Spending 24 hours at sea
A bunch of teenagers are hoping for some warmer weather as they prepare to spend 24 hours out on the Orakei Basin.
Sea cadets from across Auckland and Northland will launch their crown boats at 4pm tomorrow and keep sailing or rowing until 4pm the next day.
This is the second year St Cuthbert's College student Imogen Samuels, who is part of the Orakei based TS Achilles unit, has taken part in the gruelling challenge.
The 17-year-old says the hardest part is the freezing cold hours just before dawn.
"It is so cold and your hands are incredibly sore from rowing for the last eight hours and you are getting a bit tired."
But members always pull together and motivate each other.
"Team work is pretty much what this is all about," she says.
Every four hours the cadets within each unit switch between resting and keeping the boat moving.
TS Achilles has been located in the same building on Tamaki Drive for 50 years and the New Zealand Cadet Forces have been training young New Zealanders for 150 years.
Imogen finds many people have a misconception about the sea cadets.
"Generally when I tell people I belong to the cadets they say, ‘oh, so you are going to be in the Navy' but soon they realise there is more to it.
"I joined so I could learn to sail and I've enjoyed every moment of it. I've made lots of friends. They are people that I am probably closer to than some of my friends at school."
For King's College student Max Lichtenstein joining the cadets was a way to fast-track his dream.
"I have always wanted to join the Navy and then I found out about all the cool things the cadets do on the weekends and weekdays so I decided to come along and give it a go."
He says it has opened his eyes to leadership and valuable life skills.
"We can wear this uniform and apply these skills here but we can go to school and wear a different uniform but apply the same skills. That is the big thing for me."
Go to achilles.org.nz.
East And Bays Courier