Our latest voyage took place between the 4th and 9th September. It commenced in Glandore and finished on the River Lee in Cork. A prize-giving ceremony was held on the final day in the Port of Cork Custom's Building; certificates were presented by Commodore Hugh Tully of the Irish Navy and Seamus Brogan, Chairman of Sail Training Ireland. The group on board of the Spirit of Oysterhaven during the week was composed by 10 young people from a variety of backgrounds, as well as by one of our former trainees from 2015 who had been promoted to the role of Watch Leader by the vessel and by coincidence was part of the crew on another Safe Haven voyage.
Samantha Ncube from South Africa was one of the enthusiastic trainees on board. Although only 20 years of age, Samantha is confident, eloquent and a great advocate for young people. She gave a moving speech at the Certificate Ceremony, which you can read in full below.
"Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, prestigious guests, skipper and former safe haven Ireland trainees. My name is Samantha Ncube and I was one of the trainees on the sailing voyage.
Our experience with Spirit of Oysterhaven was one that we will treasure for the rest of our lives. We made long life friends like Koketso, role models and youth leaders that we will definitely be working with in the near future. We also had an educational experience one that we would never be able to learn from Google. Lol.
We each evolved in areas that were different, like for instance the musical background and interest that Melvin has or even Garry's knowledge for that matter. I myself even developed a Cork accent from Stuart Lol.
Coming from different backgrounds is what made the voyage much more interesting. We learnt a lot about different cultures and had a small module on intercultural studies. From struggling to understand Amro's accent to Ali's English I think it's safe to say we are able to tackle anything.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Spirit of Oysterhaven committee for allowing us to learn and explore a lot while sailing. Most importantly I would like to thank the Safe Haven Ireland for planning and making the sailing voyage open to us.
I would also like to thank our youth leaders that we had on board, Diego and Idris. I would like to thank Garry and Skipper for the love and warmth that they showed us. Despite the sea-sickness they made the boat feel like home. Last but not least I would like to thank all the trainees that took part in the voyage, I can definitely say that I learnt a lot from you guys.
In South Africa we have a saying that goes umuntu umuntu ngabantu which means you are who you are through other people. And from this I can definitely say that I am a different person. Thank you!"
Samantha Ncube, 9th September 2016