The Maiden Factor Blog

Maiden is a Global Ambassador for the Empowerment of Girls through Education

Greetings from the Tasman Sea!


We left Sydney in glorious bright sunshine on Anzac Day and were privileged to witness various military flybys over the harbour bridge as we were escorted out of the Sydney Heads by friends, family and even the Harbour Police!

Kate Palfrey stands at the wheel of Maiden, in the centre of the image. She is wearing a red jacket and a black lifejacket. She is wearing sunglasses, reflecting the ocean, and wearing a black cap. In the background, the water is dark, and the sky is bright.

It was finally real – the adventure was about to begin!

After a couple of man overboard practices, we were on our way – next stop Auckland, New Zealand!

Two pilot whales swim in the ocean. The sky is light pink, and the water is pale blue. The whales are dark shadows against the water.

The first afternoon and evening were perfect – the sun was out, the winds were warm, and soon Sydney and Australia were out of sight! We were being treated to the most amazing sunset when we spotted whales! After grabbing the sea life book, we soon identified these as the pilot whales and we spent quite some time being amazed by them playing in the evening sun.

Maiden is on the left of the image. The photo is taken from the helm. At the front of the boat, a sailor stands. The water is reflecting the sea.

Overnight the wind picked up and slowly but surely reefs were added to the main sail and, by the next morning (day 2,) I (along with several other crew members!) had succumbed to my first ever bout of seasickness! NASTY!
It was a rough old day and night with strong winds and high seas, but it has calmed down since and this afternoon (day 3) we have had the most glorious sail. That feeling of surfing down waves with nothing but the sea and sky (oh – and the odd albatross) around you is indescribable.

A dramatic sky with clouds and the sun in the middle. The sea is stormy.

I was on watch for sunset tonight, which was beautiful, but it was nothing compared to the stars – they are truly spectacular. With no light pollution around they just light up the sky. I feel extremely privileged to be able to witness all of this and be sailing on such an iconic boat with such a lovely bunch of people. Fingers crossed I am over my seasickness now too!