Georgina Moginie's adventures on the Spirit of NZ

By Georgina Moginie, Year 12 | Posted: Thursday March 23, 2017

Hi! I’m Georgie. I'm guessing most of you don't know what Spirit of New Zealand is? Well, neither did I until a few months ago!

The Spirit is a ship. It takes up to 40 trainees on each voyage at a time. I participated in the ten day voyage for ages 16-18. These voyages help improve self-confidence, teach you to challenge yourself and, of course, have great fun while giving you some practical skills for when the trainees run the ship on the last day.

The first challenge I faced was talking. I am not good at talking to new people - a little shy. So introductions were a little awkward; and I was very nervous. But over the ten days I was there, I made some great friends and discovered that it was easier than I thought. That people wouldn't criticize you for every mistake, and were often, you could say, in the same boat as me.

On the second day, I volunteered to climb up the main mast to unfurl the sail.

This involved climbing out to the very edge of the spar, in order to unhook a rope. This terrified me. Once I actually got up I was thinking of everything that could go wrong - I didn't trust the harnesses since I’m used to climbing ones and they are extremely secure.

When it came to going to the very edge, I couldn't do it. To unhook the rope, I had to reach out with one arm, requiring me to let go of the spar.

After several minutes of terrifying indecision and failed attempts, I backed out and allowed someone else to do it for me. I still wish I had another go at it, until I succeeded. I learnt that I regret more the things I don’t do than the things I did do.

On day five I got sick- a hacking cough coupled with exhaustion. The next day, with me feeling no better, we embarked on a day tramp. We had to walk up to the tallest point on Great Barrier, and I wasn’t looking forward to it- not with this persisting cold at least. But I found that, with great conversation, and a bit of encouragement time flew and I actually enjoyed the whole ordeal. With some resilience, I made it to the top and found a gorgeous view waiting!

On this adventure, I’ve seen some amazing sunsets. I’ve seen a shark for the first time. I've helped sail a huge ship (and a small sailboat). I’ve woken up at 4am in the morning and seen the stars from places I’ve never been before. I’ve seen and done some amazing, beautiful things. But the best thing for me, was the people. I came away from the trip with new friends, who helped me learn to challenge myself, to overcome my fears. I can now walk into a room of people I don't know and happily introduce myself. I know that I can do a tramp - which I normally wouldn't volunteer for - even whilst sick, and enjoy it.

I would recommend this trip to anyone looking for a challenge, to learn or grow as a person, or simply to have an amazing time!