Sea of Opportunities

Our Impact

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Sea of Opportunities is a diverse offering of education and outreach programs available to every Nantucket student at multiple points throughout their student career. It seeds the maritime workforce of tomorrow and opens doors for local youth to opportunities that will enhance their futures and our coastal community.

By the Numbers (as of December 6, 2021)
  • 5,700 - Youth Interactions and Counting
  • 2,200 - Classroom Students
  • 3,430 - Tall Ship Field Trip Students
  • 573 - Summer Surfboat Particpants
  • 78 - Student Mariners

Student Mariner Sails

This short film was made possible thanks to the generous support of Ritchie, Westray, and Katie Battle.

Starting in 2014, every summer Egan Maritime provides opportunities for local youth to sail aboard a Tall Ship for three or seven day expeditions to learn the ropes and find confidence at sea. These youth earn the title of Student Mariner after their return.

More than fifty island youth have sailed aboard Tall Ships for weekend or overnight sails as Student Mariners, and these sails have greatly impacted their futures. As of June 2018, six Student Mariners who have graduated from Nantucket High School have gone on to maritime institutions and academies, and they all attribute their choice of education and career paths to Lynx and their Student Mariner experiences.

In the fall of 2018, another Student Mariner began their studies at Northeast Maritime Institute in Fairhaven, MA; this will make a total of seven students thus far that have enrolled in a maritime institution due to the influence of Egan Maritime's programming. If you had told Egan Maritime this outcome back in 2014, we might not have believed you. But with the vision and dedication of Egan's leadership and supporters, we have exceeded every expectation we had for our maritime education program, Sea of Opportunities. Indeed, it is starting to feel like an ocean of opportunities, and we are just getting started.

Junior Mariner Program

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Harbormaster and Instructor Sheila Lucey

One of Egan Maritime's initiatives is to teach island youth boating safety courses. These are led by instructor Sheila Lucey, BMCS, USCG (ret.) Our Junior Mariner Operators Licensing classes, held at Egan's office, concludes with the students graduating with their Junior Mariner Operators License and a deep knowledge of boating safety.

The graduating students become equipped with the ability to operate a vessel, and the understanding of maritime boating rules including:

  • Make sure your boat is in top operating condition.
  • Make sure safety equipment, required by law, is on board and that you know where it is stored, that it is maintained in good condition, and that you know how to properly use these devices.
  • Have complete knowledge of the operation and handling characteristics of your boat.
  • Notify others of your schedule (a float plan) with a relative or friend.
  • Know your position and where you are going.
  • Maintain a safe speed at all times to avoid collision.
  • Maintain a clear, unobstructed view. Keep an eye out for changing weather conditions and act accordingly. Most boating collisions are caused by inattention.

We are grateful to have Sheila on our team. As she once said, "My favorite part of my job is working with and training young people. I just like trying to keep people safe. The only way I know how to pay this community back for all they have done for me is to do my best to keep them safe." Sheila also serves as Nantucket’s Harbor Master.

This course helps to enhance Egan Maritime's mission which is to inspire the appreciation and preservation of Nantucket's maritime culture and seafaring legacy.

Recently On Deck

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For current updates from our Sea of Opportunities classrooms at all island schools, out at the Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum, or aboard our Tall Ship partners click here.

Classrooms & Collaborations

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Evan Schwanfelder, Manager of Maritime Education.

Every 8th grade student at Nantucket Public School's Cyrus Peirce Middle School participates in our core class, Oceanography and Maritime Studies. Taught by Lindsey Rusack. Nantucket's seafaring heritage is combined with maritime sciences to give students a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) based curriculum that incorporates experiential learning opportunities into every unit.

Additionally, Ms. Rusack works tirelessly to collaborate with local maritime tradesmen, stakeholders, and leaders to further connect the 8th grade students with their coastal community. During the school year students will be in direct contact with local maritime professionals; meet the island's active Coast Guard officers while touring Station Brant Point; discover the science of breeding shell fish from the Town of Nantucket's Natural Resources Department's Shellfish Hatchery; or visit with the Town's Harbor Master and tour one of the island's marinas.

Egan Maritime partners with the private schools on the island to offer semester-based maritime programming to local youth. Incorporating science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) each program is designed to give students an experience-based learning opportunity that connects youth to their coastal community. In addition to classroom time, on the water experiences aboard a Tall Ship are incorporated into each school program.

Egan's Manager of Maritime Education, Evan Schwanfelder, works with both the Nantucket Lighthouse School and the Nantucket New School, implementing and teaching a STEM curriculum as well as inundating the predominately science-based lessons with Nantucket history. After a day at the Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum with the Lighthouse School middle school, the Assistant Director of Middle School Programs and 5th grade teacher, Mary Ann Bartlett, thanked Evan for the wonderful afternoon. She said:

We can't thank you enough for hosting our Middle School today at the Life-Saving Museum. The lesson on Polynesian Stick Maps was perfect! And, so well set up! We will have a lot to talk about in the next few days and weeks to come as our students digest all the information and make those connections to our ancient civilizations and explorers curriculum.

We really appreciated your upbeat, organized and engaging presentation, the student project, and all the preparation that went into it.

We look forward to working with you again sometime in the future Evan. For now, please know that the afternoon was really appreciated by everyone at the Nantucket Lighthouse School Middle School!

Tall Ship Partners

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Egan Maritime partners with Tall Ships from all over New England to bring on-the-water classroom time and experiences to Nantucket youth. Local students experience a sea-change when aboard these enchanting vessels, and Egan Maritime is proud to collaborate with these stunning vessels. To book a sale please visit:

Tall Ship Lynx

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"Went for a sail on the Lynx today, it was an incredible experience. Thank you Egan Maritime!" - Roberta S., August 2018

To stay up to date with all Egan Maritime programs you may join our monthly e-newsletter mailing list by clicking here, or head over to our calendar of events by clicking here.