18 year old Tayla Lum took on the challenge of a 21-day Classic course. Here, she shares her up close and personal story of her sailing expedition, which soon became an epic adventure on the seas.
My Outward Bound Classic Course, like most, was packed full with intense adventures, challenges and service. But how we embraced the adventures, overcame the challenges and enjoyed the service was as unique as ever.
I was part of Cook Watch, one of two all-girl watches. While I was apprehensive at first, the bond that we created was like a sisterhood. We became so close that it made leaving tough.
Our favourite adventure was our sea scheme.
The first day on the sea was beautiful with light winds just strong enough to not have to row and clear blue skies. We then sailed solo through the sunset and under the starry sky; tacking and gibing to our mooring at Mint Bay. Before setting up the fly over the Cutter, we tucked in to a nice steak sandwich. We then enjoyed a snug sleep with the wind a little stronger, rustling our fly all night long. Such a beautiful day! I love just thinking about it.
However on day two, the wind picked up significantly, we all put on our Paddington (Bear) Sea Coats. After our instructor Ash caught a couple of fish we set off to endure the williwaws and strong gusts.
After 30 minutes of bearing the wind, we got a tow to Ship Cove. It was here that we jumped off the jetty and swam in the invigorating water, walked to a waterfall and ate our lunch with a Weka. We then made our way to Ruakaka where we saw Rutherford watch and set up for the night.
By this time, it was raining, not drizzling but raining. Our ground on the cutter was wet, we were wet, and we knew that putting up the fly and sleeping during the night was going to be…interesting. But after our stomachs welcomed hot food and our instructors sang us lullabies, we tried to get some sleep before we had to get up and push water up and off from on top of us every hour. And it is here I thank our awesome instructors for bailing us out at about 12 and 4am. They were incredible!
The next morning, we woke with a buzz, we survived the night, we were all soaked but we were warm. We ended our eventful expedition with the traditional swim in the ocean and a hearty warm feed from the outstanding Outward Bound cooks.
Outward Bound has become one of those events in my life that I am truly going to cherish for a lifetime. It made me become a better self mentally and physically. It pushed me to my limits and then it pushed me past my limits. I am so glad that I did Outward Bound age 18 because it gave me the ability to realise my strengths, weaknesses and purpose.
So thank you OB, for giving me the chance to create memories, friendships and a better me.