Ad­ven­ture on the high seas

Pupils set sail for Duke’s award

East Kilbride News - - DISTRICT NEWS - Ni­cola Find­lay

Thank­fully there was no mutiny on the high seas wh e n C a l d e r g l e n H i g h School pupils set sail.

Tw e l v e p u p i l s b r a v e d t h e el­e­ments t o sail f rom Oban t o Greenock on a voy­age that took them through choppy wa­ters via Jura, Camp­bel­town and Tar­bert.

The group en­dured gale-force con­di­tions, bat­tled through se­ri­ous sea sick­ness and nav­i­gated s o me o f S c o t l a nd’s s t o r mies t w a t e r s o n t h e O c e a n Yo u t h Trust’s 70ft Ber­mu­dan ketch, Alba Ven­turer.

Pupils took re­spon­si­bil­ity for ever y as­pect of the r un­ning of this sail train­ing ves­sel; plan­ning each pas­sage, nav­i­gat­ing, com­mu­ni­cat­ing with coast­guards and cook­ing meals.

The sea staff on board trained pupils to make sure they were able to keep the ves­sel ship shape and ar r i ve i n Greenock safely – achiev­ing the ex­pe­di­tion sec­tion of their Sil­ver Duke of Ed­in­burgh Award in the process.

This seven-day chal­lenge meant pupi l s had t o de­vel op skills in not only sail­ing but also re­silience, dili­gence, pa­tience and de­ter­mi­na­tion.

Par­ent Colin Ste­wart said: “It was great be­cause they were busy from the mo­ment they fell out of t heir bunk un­til t he t i me t hey rolled back into bed again.

“I loved how they all had jobs and that every­one was de­pen­dent on every­one else, ex­pe­ri­enc­ing life in the mo­ment, cold, wet and ab­so­lutely lov­ing it.”

Fo u r t h - y e a r p u p i l A n d r e w Stur­geon said: “I never thought I would have so much fun on a boat.”

Mean­while, Zara Le­gowski, also in S4, added that the group “were all ca­pa­ble of so much more than we thought”.

One of t he sea staff was exCalder­glen pupil Eilidh Sword.

E i l i d h, who u n d e r t o o k t h e voy­age her­self back in 2015 and has since re­turned to OY T as a v ol un­teer, t ra i ned as a bo­sun and now as a watch leader for the char­ity.

Her ex­pe­ri­ence was in­spi­ra­tional and she rel­ished the chance to give back to the school com­mu­nity.

Back on dry land, all 12 sailors a re now pro g re s s i ng t hro ugh the vol­un­teer­ing, skills and phys­i­cal sec­tion of their Duke of Ed­in­burgh’s Award.

De­pute head teacher Mur­ray Ste­wart said: “We wish all t he pupils who took part good luck as they put all the skills they learned to good use.”

Kit­ted out The group out on the wa­ter dur­ing their voy­age to Greenock

Set­ting sail The Calder­glen High stu­dents pre­pare to go out to sea

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