Homeschool Adventures | By the River

A homeschool adventure on the Hawaiian Chieftain

I heard about the Hawaiian Chieftain from a friend who started homeschooling her daughter last year. It interested me for my son because we are learning about early explorers. Travelling back then was by water – how fun it would be to learn what it’s like to actually live on a big ship!

The Hawaiian Chieftain sails up and down the west coast throughout the year offering educational cruises and ambassadorial visits. My son joined the other children in learning about controlling the ropes, how the sailors communicated on the ship (lots of yelling, let me tell you!) and the lingo, and how ships and sailors traded while exploring the world.

We met at the Sacramento CA Port. I LOVED a different view of Old Town Sac. It was foggy and cold that morning which added to the atmosphere of stepping back in time. We learned was that the crew lived on the Hawaiian Chieftain for months at a time. It’s helpful to put this into context – the stated length of the deck is 65 feet and overall length of the ship is a little over 103 feet. If you think about this in relation to the size of your own home, then you can imagine how different it is to be sailor.

Foggy morning view of the Pyramid in Old Sacramento by the river

I didn’t have my regular camera because I was getting a few of my lenses calibrated (more on this in a future post) so I took the photos below with my iPhone. Even then it was hard not to take a million photos (ha!). It was a fun field for my son and I am glad that we were able to experience it! If you want more information, you can visit their website and find out if they are sailing near you.

By the way, I found this site on sailor terminology, in case you are inspired to learn sailor-talk ;) – Enjoy!

Tower Bridge in morning fog
View of the Tower Bridge raising its platform to let the Hawaiian Chieftain pass under
Children learning how to pull ropes on the Hawaiian Chieftain
Children learning about navigation on board the Hawaiian Chieftain
View of the Sacramento River from the Hawaiian Chieftain
Late morning view of the bow of the Hawaiian Chieftain with clouds and blue sky
Children learning about 18th Century trading between America, China, Europe, and Native Americans onboard the Hawaiian Chieftain
View of the Pyramid and Glass Tower in Old Sacramento from the Hawaiian Chieftain

Claire Toney is a Sacramento Photographer and a homeschooling mom. She lives in Rancho Cordova with her husband, 2 kids, and 2 dogs. She loves visually documenting her family's adventures, and offers the same services to families in Northern California. She is available for travel.