For many young people, taking part in a sail training adventure is the experience of a lifetime. Lots of trainees tell us they’ve fallen in love with sailing, the sea, the teamwork, and the lifestyle… and that they don’t want it to come to an end. The good news is that it doesn’t have to.
There are lots of options available – you could take part in other Tall Ships Races and Regattas, get involved in local events with your National Sail Training Organisation, or do something a bit different. No matter where the fair winds and following seas take you on your adventure, you’ll learn invaluable skills that will last a lifetime… and you can use them to get ahead in your personal life and future career.
Earlier this year, we caught up with one trainee who used the experience he gained on board a Tall Ship in 2014 to make a real difference. His name is Dana Dalicsek.
Dana has type 1 diabetes, which is an auto-immune condition. This means that your immune system attacks healthy body tissue by mistake. In this case, it strikes against the cells in your pancreas, so you can’t control your body’s sugar levels and need to inject insulin regularly. We can only imagine how tricky this could be to manage on board a Tall Ship. However, Dana didn’t let this hold him back!
Dana wasn’t able to take part in the Tall Ships Races 2016, for a very special reason. This is his story…
This is what Dana told us earlier this year:
“We are sailing up to the northern-most town in Greenland, one of the most northern-most towns in the world, Qaanaaq. The aim is to collect data for NASA, the Smithsonian, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, but we do it without the large research ships. Just four people on a sailboat.
“We will be navigating icebergs and pack ice and reach above 78 degrees north. The skipper is Matt Rutherford, who completed the first solo non-stop circumnavigation of the Americas.”
Feeling inspired? Why not Find Your Adventure and take the first steps toward the experience of a lifetime…
During Dana’s Adventure
Recently, Dana explained how sail training gave him the opportunity to take part in this remarkable and unique experience… and he gave us an update on his progress.
“I took part in the Tall Ship Races in 2014 as a deck hand on board Sørlandet. I was instantly hooked on the great atmosphere and the friendly people that surround the races and the ships.
“I continued to sail on various boats until the opportunity arose through Sail Training International (STI) to participate in the voyage of the RNOV Clipper Shabab Oman II. We sailed around the Arabian Gulf for a month and had over a dozen nationalities on board. I represented Sail and Life Training Hungary (S.A.L.T.) and was given the opportunity to write an article in Marlinspike Magazine about our trip. This article then led to me getting the news about an open position with Ocean Research Project. I am now the mate on board the sailing research vessel Ault.
“Ocean Research Project is a non-profit organisation that carries out oceanographic research and surveying by using sailing vessels instead of large research ships. The R/V Ault is a steel hulled, two-mast cat-rigged schooner. Our voyage this year is along Greenland’s west coast, leading as far north as 78 degrees. We are measuring glacial calving, micro-plastic in Baffin Bay, the CO2 levels in the sea and water temperature and salinity, as well as mapping the seafloor in the largely uncharted Inglefjord near Thule.”
Throughout this project, Dana was able to put the sailing skills that he learned while sailing on board Tall Ships to use for a good cause – researching climate change. He is also contributing to education, through the project’s science blog and lectures in local secondary schools.
“It is a great challenge and adventure, navigating heavy ice and changing weather conditions in one of the most remote regions of the world. It is the polar opposite of the hot Arabian weather on board Shabab Oman II.
“Without the work of STI and S.A.L.T. Hungary, I would not have had these adventures. I hope others who think about taking part in future Tall Ships Races and Regattas will come away with as much inspiration and motivation as I did, and will not think twice about getting on board a Tall Ship to have a life-changing experience.”
Dana finished his placement with the R/V Ault in September 2016. We can’t wait to find out what his next adventure will be…
(Originally published 19 October 2016.)