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One Water Story Reflections

Oct 03 2013

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Today is the very last day of the One Water Story’s four month Sailing Expedition in the Great Lakes!

What a story it has been. Over the course of our summer expedition, we had over 35 guest crew members, visited 14 different inland cities and islands (many of them twice!), held 8 One Water Story Outreach Events, and had over 1,000 people visit the boat to learn about our research.

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The Great Lakes gave all of us a chance to be a part of an amazing story. I think it touched each of us  differently, but whether it be  personal growth, a better understanding of the environment, a sense of adventure purpose, or simply just a chance to bask in the awesomeness of nature, it provided something to all of us who took part.

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Sea Dragon, our intrepid yacht, has reached Halifax, Nova Scotia, and will be celebrating the completion of our One Water Story with one final Outreach Event tomorrow at the commercial development area of the Halifax Waterfront. We hope that if you’re around, you have the opportunity to come and hear the stories from our amazing summer story, so that maybe in the future you can take part in one as well! Today’s blog is from two current crew members, Nikita Allison and Tom Gregoire. Both of these young gentlemen enjoyed their experiences on board so much that they’ve decided to stay on for the upcoming Extreme Sail Training program, leaving on October 5 from Halifax and sailing to beautiful Bermuda! There’s still room available for this expedition, so if their words inspire you, you’re more than welcome to join them!

 The Surprise Guest-Nikita Allison, 29 from Victoria, British Columbia

I joined this crew for two main reasons. One was the experience of sailing a 72′ yacht in places I have never been while meeting new people. The second, and more importantly, the look on my best friend Andrew’s face when I showed up on the yacht after flying across the country without him knowing.

Nikita's Big Surprise for his best friend Andrew!

Nikita’s Big Surprise for his best friend Andrew!

This adventure has been more than i had hoped for. We have an amazing crew of positive, exciting people, and the Captain and First Mate are both fun interesting gents with vast knowledge they share. September 28 was an exceptional day, and a highlight to the entire crew. Tom, Andrew , and I had some instruments on deck and played music in the early afternoon. Then we all had a turn being hoisted to the top of the 96′ mast. While I was up there, I could see a pod of Beluga whales, and a Humpback as well. Soon after a second pod of Belugas passed us by. The sun was out, the sky was blue, and the air was comparable to a warm summer day even though it’s the end of September. I personally couldn’t be happier to have had such a wonderful day with such amazing people. Truly the definition of “Awesome.”

Andrew, Nikita and Mitch enjoy a night on the dock in Toronto

Andrew, Nikita and Mitch enjoy a night on the dock in Toronto

DO IT!-Tom Gregoire, Age 26, from Halifax, Nova Scotia

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A beluga in the St. Lawrence Estuary. Wikipedia Commons Photo.

Written September 28, 2013

What an unbelievable experience…I joined the crew for a few reasons, namely wanting some long-distance sailing experience, but also to force myself outside my comfort zone. Today I was hoisted up the main mast over 90 feet high (definitely outside my comfort zone!), to behold a spectacular view of the St. Lawrence River and several pods of whales. Last night at the helm for three hours, I navigated the seaway under the stars, always ever cautious of the suddenly appearing tanker or cruise-ship. I wouldn’t be lying if I said I learned ten new things every day on this journey. It’s only halfway through, and I wish I had more time. Whoever is reading this, if you ever have a chance to get on this ship, regardless of where they are sailing, DO IT! Experiences like these don’t come around very often.

A glorious sunset on the Sea Dragon

A glorious sunset on the Sea Dragon

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