Learning Spotlight: What’s In a Sail?

April 21, 2017

Nora April 2017 parts of the boat

A lesson on parts of the sail

Students aboard the Carlyn explore marine science unlike any classroom experience: they formulate a science question, decide how to test their hypothesis and then collect data throughout the course of their Salish program. It’s an amazing learning process to observe!

Carlyn also affords us the opportunity to teach kids about sailing, another area of learning that is new for many of our participants.

This season, our sailing crew includes first mate Nora, who worked with local sailmakerĀ Hasse & Company Port Townsend Sails and designed the current main and mizzen sails for Carlyn.

Raising sails

Managing the main sail on S/V Carlyn

During programs, our educators familiarize students with parts of the boat, which often involves a lesson discussing parts of a sail and how a sail propels a boat through the water — a very cool example of physics in action!!

During a recent trip, Nora sat down with students and shared her favoriteĀ Mnemonic device to help remember the parts of a sail: Mr LUFF had a TACK in his FOOT, but he had no CLEW he had a LEECH on his HEAD.

The best part? Students get to put their knowledge to work by raising, trimming and striking sails to get the Carlyn to the next science sampling station.

What’s your favorite way to remember sailing terms? Share your ideas on the Salish Facebook page and see more of our latest program photos on Instagram.

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