The Flint School 

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Flint School Ship teQuest (Aquarius/Black Douglas/El Boughaz) TeVega (Vega/Etak/Deva)
 Length-Over-All 173 ft 156 ft
 Length-Deck 156 ft 134 ft
 Beam 32 ft 28 ft
 Draft 12 ft 17.5 ft
 Main Engine 400 HP - Enterprise Diesel 225 HP - Mirrlees Diesel
 Sail Area 10,346 sq ft 10,403 sq ft
 Tonnage 371 243
 Electrical Supply 2 - 60KW Caterpillar Diesel 2 - 60KW Caterpillar Diesel
 Crew ~ 45 Students & ~ 15 Staff ~ 45 Students & 10 Staff

Docked in Copenhagen

Where did I go?  
(Each map represents each academic school year from 1976-1980) 
I started when I was 13 years old from Bermuda.  I weighed just 72 lbs and spent 1,022 days onboard, before graduating with a College Prep. diploma in Monte Carlo, Monaco.  
(These maps are courtesy of Will Trillich on board 1976-80, also)  

Atlantic: Bermuda -> Caribbean -> Azores -> Northern Europe

North Europe: Denmark -> Norway -> Netherlands -> France -> England -> Denmark

Europe: -> Cadiz(!) -> Gibraltar -> Balearics -> Corsica -> Italy -> France -> Monaco

Mediterranean: -> Malta -> Piraeus -> Thera -> Crete -> Naples -> Genoa -> Monaco

The Flint School was one of several boarding prep schools on ships, which have come and gone over the decades.  One of these schools, which was similar to ours, was popularized in the movie White Squall.   This school was characterized by it's libertarian values and reverence for 'reason'.

What Did We Do?
F l i n t   S c h o o l : A   D a y   i n   P o r t
This documentation is courtesy of Will Trillich on board 1976-80, also  
SCHOOL DAYS - Now, our week was ten days long in port. When we pull up stakes to go sailing to the next port, school days are suspended until we reach our destination. Sometimes sailing schedules, which honored tides and other favorable conditions, would cause confusion with our class schedule. 
06:45 AM Wake-up bell  - Get dressed for P.E.
07:00 AM Exercises - Jogging, push-ups, sail raising drills, water skiing, swimming laps around the ships, etc.
08:00 AM During breakfast we'd listen to the BBC radio report gathered by night watch. Frequently during a meal, we'd be tested—the infamous Awareness Quiz—on various news items, such as, the price of Gold.
09:00 AM 4th R - "Reason" - the school's trademark class
10:00 AM Two more classes, such as "Problems in American Democracy", biology, drafting, foreign languages, spelling, grammar, history, "Modern European History", etc.
12:00 PM Lunch - Galley duty was another area where the student body rotated through, to do the work required: waiter, scraper, washer, rinser... When our turn came, we'd spend a day at each post, getting out of class a bit early to help set tables and staying out of class afterward until all galley duties were secured.
12:30 PM 3 - more classes - Usually, math, science and literature.
03:30 PM Free Time included shore leave: depending on your rank, you could go ashore for an hour and a half in a group of 4, 3 or 2; for student ranks above "mate" (ranks which were seldom reached) you could go ashore alone.   Unless, of course, your particular deck station had "work crew" for the day, which involved manual labor for the afternoon for one day out of six (there being six deck stations). 
If today happened to be "Big Deal" (one day in every ten school days) then all deck stations were on work crew for two hours, and after a formal supper we'd enjoy some entertainment—perhaps a film, a talent show, or a dance. ("Big Deal" was our affectionate name for a special day,)
05:00 PM Deck Stations - Clean decks, chip & paint, etc.
05:30 PM Cabin Cleanup - A perfect score was zero; if your room was bad enough to warrant a five, supper was postponed—for everyone—until you restored your room to a zero.
06:00 PM Supper - Those with the highest ranks got seconds.
07:00 PM Study Hall - Just 75 minutes to do your homework for 7 classes.  Since we were so busy doing ship work, sailing and touring, we didn't have time for tons of homework - nice!   Most long term students did very well on their SATs and got into college despite the 1950's grading standards of a 'C' really meant average in this school.

Yes, that is me on the far right - around age 15.
08:15 PM Break (snack) - If a student had a birthday, they could select a cake for us all.
08:30 PM Evening Reading - Usually Atlas Shrugged your first year on board.
10:00 PM Lights Out
overnight Night Watch:
In 75-minute shifts, we'd stand watch every other night. "Ideal" watches were first or last; "Dog" watches were second (gotta get up for your watch right when you drift off to sleep) and second-to last (not enough time to get back to restful sleep).  
On night watch, we stood guard next to the dock and scrubbed ropes clean, or set the tables for breakfast, measured bilge and tank levels, made sure we weren't dragging anchor, transcribed BBC news reports and other mostly maintenance tasks.

F l i n t   S c h o o l : A   D a y   a t   S e a
Cast Off Leave the old port behind and head out to sea.
Of course, before leaving port, you'd be wise to secure your bunk shelf.
08:00 AM ->
01:00 PM ->
07:00 PM ->
12:00 AM ->
04:00 AM ->
08:00 AM ->
Sail watches were scheduled in three shifts, rotating 24 hours a day into 5 shifts.   The watches were each broken into three stations: bow, engine room and helm, to take turns steering, watching for obstacles and traffic, and maintaining engine fluids, measuring bilge levels, etc. —continually, until either reaching port or the next watch came on duty.
Arrive Secure the two ships together and either drop anchor, secure to a buoy or make fast to the dock.   Usually, an excursion of some sort was arranged for the next day or long afternoon to see the place we were visiting.

  These were the main engines for each ship.  I spent 3 of my 4 years on the Engine Room crew and earned a vocational degree for 'Engine Room Operation & Maintenance Bo'sun for 250 ton vessels'.


   The directors of the the school were clever.  The had the 'rich spoiled kid' students to do ALL of the unskilled labor on the ships, such as, chipping rust, painting, varnishing and even working on the equipment.  When the ship went into dry dock every 2-3 years, the students would get 10 days of hard vocational training.  I Am shown on the left cleaning the oily slop out of the bottom of the 'shaft alley bilge' on TeVega in 1978 at the age of 15.


For more information, visit the the write-up at Wikipedia or our alumni website.   The Flint School closed in 1981 after 11 years of operation.   Eventually, a new school replaced it called Argo Academy.   Me today >


Flint School Alumni are welcome to use this page a as template, courtesy of Will Trillich and Palmer (P.K.) Stevens.