From Anakiwa to the Atlantic

Life after OB

Kris Ward, Batten 602, was awarded a scholarship for a Classic course in 2015. Two and a half years on, he's smashed the goals he set on his course and is currently sailing across the Atlantic living his dream!

A few years ago I won a scholarship from Christchurch Rotary club to attend a 21 day classic Outward bound course! My employer was happy for me to attend the course and so off I went!! I was 18 at the time and there were a few challenges I was facing in my life so it could not have been a better time for me to attend OB.

I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed my course and how much it challenged me, not only physically, but also mentally! The people I met and the experiences I had are something I really treasure when I look back.

Just the other day I stumbled across my notepad from the 21 days at OB and found the goals I set while on solo. Looking back, in just two and a half years I've reached the goals I set whilst sitting underneath a Punga fern whilst soloing in the Marlborough Sounds.

During my time at OB, I found that I had a true passion for sailing and being out on the water. I felt that I also had strong leadership skills that were tested and honed at OB.

Kris Ward

Here's me alongside the boat I work on about to embark on sailing across the Atlantic from the Caribbean. That morning I had a surprise visit from my good friend's parents (Their son Jack was in my Watch at OB!)

 

My goals that I set on solo were to complete my 3 year painting & decorating apprenticeship and then go and chase a job on the super yachts. Two and a half years on from OB, I'm now 21 with over 13,000 nautical miles under my belt working as Deckhand (1 of 6 full-time crew) on a 143ft performance carbon sailing yacht that cruises around the world.

I now have a new set of goals which I strive for everyday and have big aspirations of becoming a Captain one day. I just wanted to pass on that I wouldn't be where I am now without my OB course and the personal skills I developed alongside my fellow Batten Watchmates!

I guess it goes without saying that I would recommend anyone choosing the Outward Bound experience. I think every single Kiwi could gain something super positive from the experience!

 

Kris, Batten 602