we were put to work like every other sailor to board the S.S. Adventuress. At first it was a little overwhelming, having so much duty to fill all the time, but by the end of the trip we got through all our tasks easily and with much more enthusiasm than on day one!
Being on the boat gave me a different perspective on teamwork. On the boat, it’s literally “all for one and one for all.” In my life I had never seen that phrase used so literally. Whether it was “all hands on deck” to haul up the four sails in the morning, or taking turns watching the schooner in the middle of the night, everyone looked out for and helped one another.
For three days we experienced an alternate universe. We looked at nature first-hand, from porpoises to sea otters. We learned about sail theory and the physics of sailing. We learned about the ecology of the ocean and how important it is to keep it clean. Most importantly, we learned the true meaning of teamwork and caring for one another.