During the summer holidays, I decided I wanted to complete my Gold DofE Expedition, and after some research found there were many other alternatives to just walking so I decided to investigate further. Amongst the many options I found were horse riding, cycling and canoeing, but in the end I decided to do my expedition sailing. With sailing experience in both dinghies and larger traditional sail training vessels, this seemed like the perfect option for me, although no prior experience was required.
Instead of the usual five day practice expedition, and then the qualifying expedition a few months later, my group spent almost two weeks in July completing it all in one go. Our expedition involved sailing around the Devon and Cornish coastline on an old gaff-rigged cutter called Golden Vanity, which has been sailed across the Atlantic singled handed, and is now a sail training vessel owned by the Trinity Sailing Trust. We rigged our boat, helmed it during the day and night, passage planned, cooked for ourselves and even fished.
I went with six other people, all around my age, who I hadn’t met before but we had the best time of our lives and are all still friends now. It was an amazing trip, sailing to beautiful and remote locations and seeing the most incredible wildlife including dolphins, porpoises and seals, as well as a few shooting stars whilst we were night sailing! We all successfully completed the expedition, not only passing it but learning a wide range of new skills along the way and gaining a variety of RYA qualifications, including competent crew and essential seamanship and navigation.
Miranda, Year 13