In my last post I attempted to explain how hard studying online while at sea could be. This time I hope to convince you that the agony is worth it. Who doesn’t want to sit around in their togs, knee deep in the water somewhere. While studying the conventional way has advantages so does the freedom to choose where, when and how I will study. In the link I provided last post from Montgomery College it also listed some advantages to studying online. [i]
For me having the option to choose whether to get dressed or stay in my pyjamas to do some study is kind of cool. Also, should I take my laptop to the beach or coffee shop or stay on the boat? The possibilities are endless and the environment I am in when writing can mean the difference between some mundane drivel or my brilliant creative writing. The oddesy, has an excellent blog post about the impact your environment has on your writing style.[ii]
Learning online also means that I get to manage my study time, I can be flexible about it. If I want to go snorkelling on that gorgeous coral reef or go for a paddle board over the giant clam garden, then I can because I can study anytime it suits me. If I am onshore exploring a new town, I can study with a latte and pastry overlooking a tourist attraction or beach. Most of all, choosing to study online while discovering Australia’s most beautiful places, means that I am keeping my brain active. Living and travelling on a boat is sometimes lonely and quite isolated, also long passages can be tedious. Having the chance to study Screen and Media may even open some opportunities for my photographic hobby in future.
If any of you are looking to improve yourself than I can fully recommend studying this way. Online study can be inexpensive and a great way to pass your time and improve your knowledge.
Previous study for me has been either in the workplace with visits from my assessor or in a classroom with instant access to a teacher and classmates. This new digital online study malarky means I am on my own with limited access to my teachers. There is an online study session once a week at a time which is almost impossible for me to join in due to internet access, or I am at sea rolling about so much my laptop is in danger or I am just too busy enjoying my surroundings away from the boat.
Being in a pristine wilderness marine park can mean no signal either phone or internet. To be able to study in these awful conditions I need to download or copy and paste reference material and workbooks before departing from said service. This means clogging up space on my laptop, I have been known to climb up the highest peak searching for phone service. If there’s none then I may have to return to civilisation earlier than expected, inconveniencing fellow shipmates. This online article from Roswell High School’s student newspaper, The Sting, helps to explain some more of the negative aspects of online learning.[i]
Using my laptop means it must be charged up beforehand or plugged in to the 12volt socket drawing precious power from the onboard battery system. A few days of overcast weather can really take a toll on the solar powered system. Power then becomes precious and needed more for fridges, lights, starter batteries and just about everything other than my study.
Studying in a classroom or even from your house doesn’t come with the same problems that I experience. Online learning is key in today’s world of technology. The following link from Montgomery College lists a few more disadvantages to online learning. [ii]
My next post will be about the advantages of studying at sea.
I am currently doing a Certificate IV in Screen and Media and have been asked to write some blog posts related to media. Instead of writing about Participatory Journalism such as the importance of the citizen video in the George Floyd trial, or about the changing face of journalism due to all the wonderful technology at our fingertips, I, in my wisdom, have decided to write about something a little closer to home for me, Education in the digital age. The following link to Oppida, an online education agency’s blog post about digital learning is a great read. https://www.oppida.co/blog/education-in-the-digital-age/ .
I think you may be interested in the pros and cons of deciding to study online while living the lifestyle that I do. As a fifty something, semi retiree living aboard a boat full-time while travelling around Australia’s beautiful coastline there are many reasons why I slap my head and wonder “why do I do this to myself”. I do not need the hassle or worry of submitting an assessment on time, I am probably never going to use this qualification and maybe most of all: “who is actually going to read or enjoy the rubbish I write?” On the other hand, the joyous feeling I get when my hard work results in a satisfactory outcome and positive feedback, I leap around excitedly thinking “ my brain is not quite as dead as I thought it was”.
The developments in digital technology have enabled me to choose what, how and when I learn. In my next post I will attempt to explain why studying at sea can be problematic.
Photograph by Elizabeth Reeve, Blog Author
 By Denetra Walker, Ph.D. student, Denetra on Twitter
Enjoying the Clarence River and Iluka NSW still. Plan to head north around March all going well with border restrictions. We had to defer our flight to Tassie on 11th January but hoping for a March/April trip.
After 5 months of exploring Lake Macquarie we have upped anchor and headed back to the ocean.
We woke to a beautiful morning at Wangi Wangi
and motored over to the Swansea channel to wait for our bridge opening.
We had a great overnight sail of 19 hours before going over the barway at Camden Haven.
Laurieton is the small town just inside the barway and is about 30km south of Port Macquarie in NSW. We have sailing buddies who have spent the summer here. They have given us a tour of the area and have made us feel very welcome.
There is currently an east coast low on the NSW coast creating some pretty strong winds and swell. We will stay in our protected anchorage here at Laurieton until later in the week before heading north to Iluka. The Qld border is still shut so we are not sure when or if we will make it into Queensland.
The weather is not too cold yet so we are happy to explore the NSW coast a little longer.
Liz has been doing some drawings and watercolor painting to stay sane and Tim has been taking care of the never ending maintenance that is needed on a liveaboard boat.
Freya says ‘wash your hands regularly, breathe in, breathe out, move on.’
Well although the crew is already pretty well trained in isolation techniques, we thought you might like to see what extra measures we have taken aboard Freya. Our isolation pod is looking fabulous after a few months of spit and polish, less the spit.
We’ve got together a survival kit of vitals
and have actually been practicing social distancing!
On a more serious note, we are having a wonderful time exploring this amazing lake. Afer nearly 4 months we haven’t even scratched the surface.
It must have been a very popular and pretty picnic spot in it’s day but sadly neglected now. There are hundreds of BIG kangaroos everywhere which has helped to keep the grass down otherwise our walk may have been more like a jungle safari.
So, as you can see, we have been doing our best to stay fit and healthy. These are times that we certainly never expected to experience in our lifetimes.
Freya hopes you all stay well so she can catchup with you after the crisis. Lets hope this is not the new norm.
Well as you can probably guess, we are still in Lake Macquarie. The summer heat has been abominable some days so our boat work has been slow going.
After the haul out we started sanding and varnishing Freya’s exterior timber which we are still working on. We also polished all the stainless steel again. Everytime we raise the anchor, we use our saltwater deck hose to wash the mud off. The salty overspray makes our bow roller go rusty very quickly.
Tim tried to adjust a bolt in the gearbox, but it broke off as soon as he touched it. Bugga, all round panic as we thought all kinds of nasty thoughts like hauling out again and getting a new gearbox! Thankfully Freya’s captain has a good knowledge of his boat so he managed to remove the gearbox while still in the water. A quick trip south of the lake, 30 minutes and $100 later, he returned with a repaired gearbox which he managed to install within the hour and preventing Freya from sinking. Phew, could have been much worse!
We have been able to reconnect with sailing friends and make new ones. We lead a fairly social existence. The local bowling club is about 5 minutes walk away and on Sunday afternoons we meet up with friends for drinks there. Tim has been lucky enough to win a meat tray twice now.
We were given a car for the weekend so yesterday we did a lap of the lake by road and finally managed to get to the coast and a few beaches. It was heavenly to sink our feet in the sand again.