29. April 2024 What a crazy 7 months it was!

Good day all friends and family of the Gulden Leeuw High Seas family.
Today is not a blog from students, but from me, Anousch. I am the 1st officer from the start till Martinique and from Cuba till Helgoland.

The students asked me to write something and I was honored to speak to you from the GL crews prospective. I have done these school projects for 6 years now and I must say, every year I still get surprised by the students.

What a crazy 7 months it was!

Lovely parents, brace yourselves, you will not get the teenager back who you said goodbye too in Bremerhaven 7 months ago.
First of all, they grew up, literally. They do not look the same. They gained muscles from pulling ropes, they grew their hair or even shaved it all off in some cases. They physically changed into wonderful young adults. They found their own style and they should be proud of this.
Secondly, they grew up, figuratively. Let me explain.
Parents, your kid will deny this, but yes, they can now do laundry, cook, clean the dishes and use a vacuum cleaner! They learnt a lot on how to be an adult.

But not only in the necessary tasks of life, but also their behavior might have changed.

Mustering mit Anousch

8.10.2023: Mustering mit Anousch © Peggy

Anousch auf der Brücke

Anousch und Lara auf der Brücke © Peggy

They have had A LOT of meetings, learning how to give and receive feedback. They learnt how to be in charge of people and how to listen to another leader. They learnt how to make decisions. They have learnt to accept group dynamics and they found their place in the group. They learnt how to be part of a community.

They also saw a lot of different lifestyles. We visited several places on this planet where they live different than in Western Europe. The eyes of the students were opened and they see the world different now. They probably even see it different than you and me. And that might be a good thing for their future.

I definitely want to also tell you the more difficult times of this voyage. It was not all good. They were homesick (yes, they missed you all, a lot!), they made mistakes (A LOT), they were VERY tired (sometimes with reason, sometimes not) and there were a lot of discussions (again, A LOT). This is also part of learning to deal with life.

A wise captain once said: ‘Make 1 mistake a day’, Every day is a school day for all humans and oh yeah, they made a lot of mistakes. And they dealt with the consequences, they accepted and learnt from it.
This all is the reason why I love this job. Teenagers become adults. We use sailing as a way to teach them life skills. They grew up. I am not saying they will be the perfect adult in your home now, let’s be honest, they are still in puberty…. They still have a lot to learn in life, but don’t we all?

Last but not least, I would like to thank the parents. You gave us the trust to send your kid into the unknown. You trusted us, the GL crew and the HS team to be the guardians of your most important persons in the world. I can not imagine how crazy that must feel and thank you for giving your kid the experience of a lifetime.
And to the students, as they also read this blog, I want to say: We are proud of all of you! You are always welcome back as this will always be your 2nd home.

Anousch mit Hütchen

Anousch mit Hütchen © Jan