Giovanni De Braga has been hooked on tall ships since he first sailed on the training vessel Spirit of Bermuda.
The 17-year-old Sea Cadet has now been chosen to take a trip to New York on the research vessel Corwith Cramer.
He said: “It’s such an amazing opportunity and I was so lucky to have this opportunity with the Sea Cadets.”
Giovanni, from St George’s, added: “It’s going to involve more sailing training in ten days from here all the way to New York.”
“I’m very excited. They were saying that they would teach me about the stars, different water displacement and water depths.
“They are going to teach me anything to do with the water, and I’m extremely excited to learn.”
Giovanni, who is now home-schooled, explained that he first sailed on the Spirit when he was at middle school.
He said: “That was the tall ship that I’ve been on and I’ve loved it ever since.”
Giovanni said he loved everything about the experience, from the teamwork and respect shown to the permanent crew, to being out on the water.
He added: “It’s such an amazing atmosphere to be in.”
Giovanni, who also sailed on the Blue Clipper as part of the Tall Ships Bermuda Festival last year, was given a tour of the Corwith Cramer by Captain Jason Quilter on Thursday.
He said: “He was showing me all around the ship — the different science labs, the lower deck, everything involved with oceanography and water displacement.”
Giovanni explained that Michael Frith, Lieutenant Commander of the Bermuda Sea Cadet Corps, approached him about the journey after a planned trip to Australia was cancelled.
He said: “My Lieutenant Commander has been so helpful, given me so many opportunities and I couldn’t say no.”
Giovanni transferred from the Royal Bermuda Regiment junior leaders programme to the Sea Cadets about 2˝ years ago.
He said: “It teaches you so much. Everything is coming at you — different experiences, how to do rope work, sailing, water sport activities. It’s amazing.”
Giovanni explained that he plans to join either the Royal Navy or the US Navy.
He added: “Ever since I was younger, I’ve always wanted to serve and actually try to help people.”
The Corwith Cramer, which is on a five-week research voyage as part of its marine biodiversity and conservation programme, arrived in Bermuda from Nassau in the Bahamas on Monday.
Captain Quilter explained that Giovanni would help stand watch, navigate, steer, work in the research lab and pitch in with cleaning and cooking alongside the rest of the student crew.
He added: “I hope he takes away an appreciation for the ocean and for the discipline, hard work and the attention to detail it takes to have a successful voyage.”
Lieutenant Commander Frith said Giovanni was chosen because he was a “committed, enthusiastic and positive” senior Sea Cadet.
He added that Giovanni would make the most out of this great opportunity.
Mario Thompson, pilot warden, said the voyage was the result of several years of talks with the Sea Education Association, which owns the ship, to take a young Bermudian on an ocean passage.
Mr Thompson, a friend of the crew and captain, added: “This is a wonderful opportunity that has been afforded to this young man.
“He is an up-and-coming Sea Cadet, who was chosen to make this northbound trip because of his attitude and positive outlook on life.”
The Corwith Cramer is to depart St George’s at 3pm today and will host an open day from 10am to 1pm.
•For more information and to track the ship, visit www.sea.edu</i>