The Excelsior trip to Holland was such a fantastic experience. Learning about sailing and all of the skills was amazing, as well as being a part of the crew. The first 24 hours, which was the North Sea crossing, was hard for almost everyone. There was a lot of throwing up and not a lot of ability to digest anything. The journey across the North Sea was extremely difficult and it wasn’t just feeling sick that some of us had to deal with.
However it wasn’t all that bad because there were also a lot of laughs, support and crossing the North Sea at night was beautiful. Once we arrived in Holland we visited a new place every evening and then during the day we were sailing to different places. The places we visited were: Den Helder, Enkhuizen and IJmuiden . We also went through Amsterdam on our way to IJmuiden. Everyday we learnt new things and we did all sorts of different activities like climbing the rigging, going into the sea in a dingy, swimming in a canal, going to the beach, playing games (including our ongoing game of boat murder), helming and experiencing new places.
Helming through the middle of Amsterdam was especially great! As for the people, we couldn’t have had a better crew. Everyone got on so well and had so much banter. The crew that we joined was incredible and they definitely made the trip more enjoyable, especially with their constant pranks. Also we couldn’t thank Karol our Skipper enough because he was so good at looking after us and such a hero (We love you Karol). While we crossed the North Sea on the way there and back we had watch systems to look out and steer the boat as we weren’t in Port. The watch I was in was Stop Watch (the best watch) and we would have to look out from 8pm to 12am and then 8am to 12pm. Whilst on watch we drove the crew mad with our singing, looked out, helmed, enjoyed the scenery and just had a laugh.
Between our watches we also divided Breakfast and Happy Hour (cleaning), lunch and dinner for each of the days. When our watch did cooking I would say we did a pretty fine job at it when not arguing about Salsa. Stop watch had a lit group of people including Karol, Will and Rachel who were absolute legends. The Excelsior trip was both physically and mentally challenging; not only were we constantly doing things but there was a lot of heavy work, long days and 17 of us were in a confined space 24/7 without a break from one another. However I wouldn’t change any of it at all because we all looked after one another so well, we had a laugh, the places were beautiful and the challenge of everything was great. The trip was, overall, an incredible experience.