Four winds, four sisters, and a great adventure
Whanganui High School student Leila Collinson was the fourth sister to complete the Spirit of Adventure voyage.
Photos' / supplied
Four Whanganui sisters have made climbing up a 30m mast and sailing around the Hauraki Gulf part of family tradition.
The youngest of the lot, Leila Collinson, was fourth down the chain to jump on board the Spirit of Adventure and complete a 10-day ocean voyage.
A challenge that was made unmissable after the hype she received from her three older sisters.
The 16-year-old said her eldest sister did it as part of a class trip and loved it so much the rest of them couldn't resist following suit.
"We are all really similar and all love the outdoors, after seeing the photos and hearing the stories our minds were all made up."
But it would not have been made possible without obtaining sponsorship from community trusts.
"It wasn't cheap but it was something I really wanted to do so I applied to various trusts and received funding from the Spirit of Adventure Trust, Four Friends Trust, Margaret Watt Children's Trust and Whanganui District Council Youth Committee."
And even though she had been given the full run down from her older siblings, the experience still exceeded expectations.
She said it was daunting having to catch a flight to Auckland alone and make her way to Princes Wharf with no assistance but within five minutes of being on board she had made a ton of friends.
"Everyone was so welcoming and the days were just packed with adventure."
She said every day was a challenge - from 6.30am ocean swims to climbing a 30m mast and rafting around Great Barrier.
"But all worth it, you gained so many life skills like leadership, teamwork, independence and confidence."
Leila said she would encourage anyone looking to gain these skills and live a once in a life time opportunity to do it.
By Emma Russell
Wanganui Chronicle 2/12/17