In today’s ‘Meet the OYT Scotland volunteers’ we meet one of our super dedicated young people who has already proved a huge asset to the Trust.
Today’s volunteer: Eilidh Sword
⛵ Q: How long have you been a volunteer with OYTS & what is your role?
A: My first voyage as a volunteer was in 2017 through the Caledonian Canal – Inverness to Oban. It was a baptism of fire for a first time watchleader! However, I came back and I’ve been sailing as a Bosun/Watchleader since!
⛵ Q: What and with whom was your first sailing experience & what made you come back for more?
A: My high school sailed as part of a Duke of Edinburgh Expedition, and I went in 6th year in 2015. My group went on Alba Venturer and I fell in love with her despite the fact I threw up all the way to Colonsay on day one! But the rest of the week turned it round. I remember turning to my watchleader and saying “I’m coming back.” He replied “You know what, I’m sure you will.” I applied to the Young Leaders Development Programme, was accepted onto the 2016 voyage and OYT has been stuck with me since!
⛵ Q: Proudest/most memorable sailing moment?
A: So many! My teacher throwing cups at me though a hatch as part of boat murder, countless washing up races, sailing through the Corryvreckan while the rain battered us and whirlpools sprang up, Alba Venturer overtaking Alba Explorer going up the sound of Mull (yes, that happened), getting the mizzen stay sail up and singing the special song, and a boat talent show!
What I’m most proud of is when I convinced one young person to stay on the boat even though she was adamant she was going home, tears streaming. With the bribe of an ice pole and a few encouraging words she stayed aboard and left with a smile.
⛵ Q: If you were a boat, what kind would you be & why?
A: A sailing yacht of some kind, something a bit quirky, gets itself into some situations, but at the end of the day is reliable and good fun. A bit like Alba Venturer (although there can only be one AV!)