2018 – The Year Of The Ship

2018. Where do I even start?

I’ve honestly been staring at this screen for over six minutes and I still have no idea. So much has happened this year and it’s all going through my head right now and I can’t even….it’s just….a whole year is such a long time and I’ve changed so much and experienced so much and I don’t know how to begin explaining that.

I’ve called this post The Year Of The Ship because that’s what it is in my mind. Sailing ships and friendships ☺️ here goes….

Life’s weird. I wasn’t expecting to go on a sailing voyage and come back like ‘Bam, I know what I’m gonna do with my life now’ but hey, that’s what happened! That first trip sparked my love for sailing and the ocean and the whole seafaring way of life and I realised that I could use this to make a difference. 

I’ve been on three voyages since and, in total, have spent a whole month at sea this year! I’ve met some of my best best best friends and have completely and irreversably fallen in love with sailing and sail training.

This year has been really hard and full of challenges.  I feel as though major changes are constantly being thrown at me. Teenage life isn’t easy as I’m sure many of you well know and trying to juggle relationships, my future, feelings, new responsibilities and changing the world is pretty demanding, ya know? 😉 

I honestly think 2019 has made me a completely different person and that I’ve changed so much, in a positive way, for sure 🙂 

I think I’ve finally found a world I belong in and at the same time, a way to make a difference. I feel both lost and found, if that makes sense. As if I’ve found a place and people to belong to and yet I’m still searching and still trying to make the world a better place. 

I also just want to mention all the amazing people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with this  year – blogging friends, real life friends, the crew of Pegasus voyage 1 & 2, the crew of Alba Explorer and all my Small Ships Race mates. 

2018 hasn’t been an easy year for anyone and I’m so so so proud of everyone for getting through it and being the incredible people that I know. Love ya all. Stay strong. 

I think that pretty much sums up my unsum-up-able year lol. To listen to my soundtrack for 2018 click here for a playlist I made for a few friends. It’s full of all the songs that mean the most to me and I’d love for you to give it a listen 💕 

How has your 2018 been? What’s been the most important thing to you this year? Would you say that you’ve changed a lot? Did you listen to the playlist? 

 

 

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Three Wishes – Random Ramblings

I’ve been thinking…if I could wish for any three things, what would they be? It’s such a cliché question, but one with so much potential and so many possibilities that my mind flies from one thing to another until I’m so dizzy that I just have to stop.

Stop. Sometimes when your thoughts get too much and you start to feel too much and your heart fills up and you start to overthink to the point that any minute you might just explode, you just have to stop. Breathe.

I crave depth and freedom and I find it so hard to live in a world where everything is shallow and fake. My own head is the only place I can find some escape from that, but my thoughts are just too much sometimes.

Still, I keep thinking, what three wishes would I choose? Here’s my conclusion. How about you?

  1. That the distance between me and some of the people I care about the most wasn’t so great.
  2. That people in the world would wake up and see what’s important and start working in harmony to achieve it so that everyone could be happy and content.
  3. That I could have a sailing boat and sail around the world helping others, teaching people to sail and loving life ❤️❤️

 

 

Scotland Sailing Voyage: Collab With Ma Crewmates 🌅

The cool kidz 😂

I am really, really excited for this post. Like, really excited 😁 Not only do I get to talk about the best week of my life, I also get to collaborate with some great friends to bring you a post about our voyage with Ocean Youth Trust Scotland!

Here goes.

There’s literally SO much I want to say about the voyage, but I’m going to start with the basics.

  • There were eighteen of us ( 6 sea staff and 12 crew aged between 12-14) onboard Alba Explorer – a 72ft yacht that’s been round the world twice (I think???) and now takes young people like us on sail training voyages 🙂
  • We set off from Oban which is on the West coast of Scotland and sailed round the Hebrides visiting loads of different islands.

For me the voyage was incredible because, not only did I have an amazing amount of fun, make the best friends, learn loads of new things and get to spend time in my favourite place (the ocean), I also took another step towards my future and towards working in sail training.

Alba Explorer – or part of her, anyway!

Now, I’m going to let my friend and fellow crewmate Eva take over 🙂

 Well, I had never sailed before and I was very nervous. When I arrived I met the crew and let’s just say some of the boys were far from gents! So that made me feel even worse. On our first day we were put into our Watches and I wasn’t with my friend so I was even more annoyed. But then I got to know the girls I was in a group with and realised they were both very nice. Never judge a book by its cover!

So after the first day, when I was below deck, I realised I suffered from sea sickness which let me tell you is not a nice feeling! But once it passed I got back to baking and sailing. So after feeling homesick, sea-sick and sorry for myself we stopped and harboured at South Uist and got off the boat. That was the day before the World Cup!

I mentioned it to the rest of the crew which was a big mistake because they were all Scottish and hated England winning! Anyway the game was the semi finals so I was really excited. I wanted to watch the game so badly, but obviously there was no telly on the boat.

The next day we arrived at a harbour and one of the watch leaders took us all on a walk. If you haven’t been to Scotland then you won’t know that the scenery is absolutely beautiful. The walk was lovely, but I was dying to know the football score. There was no phone signal or WiFi so there was no way of knowing. “We’re so isolated we don’t even know the football score! I mean prisoners get to know the football score” I thought to myself.

So every car that drove passed with its window open I shouted, “What’s the football score”. Then eventually a man told us that Croatia won and I was so annoyed! 

Anyway those were the worst bits! The rest was so much fun and I wish I was back there now. The ocean was beautiful and we saw so much wildlife like dolphins, whales, basking sharks, puffins, seals, jellyfish and lots more. I learnt how to sail and had a real adventure. I also made three new friends for life which I think was the best bit!

Aw, Eva, that was great ❤️ I agree – the boys were certainly not gents 😂 and yes, it was beautiful. I wish I was back there now too.

Ewan was another crewmate who joined in this collab. Here’s his part about the voyage.

The voyage on Alba Explorer was extremely fun. I had previously been away on Alba Explorer for a weekend, but that was no way near as fun as the week as you didn’t get to know the others in the crew or set foot on land. Some of my highlights were watching the dolphins jumping at the bow of the boat and the barbecue when we swam in the freezing waters of Tiree. It was very fun and I would definitely do it again!!!

I loved swimming in the sea too, Ewan, but it was definitely freezing 😁

Photo credits to Eva

Next up, we have Sasha’s piece!

I really enjoyed the voyage; it was so fun sailing round Scotland and meeting new people. The sailing was really good and in the evenings we all played games which were really fun. Overall it was a really fun trip.

I’m so glad you had fun, Sasha! ❤️

Fergus is the final crewmate to share his experience in this collab. Here’s his contribution.

Arriving in Oban, I could see the 95 foot mast of Alba Explorer from what looked like miles away which was a sight to behold!

I was quite nervous at the start knowing I was going to spend a week with 17 other people on this boat, but to my relief they were all very nice and great fun. There was a boy called Zach who had come from Washington DC to visit Scotland and Ireland, and also 3 girls who came from England; Gracie, Sasha and Eva. The Clyde Cruising Club Dinghy Section was well represented with myself, Stan, Ewan and Oscar all on board. The skipper’s son was there as one of the crew members too.

I really enjoyed going round the Hebrides and it was without doubt the best week of my life! We traveled to a little bay near Loch Drambuie on Mull, staying there for the first night, then went all the way up to South Uist, then to Castle Bay on Barra, followed by Tiree, Tobermory and then finally back to Oban. It was amazing!

On three of the nights we anchored. On the first night the captain, Stuart Simpson, the first mate, watch leaders and bosun did ‘anchor watch’. On the other two nights we had planned to moor up to pontoons however THE SAME BOAT took our place twice! So the crew had to do anchor watch. Anchor watch is where some crew members need to stay up during the night and watch the anchor, hence the name! The First mate draws a box around the boat on the navigation screen and you have to report to someone if the boat floats outside the box (I know, exciting eh?).

All the hard work was worth it because I and all the others were awarded the RYA Competent Crew certificate!

I can thoroughly recommend an OYT voyage to anyone who is interested in sailing. It was exciting, challenging, rewarding and great, great fun!

Yeah, I totally agree with all of that ♥️♥️

This was so much fun to put together and it brought back some great memories. Thanks to all my fellow crewmates who contributed and to YOU for reading.

Bye!

 

 

An Experience At Sea 🌊⛵ (Photos and Highlights)

Hi all,

Yep, I really did go to sea! ⛵🌊 And it was incredible.

On Saturday I (very reluctantly) returned from a four day home-ed sailing voyage with The Island Trust in Cornwall. I learnt some brilliant skills, met some super cool new people and made some fantastic memories. The whole experience will stick with me forever.

Pegasus – the vessel shown below – was our home for the time we were at sea.

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Describing the whole trip would take a long, long, long time so I’m just going to be sharing a load of my highlights and some photos with you guys today.

Enjoy!

  • Making some absolutely awesome friends! If you’re reading this right now, guys, I just wanna say how much of a pleasure it was sailing with you and getting to know you over the time we spent together last week.

Just in case you didn’t know – I’m on the very right

  • Learning how to crew a sailing ship and how it all works. Working as a team with the others to sail Pegasus 72 nautical miles all in all was absolutely brilliant.

Creds to Megan – another crew member 🙂 Pegasus is on the left.

  • Sailing at night! Learning to navigate and not getting to our destination until midnight was preeeeetty cool. The land and the sea were sequined with what seems like millions of lights used to find our way – a beautiful sight.

Megan’s again ❤

  • Seeing wild dolphins! A surreal experience. I still can’t believe it.

Thanks for this one, Isaac.

  • Sunsets.

  • Watching a sailor set the record for sailing non-stop around the world in the smallest boat. We greeted him at the finish line and had the honour of being pretty much the first human beings he’d seen in the best part of a year. I hope he appreciated the horns and the mexican wave 😁

  • Making a sand sculpture of a mermaid with Megan on the beach.

  • All the HILARIOUS inside jokes 😂😂😁
  • Enjoying the sun, the waves and the views up on deck. Feeling the motion of the boat (fortunately I wasn’t seasick 😀)


  • Steering! I loved the feeling of (kinda) being in control of the boat and of having to really concentrate on all the elements of navigation (the wind, landmarks, where we’re trying to go)

Now for some other random photos (credits to Megan, Isaac and Craig – the skipper)

Anchored in a coastal river mouth for the night.

A HUGE ferry.

Another stunning sunset.

The bow (front) of Pegasus.

Not sure if this was early morning or evening? Either way – very pretty.

Dusk on the water.

Another bow shot.

Look at the skyyyyy!

So yeah! A very special experience and one I hope to repeat in the near future. Thank you, Island Trust for making this so amazing! ❤❤❤

I hope you enjoyed reading about this and seeing all the photos!

Gracie xxx