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Journey on the Spirit of Adventure

Every year the Old Girls’ Association sponsors a scholarship for a Senior School student to embark on a life-changing journey with the Spirit of Adventure.

A close-up image of Bridget on board the Spirit of Adventure sailing ship.
Bridget on board the Spirit of Adventure sailing ship.

Year 13 student Bridget Olphert was chosen as the 2019 recipient and received her award at Senior School Prize Giving last year.

Bridget embarked on her sailing in the April school holidays, joining her crew in Auckland for a 10-day adventure to Great Barrier Island and back.

Bridget says she was inspired to join the ship by the previous scholarship recipients, who presented their journeys to the school when they returned.

“I really like doing outdoor activities, so I thought why not give this a go,” Bridget says.

“The trip was incredible, the days were full on and filled with activities. It was so different from anything I’d get to do in Wellington.”

Highlights from Bridget’s trip included making new friends and getting to experience life onboard a ship.

“One day we got to climb to the top of the mast, it was so fun to see the views from up that high,” she says.

“Every day we’d rotate around the different sail stations. As part of this we would learn how each of the different ropes and sails worked. It was so interesting and it was something I wouldn’t have learnt outside of this.”

Once the crew reached Great Barrier Island they spent a few days exploring, doing a beach clean-up and enjoying each other’s company with a camp fire.

“We also did a tramp up to the highest point of Great Barrier Island. It was a few thousand steps up hill but the views were worth it. You could get a 360 degree view of the whole Island. We had a picnic lunch up there before walking back down.”

Bridget says she is grateful to the Old Girls’ Association for the opportunity and would recommend the journey to other QMC students.

“You don’t need to love the outdoors to apply. The connecting with other people is such a big part of it. I made such good friends in this time with people from all over New Zealand that I would never have got to meet or connect with in normal life.

“My advice to the future applicants is to do everything they have the opportunity to do from day one.

“You may think you’ll get another chance to have a go at something but if the weather or something else changes you will have missed your chance.”