Ocean College

From the Blog

Exciting Programme Change

Date: 23. October 2022
Authors: Anna, Leni
Position: Dartmouth, Harbour
Nautical Position: 50˚24.07’ N 003˚34.5’ W
Etmal: 429,7 NM

For everyone who is irritated, looking at our position: Yes, we are still in Dartmouth…

Changed plans

As you maybe already know from reading the other daily reports, we are kind of caged here in Dartmouth.

Lots of deep pressure areas are approaching from the south, bringing strong winds, which make it impossible to move south to Vigo. But our clever Captain Chris figured out a small gap yesterday we could have used to make our way to Vigo.

Unfortunately, we missed this gap because electricians hadn’t finished their work. So, we are still here, and we don’t know when the weather will allow us to get away from Dartmouth. Luckily, we have a great crew and a motivated team of teachers, who came up with a great programme for today.

Introduction into Navigation and Chartwork

Tamsin, our new Second Mate, taught us how to work with charts (maps are called charts) and explained the difficulties of chartwork. For navigation, earth is divided by 90 degrees north and south from the equator, which is called the latitude. From the meridian going through Greenwich in London, it is divided by 180 degrees east and west. This is called the longitude. On every chart there are lines of longitude and latitude, helping us to get some orientation and find our position by looking at our coordinates.

It also has a number and a title, to identify it and to know what it’s showing.

Another very important piece of information on the charts is the scale, which tells us how long the distances shown by the chart are in reality. The scale also gives us a clue to how exact the chart is. The reason for this is, that the latitude and the longitude on a chart in comparison to the real area on earth are stretched, in order to transfer the landscape of a round planet on a flat piece of paper.

Because of this stretching we must be careful with measuring distances. When we take a distance onto a chart, we always look at the longitude scale at the same height on the chart as the area where we have taken our distance to see how long it is. This way we make sure that the measuring is as correct as possible.

When we are navigating with the magnetic compass, we must look at the lines of variation on the chart, which show us the difference between the magnetic north, shown by the compass, and true north. The inner earth is fluid and moves, so the magnetic field and the magnetic north are moving, while the true north, meaning the point where the rotating axis goes through earth, is fixed. This difference between true north and where the magnetic compass points to is called variation. We have to change our heading depending on the variation, to get where we want to get.

Competition time

In the afternoon a scientist from Seas your Future, named Charly, arrived and brought a welcome challenge on board. She first told us some facts about wind turbines and what factors influence their speed and effectiveness.

Later she explained what our exercise for the afternoon was. We were divided into six groups including people from each pathway. Our very imaginative, epic team names were Chicken Wings, Turbinators, Aerodynamics, Fabulous Five, Group 2, and the Futurists.

We got one hour to build our wind turbines, for which we should have used as little materials as possible, a task mainly for the economists. The second part of the task was to create a creative, convincing presentation of our turbine, which mainly was the responsibility of our media people. After one hour of planning, discussing, cutting, gluing and feats of ingenuitive architecture, finally the big moment came.

Some of us were incredibly talented at producing and presenting our windmills as fantastic and unbeatable, even if they held just a piece of scraps in their hands. In addition to our presentation, we also tested the effectiveness of our turbines, attaching them to a little dynamo. We blew with a hairdryer at them and looked at how much voltage they could produce. In conclusion we had lots of fun this afternoon, heard some excellent and amusing presentations, and created some really great working wind turbines, able to produce more than 70 Volts. Working brainstorming and being creative together was a nice feeling and reminded us, that we a team, the crew of the pelican and also kind of a family.
I greet my parents, my friends and the Philos, I miss you and hope that you are fine and having a good time.

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