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Hudson High School graduate sails across the Atlantic

Dane Rudy and the rest of the crew spent parts of their days learning about new lines and sails, and how they work. (Submitted photo)1 / 2
Dane Rudy, a 2013 Hudson High School graduate, spend 28 days at sea aboard this 144-foot ship. (Submitted photo)2 / 2

A 2013 Hudson High School graduate had a once in a lifetime experience spending 28 consecutive days at sea with a study abroad program called “SEA Semester.”

After graduating from HHS last year, Dane Rudy moved to West Lafayette, Ind., to attend Purdue University for mechanical engineering. He was looking at the school website for different study abroad programs and came across the opportunity to spend part of his summer sailing across the Atlantic Ocean.

“I was originally interested in small boat sailing because I had some experience with it,” Rudy said. “I’ve always fantasized about the idea of sailing across the ocean.”

The program started out with five days in Massachusetts learning about skills before the group could set sail, and then Rudy boarded a 144-foot ship with 24 other students and 10 professionals and sailed directly across to Ireland.

There was not a “typical day” on the ship, Rudy said. Every day there was a different direction of wind and new problems occurring which kept things exciting. There would have to be someone watching the boat at all times, and the students and crew took turns throughout the days and nights keeping an eye on everything.

During the day, Rudy would learn about different sails and lines, would do research, and work on resolving problems with the others on board.

His favorite thing that he learned during his time on the ship was how to navigate by the stars. The last third of the voyage the GPS system was covered which required the group to rely solely on following the stars, to see how people used to do it without technology.

Despite the cramped living quarters, Rudy said it was an adventure that he will never forget.

“It was a life-changing experience,” Rudy said. “I learned so many skills in a short period of time. It’s not something you can say you did every day.”