Caribbean Sail Training (CST) member vessel Regina Maris was the second Tall Ship this past week to be hosted by the Port de Marigot during their short visit here.
The vessel sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Amsterdam and left Wednesday for a visit to St. Eustatius. On board for six months are about 30 students from a VWO 4 school in Holland together with several teachers.
They will be welcomed and entertained by the students, teachers and management of the Gwendoline van Putten School. Many of the local students will be taken on a day trip to Saba on Thursday.
Several activities are scheduled for the next few days in Statia before the vessel leaves the island on Sunday. From there the students will continue their adventure to the ABC (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao) Islands, Panama and Cuba, finally sailing to Bermuda and back to Amsterdam in the spring.
Regina Maris is a fast and very seaworthy ship built in 1970. It measures 48 meters and has a total sail area of 650 m2. Students sleep in quadruple cabins. A total of 32 School-at-Sea students can be accommodated. The vessel has four showers, sanitary facilities, hot water, electricity, a well-equipped kitchen and a spacious lounge.
The deck of the ship is equipped with modern communications, radar, GPS navigation and autopilot. In the engine room a Caterpillar diesel engine of 365HP provides reliable back-up. Two generators provide power, whatever the weather. The Regina Maris sails under the Dutch flag and her home port is Amsterdam.
The Netherlands-based School-At-Sea programme is designed for children from 4 VWO who are willing to rise beyond themselves. The school offers the programme as a show of responsibility to students and to introduce them to other cultures and societies.
“School at Sea believes students are much more capable than they sometimes think. They are encouraged to think and act independently, a process that is rolled out in stages. Broadening their horizons, that is what the students (age 14-17) of School at Sea literally do. They sail to the Caribbean and back in six months and learn to develop their talents and leadership skills.”
CST was established 15 years ago as a foundation and is now officially registered in St. Martin and the European Community with the aim of providing education and sail training to young people of all nationalities, cultures, religions and social backgrounds and especially towards people living in the Caribbean.
CST receives funding from businesses, private persons and other organizations. Those funds are used to provide youngsters with sponsorship to board ships and yachts as trainees so that they do not need to find the necessary money themselves.
Many of the Caribbean youth or their parents and families are not wealthy enough to come up with necessary funds to provide their youngsters a sail training term on board a vessel, so that’s where CST comes in to help.
The Daily Herald.