Meet Aria - feeling safe and secure really helped Aria who was terrified to sail before Outward Bound.
Kia ora, I had the privilege of attending the Taurapa Southland Outward Bound schools course in 2019.
My teachers told me I had been selected as the recipient of a scholarship to OB because I showed potential for a leadership role but I’d needed some help with my self-confidence to achieve this.
At first, I felt very excited and grateful to be selected, but as the start of my course drew closer I started thinking ‘oh no, I don’t want to go’. I was really nervous about some of the activities. I’d seen on the website that we’d be sailing and have to do a solo in the bush.
As it turned out, doing my solo was a highlight. It was a great time for me to think about who I wanted to be and focus on setting myself some goals – and catch up on some sleep!
Sailing, on the other hand, was my biggest challenge at Outward Bound. I love going to the beach but I have a real fear of going in and on the sea. I think it’s the openness of it, and I’m scared of sharks and other sea life. Getting seasick doesn’t really help either.
Throughout the course, I was dreading sailing but knew it would come. When the time came, our watch was geared up and loaded onto a cutter before I had time to think about it.
Our instructors Jo and Andy were so good at taking us through all the equipment and showing us what to do. Then that was it, they got onto the safety launch, drew away from us, and we set off for a three-day sail.
At first, the sea was beautiful and calm, and I thought ‘this isn’t so bad, I can actually do this!’ However, it wasn’t long before we hit the wind just past Picton. The cutter was rocking and rolling, it was crazy as everyone was trying to get the sails under control and the cutter heading in the right direction.
Throughout the three days of sailing, my biggest fear was that we’d capsize, and I’d end up in the sea. I constantly kept looking to see where Jo and Andy were. Knowing they were keeping an eye on us from the safety launch enabled me to push through those fears.
On the last day of sailing, I was feeling more confident. I was finally able to enjoy being on the sea, and not be terrified as I knew if anything happened, Jo and Andy were only minutes away to help us.