Summer at Sea

OFI sponsors two students to study aboard a tall ship

A view from the deck of the Statsraad Lehmkuhl. Image Credit: Molly Wells
June 28, 2022

Sailing towards sustainability

This spring, Molly Wells and Alannah DeJong travelled to the port city of Valparaíso in Chile to embark on a 16-week expedition aboard the Statsraad Lehmkuhl sailing vessel. With funding support from the Ocean Frontier Institute, the two students are participating in an ocean sustainability course offered through Norway’s University of Bergen. The interdisciplinary course is run on board the tall ship during the Pacific stretch of the One Ocean Expedition.  

From the moment they first walked onto the deck to leave the picturesque views of Valparaíso behind them, Alannah and Molly have been living as part of the crew: from lookout duties and sleeping in hammocks, to memorizing the names of the different ropes and sails and learning how to steer the ship. Their trip will take them from Chile all the way to Palau, with stops scheduled in between at Tahiti, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, and the Solomon Islands.

Researcher lowers a CTD probe to measure the conductivity, temperature, and depth of the water. Image Credit: Molly Wells

Standing at an impressive 48-metres high, the Statsraad Lehmkuhl has been repurposed into a research vessel, complete with modern instrumentation for measuring conductivity, temperature, and other ocean variables.  

This year’s program includes 90 students across 12 countries, representing 35 unique programs of study. Alannah is an archaeology student at Memorial University of Newfoundland, while Molly majored in marine biology at Dalhousie. With their diverse academic backgrounds, they will be drawing on their unique skill sets as they learn more about the connection between ocean, climate, and society in the context of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. This program aligns closely with OFI’s objective to advance ocean-related learning and teaching.    

Check back soon for updates from across the ocean as Molly and Alannah document their time aboard the ship. In the meantime, you can also follow their trip on Instagram @chiletopalau.