SCI 160L : Polynesian Voyaging and Seamanship Lab

Laboratory/field trip course designed to acquire seamanship skills and apply knowledge of astronomy, geology, oceanography, meteorology, marine biology, ethnobotany and archaeology through sailing and environmental exploring activities. Optional coastal and/or inter-island voyaging field trips may be offered. (Students will be responsible for fees for each activity.)


1. Minimum water skills and survival requirements: Pass the following water survival tests, which will be administered by the second lab: ability to swim a minimum of 500 yards in the open ocean using any strokes; ability to tread water for 30 minutes in the open ocean. 2. Health clearance: A written statement must be signed by a medical physician certifying that the student is physically capable of participating in the sailing activities scheduled for the lab. Health clearance must be submitted by the date of the first sailing lab


Course Outcomes

  • Apply both traditional Polynesian skills and modern scientific methods when engaged in sailing and environmental exploring activities.
  • Apply basic sailing and navigational skills to prepare and carry out a sailing plan.
  • Apply water safety skills.
  • Conduct basic canoe operations, including rigging, sailing and maintenance.
  • Identify Polynesian-introduced plants and native plants that are valuable for voyaging and discuss their value as food source, medicine, building material, and cordage.

Course Details