A group of middle schoolgirls who spent five days on board sail training ship the Spirit of Bermuda set foot on dry land again on Friday.
The Dellwood Middle School girls docked at Albouy’s Point in Hamilton after they sailed along North Shore with other crew members over the week.
Kenya Smith-Woodley, 13, said: “It was different for me because I’m not used to sailing.
“It was a lot more work that went into it than I thought. But it was pretty good.”
Kenya, from Smith’s, said that she learnt different skills, like how to maintain and control a sailboat as large as the Spirit.
She explained that she and other crew members had to clean the ship every day and share “anchor watch” duties in the evening to make sure the boat was secured.
Kenya added that learning to steer the Spirit was the highlight of the trip.
She said: “It was difficult because the steering wheel wasn’t as easy to turn as I thought it’d be.”
The expedition was the first trip for the Spirit since she underwent three months of maintenance in the United States.
Marissa Lee-Brown, 14, said that her time on the Spirit was different from her other sailing experiences.
She explained: “I used to sail little boats with the Endeavour programme but I’d never sailed a boat this size.
Marissa added: “I thought the expedition would be less work. I didn’t know we’d have to get up at 6.30 in the morning to exercise, but it was good because it woke us up.”
Marissa, from Devonshire, said that she was convinced by her mother to sign up for the trip.
Despite her seagoing experience, Marissa added that she was apprehensive.
She explained: “I was always in a smaller boat and I’d have less of a chance of sinking because I could always just swim above it.
“But if this tipped or flipped I would have a much better chance of drowning because I could be flipped while inside or downstairs.”
Marissa added: “It scared me, but then I learnt that I’m not that scared of the water.
“I realised that I can do something I love with this, which is being on the ocean.”
Kaelyn Fleming said that the experience helped build her patience and teamwork skills.
The 13-year-old from Pembroke explained: “I had to listen more than I spoke because I didn’t really know much when I came on, but now I feel like I learnt a lot that was useful.
“You have to listen, because if you don’t you might as well just jump off the boat.”
Kaelyn added that the crew got along better than she had expected and close friendships developed. She said: “People who used to be quiet were speaking up a lot more.
Kaelyn added: “I learnt that I don’t need electronics to have fun because it was really fun on the boat, especially with the watch leaders.”