One of the privileges of being in Rotary is when we get the opportunity to help young people discover and explore the opportunities the world provides. Recently we supported local youth Maddi Frazer with a grant to attend the Spirit of Adventure.
Here is Maddi’s experience:
Thank you so incredibly much! I cannot express how grateful I am to have been given this grant to put towards this opportunity that has been absolutely life-changing as well as phenomenal.
Going into this, I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into or what Spirit of Adventure truly was about. I didn’t realise how unique and special this would really be. I have learnt so much in such a short space of time, not only about the in’s and out’s of sailing but also leadership, many life skills and more about myself as well. I have met so many incredible people from all walks of life, who I am sure will be lifelong friends.
I can confidently say that I started this journey as a completely different person and I have pushed and shaped myself into a better version of me. I will never, ever forget this life-changing experience and will forever cherish these memories for the rest of my life.
I first initially went on Voyage #795 at the beginning of March 2020 that sailed from Auckland to Auckland taking us trainees to Waiheke Island and Great Barrier Island, letting us explore part of our county some of us had never been to before. This was the most amazing experience!! On day 5 out of what was supposed to be a 10-day voyage, we were told that we had to go home early as COVID-19 had become much worse and spread far more throughout the country than when we first left 5 days earlier. After they told us we were going home, they continued to explain what was happening eventually getting to the point that we were going to be going into lockdown as soon as we got home and that we needed to get back to Auckland straight away before thay started cancelling out flights. This resulted in us not getting a full 10-day voyage as it was cut 4 days short.
Because of this, the Spirit of Adventure Trust made the decision alongside the crew that was on Voyage #795, to let us trainees go again and this time get the full 10-day voyage experience. We received this news in the middle of lockdown and I lit up with excitement as soon as I read the email, happy tears rolling down my face as I found out I got to re-experience the best 6 days of my life.
I was beyond excited to go on one of the amazing day hikes again, see whales, sharks, penguins and dolphins in the ocean, climb right to the top of the mast, learn more about how to sail, swim in the ocean, jump off the bowsprit, sail in the small sailboats, have a paddling race in the small boats and of course meet new people and make new friends from all over the country.
From here, the trainees on Voyage #795 were split up and put onto different 10-day voyages that were going to be taking place between the end of lockdown and March 2021. I was extremely lucky to be on Voyage #812 from Opua (Bay of Islands) to Auckland. I, therefore, have now done a 6-day voyage and a 10-day full voyage.
I will forever be grateful for this amazing experience and wish that everyone had the opportunity to experience what I did between these two voyages. I would love to come and talk to the Rotary Club of Wanaka further about this incredible and life-changing experience.
Again, I would just like to say Thank You!
Sincerely Maddi Frazer
Voyage #795 & #812
Maddi (left) with her new friends on Spirit of Adventure