Wake up at sunrise and feel the wind on your face. Hear your keelboat creak as you tighten the lines and prepare for the day’s sail. Check the charts and then—launch. On this course, you’ll join a group of adults to explore the Marlborough Sounds in the upper South Island of New Zealand. You’ll investigate the island’s coves and sounds learning to sail 35- to 40-foot keelboats, starting with the basics. Each day, you’ll take on a different role in the boat so you can gain experience with all the skills needed to sail, including seamanship, navigation, and crew overboard drills. You’ll learn about the area’s natural history as you spend time on the water and venture into coastal hills on foot. Depending on your course’s route, you may visit sites important to the indigenous Maori people or areas frequented by early European explorers like Captain Cook.
Leadership will be a key component of this course. As you rotate through each crew member position, you’ll learn to adapt your leadership style to meet the group’s goals. Living in a small community on a boat will be an opportunity to practice communication and managing group dynamics. Plotting routes through challenging waters will be an opportunity to develop judgment, while sailing in adverse weather is a lesson in tolerance for adversity. These are experiences you’ll bring home and use to continue growing as a leader. You’ll go home from this course with unique experiences of New Zealand’s stunning coast, new friendships with adventurous peers, and ready to start a lifetime of exploring the sea.