In this article we are sharing some exerts of the adventure of a young man with a learning disability and his adventure on the high seas in the tall sailing ship Tenacious. This dream was made a reality with the support of some amazingly philanthropic people on the North Shore, they changed a life forever.
As told by Shane
Day One: I arrived in Auckland and boarded the Tenacious and met the crew members I will be living with for the next 14 days.
I was shown my cabin and where I would be sleeping. After the 6th day I realised I had been sleeping at the wrong end.
Day Three: We are off (once immigration clears us). The Pilot is now on board and it is all happening.
He guides us through the safe channels and off we go. We see the Navy following us and wonder what we have done. They gave up and returned to port after an hour. This was my first time at learning how to sail and it wasn’t easy. Three hours in we are all seasick, hanging over the side and feeding the fish.
Our first Happy Hour consisted of cleaning up Mona Lisa (vomit galore). Not the drinking session we had been hanging out for.
Day 6: I saw a log. First thing I saw since Auckland. I discovered that after 6 days I really needed to have a shower. Quite an experience being tossed around while showering but I smelt better after my 3 minute shower.
I now appreciate the simple things of life. On board even going to the toilet is a bit of a mission.
Day 7. Time for a drink so I found out where the bar was and donated some money to the Tenacious.
I was on galley duty. The chef calls the captain to put the braces on as it was very rough. Time for lunch.
Day 10 or 11 we crossed the Tropic of Capricorn and all had a swim. Everyone even the unwilling.
We awoke to a beautiful morning at anchorage off Dravuni Island. This islanders was unsure about our presence to begin with. The captain went ashore and explained what we were about. He met with the chief and we were allowed to stay for 4 hours.
The next Island was very welcoming and I drank Kava. Almost to welcoming. We arrived at night and spent the next day there.
The chief gave us coconuts and bananas and the villagers invited us in to their homes. They were very generous and I wished I had a gift for them. The captain gave them 30 litres of diesel for their generator.
At night the locals came on board and sung to us and the chef cooked a traditional Fijian dish.
Next day we were up and sailing to Suva at 7am.
My great adventure was almost over. It was sad leaving my new shipmates and tears were shed. I would love to do it all again and am pleased to know that I won’t need a buddy next time.
I would like to thank Yes Disability for making my trip possible. It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.
I have made friends for life and have people to stay with all over the world.
Together we can change lives.