Student Explorers

Location: Belize City - Belize

Day 22
by Wayne & Karen Brown

In Belize City we board our expedition ship, Nantucket Clipper. (This the same ship we used on our expedition last year, 2001: A Sea Odyssey.) We will be working on this ship as the onboard marine biologists. It will be our home and expedition base for the rest of our expedition. Nantucket Clipper is a lot bigger the Belize Aggressor III. It is made of steel and is 207 feet long and 37 feet wide. Nantucket Clipper has a crew of 26 and carry 100 passengers. It is not designed for scuba diving like the Belize Aggressor III. Nantucket Clipper is made for expedition cruising in the coastal waters of North America, Central America and the Caribbean islands. Onboard our ship is a fleet of special inflatable boats with outboard motors that we will use for visits to small islands and other areas were we can explore on land.

After we board Nantucket Clipper we go up to the bridge to meet the captain. Captain Dan Verhoff welcomes us on his ship and shows us the bridge where he runs the ship. The surprising thing is that he shows us he does not steer this ship with a steering wheel, like Captain Ken did on the Belize Aggressor III. Captain Dan steers this big ship with a joy stick that looks like it came off of an arcade video game! (Compare the bridge of the Nantucket Clipper with the bridge of the Belize Aggressor III.) If you like to play video games you would like to drive this ship. Captain Dan sits in a big, soft chair with video screen on each side of the chair. One video screen has a big map of the area and shows where the ship is. The other video screen is the radar and shows any land and boats close by, even at night! On the console in front of Captain Dan are lots of dials and buttons to push and levers to move.

Captain Dan tells us that we have a bunch of kids who will be with us this week. We leave Capt. Dan and go to meet the kids. We meet the 10 student explorers who will be with us for this part of the expedition. They have come here with their parents to explore and learn about the people, animals and plants that live in this area of Central America. They are from all across the United States and even Guatemala! None of them knew each other until they meet on the ship.

Our students explorers are: Katie (Dan and Abby's sister - - age 16), an 11th grader from Dublin, Ohio; Frank (age 14), a 9th grader from Fair Oaks, California; Spencer (age 14), a 9th grader from Los Angeles, California; Alexander (age 13), an 8th grader from St. Louis, Missouri; Alle (age 13), an 8th grader from Newport Beach, California; Dan (Katie and Abby's brother - age 13); Mallory (age 12), a 6th grader from Los Angeles, California; Abby (Katie and Dan's sister - age 11); Sophia (Carolina's sister - age 11), a 6th grader from Guatemala City, Guatemala; Peter (age 9), a 3rd grader from Pennsylvania: and Carolina (Sophia's sister - age 7).

Our student explorers will be exploring right along with us during the expedition. At the end of the expedition we will have them tell you what they liked and didn't like about everything they saw or did during the expedition.

It is now time for us to unpack and join everyone for dinner. Tomorrow we will look for jaguars in the world's only jaguar sanctuary in the rainforest of Belize!

Best fishes,
Wayne & Karen



Belize City, Belize

Position: 17º 30' N / 88º 11' W
Air Temp: 84ºF
Weather: light breeze, sunny with scattered clouds.
Water Temp: 81ºF

The Nantucket Clipper is 207 feet long and 37 feet wide. The big windows at the top of the ship, in front, is the bridge. The bridge is where the captain runs the ship.

Captain Dan shows us his bridge. His hand is on the joy stick that he steers the ship with. (Compare this bridge to the Belize Aggressor III.)

Left to right: Spencer - age 14, Alexander (age 13), Sofia (age 11), Alle (age 13), and Mallory (age 12).

Left to right: Katie - age 16, Abby (age 11), and Dan (age 13).

Peter (age 9) and his friend Pikachu.


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