During the autumn break students Silas Bailey and Morgan Barack completed Atl@s (Advanced Training in Leadership at Sea) aboard Sir Peter Blake’s around the world race winning boat Steinlager 2.
Atl@s is a week-long annual collaboration between the NZ Sailing Trust and Scouts Aotearoa to teach and test leadership skills in a challenging environment just as Sir Peter Blake once did.
A five-day journey through the Hauraki Gulf took the group from just outside Auckland to places including Great Barrier Island, the Mokohinaus and Little Barrier. The journey was an exciting opportunity to not only travel on a famous historical boat but to also learn valuable skills at sea.
“Not many people get an opportunity like this. When the skipper was debriefing us at the port, he said that people used to give an arm and a leg to go on this boat. That definitely made me realize how lucky I was to be on it,” said Silas Bailey.
The trip, of course, did not come without its challenges and the sailing experience was new for many land scouts.
“The hard part was waking up at six in the morning and being forced to jump off the side of the boat and swim because it was literally your only opportunity to have a wash!”
For Silas, the highlight of the trip was travelling to the Mokohinaus when the boat was picking up speed as “the boat was on a thirty-degree lean, and water was coming in over the side. Everyone had to run on the starboard side of the boat to keep it steady. It was extremely hectic.”
When asked whether he would recommend this experience to other teenagers he replied, “I would recommend it to anyone who thinks they have the will to push themself by experiencing something new and doing things like fundraising. If you have an interest in sailing, navigation and marine life that’s going to be a really good opportunity for you.”
Let this be a reminder to get out of your comfort zone and consider taking new opportunities that come your way, even if it might be something you wouldn’t normally give a try!
By Asherah Foxlee (Year 10)