During my teen years I loved nothing more than hurtling down the white water slalom in a raft or a canoe .. yes I really was that mad.
So around the age of 14/15 years old I was given an opportunity of a lifetime .. one I will cherish forever.
During my teen years we had a really fantastic set of youth workers that were really proactive about us trying new things and fund-raising so we could feel the value of our hard work when we had these super experiences.
So when Judy the senior youth worker sat us all down and explained the up coming plan there was lots of interest. As the weeks passed and the fund-raising plans became set dates more and more dropped out and so the Edwinstowe youth club (mine) and Clipstone had to join forces as we needed 10+ to make the trip. A trip sailing to Holland on the James Cook really was one in a million.
For almost a year every weekend and holiday was spent raising money, from bag packing in super markets, car washes and sponsored cleans to name but a few.
We slogged our guts out week after week to meet the target and the day we raised enough the excitement was pliable!
The morning we set out I was sick with nerves, the boat was exciting and yellow all 70ft of the James Cook
was to take us on our epic adventure.
We sailed round the clock in 3 times 3 hours on and 6 hours off .. we sailed in the dark and the rain and we did it all (obviously there were trained staff)
There really was nothing worse than someone’s pounding feet at 3am and you having to wait at the entrance to escort them to the down side of the boat and wrap yourself self round them as they up chuck into the darkness. Being sick below deck is not an option … you can’t open windows!
We had several very scary moments throughout the trip there with engine failures and no wind but we made it in good spirits and once in Holland we even left the ship to get on a train and visit Amsterdam! ……
Thankfully the journey home was far less scary although I will never ever forget the open ocean pitch black in the early hours of the morning .. the silence, the dark the fear that gripped when too much time was spent thinking at just how much you were at the seas mercy.
I am not sure as an adult I would ever do this again now I am a chicken, but I would give anything for my daughter to experience this one day too. Truly amazing!