'You can inspire them'

Lauren Hayes on the Spirit of New Zealand.
Lauren Hayes on the Spirit of New Zealand.

Southlanders got a taste of the sea on the Spirit of New Zealand in Foveaux Strait today.

The ship, a 45m long barquentine with 31m-tall masts, carries more than 1000 young people every year on journeys of self-discovery, run by the Spirit of Adventure Trust.

The ship arrived in Bluff early this morning, dropping off a team of 40 teenagers at the end of their 10-day voyage.

Invited members of the public were then ferried on for a morning sail around Foveaux Strait, as part of the Spirit of Adventure Trust's 40th anniversary tour.

Trust volunteer Keith Maydon, a firefighter from Dunedin, said the ship helped bring high achievers and at-risk young adults together, and teach them the value of hard work and friendship.

Teenagers on the boat, called trainees, were not allowed cellphones or electronic devices during their voyage, and this helped promote companionship between them, he said.

He believed the trust was helping a lot of young Kiwis through the Spirit of New Zealand.

''You can't change the world in 10 days, but ... you can inspire them.''

The Southland Times