Ocean College

Redoing our social climbers

Date: 04.02.2022
Author: Nicolai
Position: Caribbean Sea
Nautical Position: 19°41.4 N 081°27.6 W
Etmal: 8279 NM
Ship: Pelican of London

Yesterday we started to climb up the mast to the Topsail platform to set the sail in its gear to get our social climbers, but for the majority it was just getting our social climbers back.

First time under sail for four weeks

Four weeks ago, we were on our way to Panama where we didn’t have any wind for sailing. We had a very nice land programe in Costa Rica and have been on board now for just one day and already have good wind conditions. So, it is now possible to sail! The Captain called all hands on deck to set a couple of sails, after which we were able to sail without engine. That’s what I missed for the last four weeks. The best feeling you can have, I promise!


Recently we have been having small presentations at every morning meeting concerning the different professions on board. Why you may wonder? Well, the crew will hand over their jobs to us trainees. This includes the job of the Captain, First Mate, Second Mate, Bosun, Engineer, Cook and Medic. We have time until Sunday to decide on a first, second and third choice and following that we will have job interviews, in which it will be decided which choice would suite us best.

Cabin is home again

My new cabin is now a home again and not only another person’s bed. Personally, I was a bit scared of our new cabins and watches because we didn’t know who our new cabin- and watch-mates are. It’s really important that you don’t start annoying each other in the cabin because you have to live with your cabin mates in a such a little place, there is no room for stressful situations. In my cabin we have set a new rule and tidiness system after which it is very tidy and not as chaotic as in the beginning. Having spent a couple of days in my cabin I can say that I really like my new cabin, especially the people. I didn’t expect things to turn out so well with my new cabin because I hadn’t had so much contact with some of my cabin mates before.

What is the first thing you want to do when you are back home?

Leander: I think the first thing on my “To Do List” when I am back home is definitely to cuddle my cats and meet up with my friends but of course also tell my family every bit and piece about the voyage.

Constantin: I will pet my dog and my parents 🙂

Lea: As we hopefully arrive on Easter Sunday, one of the first things I am looking forward to do is to have a nice Easter breakfast with my parents on monday, when we all have holiday. Because even though they know a lot about the voyage, I want to tell them every little detail again. Also, I am really looking forward to seeing my cats and horse again and show my grandparents and friends impressions of the voyage. But there are many small, simple things I am really looking forward to.

Benno: I’m really looking forward to ride around in the city of berlin with my bike on a sunny spring day.

Nicolai: Because I miss my whole surroundings, I will take a ride on my bike through my little city and ring on all doors where I know who live there.


: I am sending greetings to my parents, love you, grandparents, friends and all the people thinking of me. See you again soon! Moni: Liebe Grüße, ich freue mich, euch wiederzusehen!

Hannes: I love Ocean College, especially my teachers: Benno, Simon and Britta, and I also love my parents!

Caro: Liebste Grüße an meinen liebsten Scheschel, miss you und grüß ganz lieb zuhause <3.

A hard day of work with a spiritual ending

Date: 04.02.2023
Author: Juno
Position: Costa Rica One World Farm
Ship: Regina Maris

In the morning after the breakfast some people went to the jungle to finish building the ranger camp. Others went to the sweat lodge.

Preparing the sweat lodge

Juno What is a sweat lodge?

Soraya: A sweat lodge is like a sauna, but it’s way smaller and more of a spiritual place. In the middle of the sweat lodge there’s a hole where you put the hot stones in. It’s deep down in the jungle and next to the sweat lodge there’s a big fire which heats up the stones.

Juno: How was it to prepare the sweat Lodge?

Soraya: It was really exhausting because of the quantity and weight of the stones we had to carry. The muddy trail we had to bring down the stones and the wood didn’t make the work any easier.

Juno: What exactly did you do?

Soraya: I carried wood and stones to the sweat lodge.

Juno: How long did you have to work?

Soraya: From the morning until the afternoon. I’d say approximately around three hours more or less.

Juno: What is needed to build a sweat lodge?

Soraya: In order to build a sweat lodge you need material which isolates the heat in it. The „skeleton“ of the sweat lodge we built with very flexible wooden sticks. The walls were made ut of banana leaves and foils. First, we made a hole using a shovel to place the stones inside. After that we made a big fire next to the sweat lodge. Additionally, we used blankets as the door.

Building a Ranger Camp

Juno: What is a Ranger Camp?

Sarah & Johannes B.: A ranger camp is a small structure for future volunteers becoming rangers to stay at during their volunteering time. They sleep there during their sometimes days long jungle tours because they must protect the forest and the jungle from people illegally stealing wood and animal poachers.

Juno: How did you build it?

Sarah & Johannes B.: We started with measuring the ground and then we dug four holes. The most annoying step was bringing all the materials up. Into the holes we put metal poles and used cement to secure them. After that was done we started to build the roof. For that we had to bring up some other poles and secured them accordingly so they cannot fall. The actual roof was built with metal pallets. Then we added some bamboo poles so that future rangers can put their hammocks there.

Machetentraining mit Ken

The result

Juno: How long did you take to finish the camp?

Sarah & Johannes B.: It took four days. It was a lot of hard work but with team effort it was a success. The way through the jungle to the spot was very difficult and slippery and muddy but still beautiful but with the materials it was very hard because every second you slipped in the mud and sometimes fell down with the heavy stone blocks or metal poles or 16 kg bags of cement.

Juno: How does it look?

Sarah & Johannes B.: It doesn’t have any walls, it’s only 3 x 5,9 meters large and it’s a very simple building.

Juno: Did you experience any special moments while building?

Sarah & Johannes B.: Yes, we saw spidermonkeys and even Ken told us that he only sees them two times a year and he lives here. We are very happy about that and even more so when we saw a snake, which was very spectacular.

Ceremony in the sweat lodge: What follows is the experience from Soraya and Juno

The experience in the sweat lodge was very special for me, something to remember and quite different to a sauna. I was so excited and kind of nervous because I didn’t know what would happen because here it’s considered a ritual where you want to experience a near death experience, but later I learned that for that you must stay in way longer than we did.

The moment I entered the sweating lodge I started sweating like crazy. I literally have seen sweat pearls dripping like tears on my legs and arms. When the first stones came in, red, sparkling stones, the heat was overwhelming. It was kind of magical, because Ken greeted the four elements and he sang along with his drum the traditional „songs“.

A magical moment

At some point some people left the sweating lodge because of the heat and I felt the oxygen decreasing but I still felt safe because I knew that nothing could happen and I could leave any time, but I tried to stay strong. Lex would have said: „It’s just a mental thing. And if I learned something about it: Nothing in the universe is a coincidence. I felt relaxed and when the ceremony ended and I when I caught the fresh air from the outside, I felt a little bit dizzy but more than alive.

I had to drink a lot of water afterwards and I’m very thankful for Ken and the universe that I could experience this magical moment.

Lenya Marlene and I went back earlier and we walked barefoot in the mud. First, we used flashlights but then we noticed that the path was lit up for us by a beautiful full moon. In that moment we were able to reflect what we experienced and appreciated the  moment, which brought us closer to each other and  nature.


Marlene: Liebe Oma Opas, ich hoffe, es geht euch beiden super! Ich vermisse euch und freue mich, euch über die ganzen Geschichten und die Pflanzenkunde von Ken aus dem Urwald zu berichten:)

Juno: Liebe Mama, vermisse und denke an Dich.



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