Wanted for J-Term Course
By Ember Oparowski ’07
Christopher Pyle, professor of politics, and 11 students will join the crew
of the HMS Bounty, a 180-foot-long, three-masted, and fully rigged ship, during
January Term. Students will become full members of the ship’s crew, live
as sailors did in the eighteenth century, and receive one course credit.
From January 5 to January 19, the ship will sail south from St. Petersburg,
Florida, to the Dry Tortugas, east to Key West, and north to return to St.
Petersburg. If time and weather permit, students will learn maritime history
and celestial and GPS navigation. In the Dry Tortugas, the students will visit
an old Civil War fort and explore an underwater wreck.
“Sailing a tall ship is serious business. We will be sailing this ship
around the clock, in good weather and foul,” Pyle said. “The students
will stand watch, man the helm, and work high in the rigging setting and furling
sail. The whole point of the exercise is to get to the point where we can actually
operate the ship ourselves. This is no Caribbean cruise.”
The ship is a replica of the original Bounty, which was used by the British
navy to transport breadfruit from Tahiti to the Caribbean when her crew mutinied
in 1789. The HMS Bounty was built in Lunenberg, Nova Scotia, for the 1962 movie,
Mutiny on the Bounty. The ship will appear in Disney’s forthcoming Pirates
of the Caribbean II.
To apply, students must have prior sailing experience, swimming ability, and
upper-body strength. Applications for this course, as well as information about
cost and financial aid, are available from both Pyle and the politics department
and are due November 12.