Every time I step onto an Island Trust boat, every time I sense the presence of the ocean all around me, hear the voice of the skipper, see the faces of my future crewmates – all a little shy, but visibly glowing with excitement and the wild sea breeze – every time, I feel like I’ve come home.

It’s been an intense week, starting in Plymouth and sailing down to the Isle of Wight to take part in the Cowes Small Ships Race. We spent the eight days onboard Pegasus soaked to the skin, freezing cold, flying across the waves at ten knots with our guard rail in the water, miles from land and battered by the elements. And yet it’s been the best week of my life because, in the midst of all that, I’ve found purpose, true friendship, exhilaration and strength I never knew I had. This experience has made me feel lucky to be alive.

This voyage has only fuelled my love for sailing and strengthened my wish to share my experience and all its many benefits with others. Thanks to the inspiration and encouragement provided by the crew, my new friends and personally feeling the effects that voyages like these have, I now have an even greater desire to pursue a future in sail training.

Gracie
October 2018