The Black Dolphin as of this writing is currently anchored off Round Island, the fifth grade class is ashore for the day examining the relationship between world explorers and the natives that they encountered.I love the feeling of being at anchor, the boat gently bounces up and down with the waves only a short distance from the island. The day is cool with a nice breeze and the students are excited and discussing how the two different groups should work together or against each other to achieve their goals.
The boat feels safe and secure and it always amazes me how much faith I put in an anchor. It is the only thing that is keeping the boat from swiftly drifting onto the island and yet it only weighs 40 kilos and is keeping a boat that displaces 18 tons of water firmly planted in its place. The anchor is able to hold a boat in place due to scope, the ratio between water depth and the amount of anchor line or in our case chain. This changes the angle of force that the weight of the boat puts on the anchor and allows any well designed anchor to dig deeper into the sea floor as more force is placed on it.
The whole experience serves to remind me that most anchors are in fact quite small, but the things that they are able to hold fast are incredible.
The anchor of The Harbour School’s boat program is the idea that experiential education on the waters of Hong Kong is valuable to student learning. It’s so small a thing and yet with the right scope it carries the weight of a heavy and unique program.
It continually astonishes me that this one idea brought a boat to Hong Kong and created the possibility of sailing an entire class of fifth graders to an abandoned island for the day. So simple and small an idea but once the right ratio of people, work and passion are applied, one that makes so much possible.