The vessel had been at sea for nine months, sailing across the Atlantic via Antigua, navigating the Panama Canal and through the islands of the South Pacific, including Fiji. Owned and operated by charity Jubilee Sailing Trust Australia, Tenacious was built by 1,500 volunteers." - ABC News Australia
POLAHS graduates Matthew Amiott and Darlene Radell (’16) took part in the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) adventure, as they sailed for 28 DAYS! from Fiji to Australia this summer. Matt and Darlene’s sail was sponsored by a kindhearted friend of POLAHS, a physician who works with adults with special needs. Through a buddy system, JST fulfills its mission by taking both disabled and able-bodied men and women to sea.
Darlene, Matt, and crew wrote the following nightly journal entries aboard the ship.
7/2/16 – After three days alongside in Lautoka, Fiji, TNS463 is finally underway. The weather is perfect – 28 degrees with the wind from the SE.
7/4/16 – Happy 4th from the 6 Americans on board and the 3 currently on watch duty (Bridget, Mark, and Matt – Darlene is on mess duty)!! This morning we awoke to Nate from New York pledging allegiance to the flag and all got treated to a traditional lunch of hamburgers and potato salad thanks to the cook. Divided by country but brought together for an adventure to sail across the Pacific like so many of our ocean-crossing ancestors.
7/8/16 - The Tenacious crew have enjoyed a couple of fabulous days of rest and relaxation in Vanuatu. All of us took the opportunity to explore the town of Port Vila, some visiting the museum and cultural centre to learn about the history and culture of these fascinating islands. Others visited a local village on the way to the ‘Secret Garden’ where we were entertained by tales of cannibalism and tribal dancing by islanders in grass skirts.
7/15/16 – We have just left Noumea in New Caledonia. The aquarium was a highlight and the maritime museum. We were lucky enough to be in a French colony to enjoy the Bastille Day celebrations which included a lantern parade, fireworks and let’s not forget the talented violin playing can-can troope.
7/20/16 – Aloha from Tenacious! Matt is our Watch Leader this afternoon as part of his Leadership at Sea course, with Darlene awarding him 10 out of 10. Our Permanent crew conducted a drill onboard today which saw many of them rush to their posts, some donning firefighting gear and others awaiting order from the Captain about the potential fire onboard.
7/24/16 - As I type this, I am blindfolded as part of my Leadership at Sea to try to understand how those with disabilities get around the ship. Darlene has helmed with the blindfold on, carried out general watch tasks, assisted with handing sails and set up smoko.
7/26/16 - It was a day of giving and receiving as we motor towards Sydney in a head wind. But the sun is out and tomorrow we finally complete our journey from Fiji, 28 days and just over 2000 miles later. Tenacious has been a fabulous home for the last month.
This fall, Matt will enroll in the Marine Transportation program at Cal Maritime Academy. Darlene is heading to Harbor College to pursue a degree in Political Science. For both students, lessons learned on the ship won’t soon be forgotten. “I saw a moon rainbow, made incredible friendships with sailors of all ages, and spent days blindfolded and in a wheelchair to better understand those with special needs,” said Darlene. “The trip helped me to grow exponentially. I gained a broader understanding of the world, and a better sense of individual differences and our similarities," she shared.