She sailed with SEA Semester in 1975.
From her interview on the SEA Semester website:
"Most of my novels take place on oceans and shorelines; I can’t even imagine my work without everything I learned from my time in SEA. Not just the facts taught in class and onboard ship, but the sense I gained of the world and my place in it. The enormity of the sea, the capacity we have to sail it, our responsibility to each other, to future generations, to the sea itself…"