Maiden is a Global Ambassador for the Empowerment of Girls through Education
BLOG POST BY AYESHA LOBO
With only 450 miles to go, energy on board is quite revived and everyone is in race mode as land is so close. We have had all sorts of adventures on board, as you have read about in our previous blogs, which is very exciting for me as this is my first real ocean passage! The last two days have been blissful weather of clear skies and perfect sailing conditions. This has been great as the team have managed to get rest, do some exercise and even have some amazing sessions on board!
The gourmet kitchen on board is booming with all sorts of cuisines and cooking experiments happening: in 60 hours we have had pancakes, risotto, Pan Asian curry, Indian vegetable curry, Thai curry, jam tarts, cottage pie, oven-made bread, apple crumble and peaches with custard. Surely just reading all those dishes made your mouth water….
We have been saving water as it is not practical to use the water-maker upwind. But don’t let this fool you into thinking we aren’t being clean on board! Between the sea showers, baby wipes and natural oils, we have the mastered the alternative to our temporary needs. The top land priority is definitely a long shower with warm towels!
Erica fixed our J3 sail, which, as you heard, had a little bit of an incident the day before. I learnt that it needs some real patience and skill to be able use a sewing machine upwind. I got to help just a little and was a great way to spend the afternoon as well. There’s never any wasted time on board this boat as there are so many things to do as well!
One of the best features of the trip so far, is that there has been continues laughter and fun on board, no matter the situation or the weather. This is fantastic because we all could be doing a sail change and a person falls over and because all of us have been in that position we end up laughing so hard while hoisting!
Also, I’ve learnt when you live on a boat for over 7 days, inanimate objects start getting a personality! We initially thought that everyone is probably drinking too much salt water, but after a while you get it. I’ll do a quick introduction to a few of the in-house inanimate crew on board: Stacy the water-maker (who’s a sassy, high maintenance lady), Betty the Generator (who’s this old feisty lady who gets the job done whatever the cost), Haans the engine (a middle aged man going through some mid life crisis and as a result keeps putting up random alarms for everything) and George, the auto pilot who has a cold as he’s always locked in the lazerette (a lazarette, also spelled lazaret, is a special area on a boat. It is often an area near or aft of the cockpit).
So many stories… I could go on for days!
Sailing round the world has always been a dream of mine ever since I started sailing at 11 years old. I was lucky, as even though I came from a middle class family in India, my parents found a way to let me learn the sport that I fell in love with. I started competing at the age of 12 and my love for the sport grew more and more. Sailing in India isn’t very popular, so finding a sponsor or anyone to help do events or anything like that was quite difficult. The sport itself is still quite a male dominated sport, and, as a result, most of the funding often still goes towards them. Even today, trying to get help to raise money to compete internationally is quite difficult and so one can see why sailing round the world was close to being just a dream for me (until now). I started up a sailing school in India (Mumbai), which was to let everyone and anyone come and sail, build awareness about the sport, help get more girls start sailing. I wanted to show girls that they can do it and it’s not just for boys. I also help fund some of the championships our womens’ team wanted to participate in.
When I heard about The Maiden Factor and what their cause was, I was automatically drawn towards it. The story felt close to home for me and the cause of educating girls and giving them the opportunity to do more was brilliant! I truly believe in ‘educate a girl, change the world!’ as these girls will eventually grow up and be basically the foundations of future generations to come and in tern will bring about the changes that our earth needs.