“This experience was out of this world” was how one member of last week’s crew described their time on board with Ocean Youth Trust Scotland. Ten young people from Stonelaw High School in South Lanarkshire departed from James Watt Dock Marina in Greenock on the 12th September. The group was at sea for five days, covering 114 nautical miles.
The group called in at Holy Loch, Lamlash, East Loch Tarbert and Rhu on their voyage aboard the 70 ft yacht Alba Venturer. In a busy week, they learned to navigate and steer the boat, hoist and drop the sails, tie knots and cook for the whole crew.
The group all worked hard throughout the week to achieve the goals they set themselves, but still found time to enjoy themselves. Goals set for the week’s voyage included to learn to cope in a new situation, to be able to get up early in the morning, to learn to cook, and to be tidier. They said:
“I did things I never thought I could- like cooking for 18 people- it was great!”
“At first it was hard to adjust to life on the boat, but now I love it and don’t want to leave!”
“I learned to listen to others better, which will help me get along better with my family and at school when I get home.”
“It was hard to live together in such a small space but we really all got on so well.”
“The thing I like most about being on board is the environment. We created a family here, and I’m really going to miss everyone.”
At the end of the voyage, the group set themselves goals for the future such as revising and passing exams at school, becoming a volunteer for OYT Scotland and finding a job. The confidence gained and lessons learned during the voyage will make a difference for everyone in the group.
All members of the crew received the Royal Yachting Association’s Start Yachting Level 1 Award, the SQA’s Level 3 Speaking and Listening qualification.
Also taking part in the voyage were Stonelaw High School teachers Annmarie Ford and Jennifer Carbery. They commented that the growth of confidence in the young people was noticeable even within the first 24 hours, and added “this was truly a once in a lifetime experience for our young people and something they clearly enjoyed. They learned new skills, gained confidence in themselves and came together as a team. As teachers it was wonderful to see them accomplish new challenges, make new friends and fully embrace their week on the boat. Back on land they continue to talk about their experience and tell anyone who asks that it was the best week of their lives.”
This voyage was funded by both CashBack for Communities and the RBS Skills and Opportunities fund.
Big thanks everyone who helped to make the voyage a success, but an extra special thanks to volunteers Iain, Freya, Michael and Andrew!