Sea of Opportunities

Our Impact

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Egan Maritime Institute believes in the power of education to create an innovative and inspired maritime workforce for tomorrow. Did you know that 75% of the world’s goods are transported by sea? Or that maritime industries are facing a major problem with an aging workforce and small pool of rising talent?

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 September 23, 2019)
  • 4,833 - Youth Interactions and Counting
  • 1,719 - Classroom Students
  • 2,470 - Tall Ship Field Trip Students
  • 573 - Summer Surfboat Particpants
  • 71 - Student Mariners

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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Dr. Amanda "Mandy" Knight Bardsley, 8th grade Oceanography & Maritime Studies teacher, and 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 Amanda "Mandy" Bardsley, Ph.d., 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, Dr. Bardsley 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 learn boat building techniques from local builders such as Eric Finger; 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!

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, one more Student Mariner will begin 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.

Class of 2014
  • Paige Decker
  • Lee Geddes
  • Matt Finlay
  • Chloe Plank
Class of 2015
  • Ethan Araujo
  • Nick Araujo
  • Sophie Kuhl
  • Fernando Young
Class of 2016
  • John Beattie
  • Kirra Bruce
  • Emma Chambers
  • Kalina Cruz
  • Tori Dixson
  • Matthew Dougan
  • Will Daffin
  • Alex Gibson
  • Sophie Kuhl
  • Trevor MacEachren
  • Megan Marks
  • Amelia Matson
  • Karen Murtagh
  • Phaedra Plank
  • Cody Proch
  • Trent Valero
Class of 2017
  • Tyler Anderson
  • Carlos Ardon
  • Samir Banjara
  • Justin Beal
  • Grant Beebe
  • Moanna Blaksteen
  • Ericson Bonilla
  • Tadhg Cawley
  • Cameron Christie
  • Kassandra Delgado
  • Bishaka Dhamala
  • Grace Hood
  • Brianna Falconer
  • Joan Guzman
  • Finnuala Klawetter
  • Julia Kuslyte
  • Daniel Murphy
  • Amanda Nazareth
  • Marta Saravia
  • Elena Tittle
  • Faedra Wheeler
  • Adelaide Wilson
Class of 2018
  • Danielly Alves AraÚjo
  • Tadhg Cawley
  • Cameron Christie
  • Elliott Corry
  • Macy Crowell
  • Marcanthony Edwards
  • Camden Faust
  • Kimla Francis
  • Camden Knapp
  • Erin McCormack
  • Daniel Murphy
  • Cate Oberly
  • Garner Ray
Class of 2019
  • Morgan Ashelford
  • Sam Cristler
  • Eli Fuller
  • Quinn Keating
  • Colin Lynch
  • Abby Mason
  • Erin McCormack
  • Sean Murphy
  • Aiden Ranney
  • Garner Ray
  • Justin Roethke
  • Ella Scott

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 them.

Tall Ship Lynx

Tall Ship Fritha

Schooner Thomas E. Lannon

Purchase Tickets | Historic Boat Excursions

By Land And By Sea Banner
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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

Throughout July and August, Egan Maritime will be hosting curated sails and historic harbor cruises with our on the water partners. Currently, Egan's staff is busy charting next year's offerings. To stay up to date with all Egan Maritime cruises, sails, and programs, you may join our monthly e-newsletter mailing list by clicking here, or head over to our calendar of events by clicking here.