Emma participated in our 22-day Bahamas Sailing program in January 2016.
How did you learn about Outward Bound?
I remember hearing about Outward Bound since I was young. One of my parents had participated in another Outward Bound course decades ago. It was always in the back of my mind as a unique experience that sounded both challenging and
completely rewarding, and once I finally looked more into the course options, I jumped at the chance to try one between semesters at college.
Why did you decide to take this specific course?
The time length of the course appealed to me, especially since I was looking for a longer experience that seemed immersive and like I could really learn a specific skill. I also liked the idea of sailing, which I hadn’t done since I was little in the summers. Together, the three weeks and the sailing sounded like the perfect combination for my winter break! The course being located in the Bahamas certainly didn’t hurt either.
What was the best part about your course?
Of all the moments over the three weeks, the final portion of the course was the most memorable. The two instructors let us sail and navigate the boat all on our own as we crossed a 40 mile sound between two sets of islands, and the trip took about 20 hours overall because of the wind direction. It was wet and rainy and often cold but amazingly rewarding to prove what we learned and to successfully cross. I felt like it summed the Outward Bound experience – alternatively fun and difficult and always satisfying.
What was the most challenging or unexpected part about your course?
I was unprepared for the dependency of the trip on the weather and the overall unpredictability of the days. There would be mornings where we woke and sailed a completely different route than planned because the weather had changed. It was worthwhile to learn to let go of itineraries, but was definitely an unexpected challenge.
What was your favorite food on course?
Favorite food was the brownies! There was a powder brownie mix, and we added water to then scramble the mix on the boat’s stove. The brownies were the only chocolate for the three weeks, and they were absolutely delicious.
What advice would you give to someone else considering taking this course.
I found that the course gives exactly what you put into it, which is something the instructors said multiple times as well. It would be easy to not be sociable with the other students or not really try to learn the skills, but then the course wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable or worthwhile – basically, being enthusiastic was the easiest way to have fun on the course overall.