Every year, the Queen Margaret College Old Girls’ Association awards a Spirit of Adventure scholarship to a Year 12 student. Our 2016 recipient Maddy Robinson had the experience of a lifetime sailing on the ship, Spirit of New Zealand.
The Year 13 student began her ten-day voyage from Princess Wharf, Auckland on the 27th of April.
The Spirit of Adventure is a youth development programme with over a thousand young people from around the country taking part every year.
Maddy and her crew would wake up every morning at 6.30am for a swim before breakfast.
“We would have to run around the deck in our togs and towels waiting until the very last person was up and out of bed,” Maddy explains.
After breakfast, everyone would assemble at the end of the boat and get into groups.
“We would hear the plan for the day from Captain Gerry who would call all the leaders in,” she says.
“There were four stations on the boat: foredeck which consisted of three sails, midships, which involved climbing out onto large sails and untying, tying and angling them, main sail which involved hauling a very big main sail upwards, and the mizzen, which consisted of hauling up one sail.”
Highlights of the trip for Maddy included rafting, paddling, caving, a dolphin encounter and seeing fluorescent algae at night.
“It was like dipping your paddle into highlighter,” she says.
Maddy’s crew also went to Great Barrier Island, completed a tramp to a natural hot pool and went to Smokehouse Bay for a BBQ.
“This was definitely a highlight, just roasting marshmallows and singing campfire songs.”
Maddy would like to thank the Old Girls’ Association for giving her this opportunity.
“I came away with a new perspective on life,” she says.
“The friendships and memories you take with you are incredible – it is an experience I will never forget.”