The Maiden Factor Blog

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

Major milestones and fresh fish

A post by Courtney Koos, Maiden crew member.

We are having an incredibly fast and fun sail down to the Panama Canal— finally getting the chance to sail downwind (!!!) and iron out our crossovers. It’s been a great few days back offshore, getting back into the groove of a 4 on, 4 off watch system, with days filled with sail changes, celestial navigation lessons, a few potential alien encounters, and a lot of delicious fresh fish (thanks to Liz, the awesome rod donated by Guest Crew Mackenzie Marmol, and the 100 pound test spectra line my Grandpa gave us!) 

©The Maiden Factor/Amalia Infante

This time last year I was on my way to Antigua from Newport, RI, eagerly awaiting an email to find out where and when I would join MAIDEN. It’s pretty surreal to look back now at the places we’ve been, the miles we’ve done, and even more humbling to reflect on the inspirational kids we’ve met along the way. 

Courtney’s first school visit in Sri Lanka ©The Maiden Factor/Amalia Infante/Kaia Bint Savage

As we get closer to Panama, it’s starting to sink in that this is one of the last major milestones of this first circumnavigation, which will finish up after our Atlantic crossing next July-August. It’s funny reflecting back at the beginning, when completing the first lap— for me, getting the boat back to Malta— felt so monumental, and how as it gets closer you start to be more excited to continue on with the second lap through the Middle East and Asia than to finish the first. 

1) The Maiden crew meet the President of Malta, President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca. 2) Courtney traditionally greets a local schoolgirl in Auckland, New Zealand. 3) The crew onboard Maiden having fun! 4) Courtney crosses the equator for the first time and meets King Neptune! 5) Courtney is Maiden’s engineer. 6) Courtney raises the flag as they sail into American waters, her home country. ©The Maiden Factor/Amalia Infante/Kaia Bint Savage

A year ago I couldn’t have foreseen sitting on MAIDEN today, heading back to one of my favorite places, Antigua! Much less with such an incredible bunch of ladies, on this legendary boat!