Marine Inspirations Impact

Marine Inspirations Impact

Marine Inspirations Impact

We love getting feedback like this about our students who have passed through the Marine Inspirations program. This is why we do what we do to inspire and empower the next generation of seafarers 

Published with permission:

 

Dear All,

Yesterday I had the occasion to be blown away and humbled by Smanga and his story well though I know it. I must thank again each and everyone of you, and where relevant the organisations that you represent for your incredible contribution to transforming this young man’s life whilst without realising it enabling Sail Africa to continue with the work we do.

I was called at very short notice to give a presentation to the KZN Department of Sport and Recreation. When Smanga first came to us 5 years ago they were our main sponsor accounting for half our annual budget. Today their funding has been cut in half and our budget has more than doubled, so they are less involved. Having said that they still fund the schools sailing program which is the springboard for every thing else we do. Smanga started in this program and has gone on to experience every thing else we offer from the Marine Inspirations program which he went on some years back thanks to Phil and Anthony’s generosity, getting a bursary thanks to Steve and Jessica’s generosity and experiencing the GBOBA program thanks to Nomkitha and Keith and others. He is, as you know, at DUT doing his maritime studies and he is also fully involved in the DUT sailing program which is now a large part of our work.

I took Smanga with me (without prepping him – there was no time) and because the situation called for it I asked him on the spur of the moment, to stand up and tell his story. He did – he spoke not only about Sail Africa but about all you folk. They then asked about his family, he told them ” We are twelve at home, we live in a four roomed township house in Kwa Mashu, only one adult works, and I never knew my father and my mother is dead”,

To see where he is today and know where he comes from is so so humbling. I needed to share with you and give credit for your part. .

They have asked him to speak to the KZN cabinet to show them the influence of sailing in changing lives and its impact on Operation Phakisa. He has to prepare a CV by next Friday and I must select two girls to accompany him. I will let you know how it goes although I am not invited! I am sure he will continue to be a credit.

Jackie

Aliy Zirkle and the great Iditarod

Aliy Zirkle and the great Iditarod

Aliy Zirkle and the great Iditarod

RCYC ACADEMY REPORT – by Lindani Mchunu

The age old question of whether one competes to win or overcome, is still very much open to interpretation. Aliy moved to Bettles, Alaska at the age of twenty and began mushing due to the remote nature of the town. She adopted six sled dogs and began learning how to race and train dogs. In the year 2000 she became the first woman to win the Yukon Quest. She has been the runner-up in the Iditarod three consecutive years, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Aliy has finished the Iditarod 14 times and the Yukon 3 times, she has completed either the Yukon Quest or the Iditarod every year since 1998. She not only competes with her dogs but also has a shelter for dogs, which need care. She has been exemplary in how she treats her race dogs and goes above and beyond to make sure they receive the utmost care and never pushes them beyond their limits. Aliy has been competing in this great Alaskan race for over 20yrs and has not won a single race, even though in one of the races she was run down several times by a deranged attacker, who was drunk and wanted to run her and her dogs into the river. Injuring and killing some of the dogs.

What drives a human being to keep coming back for more over a 20 year period? What motivates a woman in a male dominated sport to walk alone and endure the most severe elements known to man? What inspires such a pursuit? In my mind, it can only be the fact that society insists that you cannot do it. It can only be the fact that there is a systemic undertone that looms over your self-determination, a ceiling that is put over you and you are told without actually being told that you will never reach this high. The human spirit in whatever shape of form yearns to be free. It yearns to express itself and in doing so unravel all the layers of the human experience. Aliy yearns for the trail, with herself and her dogs and the path laid out in front of her. I doubt she even cares how far the finish line might be, she just yearns for the trail. The trail is where freedom lies, the trail is where challenge brings out the best in her and the trail is where she becomes one with her Dogs and the elements. I believe in her mind she understands that to finish anything is to begin another thing. I take strength and courage from such a story, 20 years and she has never won the great Iditarod race. Yet as I write these words she is probably preparing for the next race. Such a human being can never know defeat because for them, it is not about a position on a podium it is about the trail that lies ahead. Which has no finish line but an endless path of self-development.

This is what I wish and hope for in our academy. I hope our kids get inspired by the sprawling sea, which seems to go on for eternity, with no horizon, no beginning nor end. I hope they get inspired to break the ceilings imposed over their destinies by society because of the colour of their skin, their social class, where they live, what school they come from, what gender they are. I hope they come here, get on a boat, see the waters of Table Bay and say to themselves, anything is possible no matter what challenges I will encounter along the way. For this thing called life is an infinite race, passed on from one generation to the other and all I am here to do, is do my part.

I dedicate this article to all human beings in the world. Here in South Africa it is human right’s day, tomorrow on the 20th of March. In my blood runs a strong conviction of the rights of all people, maybe because I was raised by a human rights lawyer, who still to this day is a democracy consultant. It is of course a silly notion to imagine a world where all human beings are treated equal and merit is the order of the day. Yet one cannot do nothing just because the system is rigged. If you are able to but change

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Big Bottle of Wine Party Palma 2019

Big Bottle of Wine Party Palma 2019

 Big Bottle of Wine Party – Palma 2019

 

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Come and help less advantaged youngsters go to sea by raising funds for this inspiring marine programme!
All proceeds to charity.

DATE: Friday 29th  March 2019 (Brexit Day!) at 19:00 hrs

VENUE: Hotel Horizonte – Vista Alegre, 1, Palma www.hotelamichorizonte.com/es

ENTERTAINMENT: Live music by Anthony Just and friends. Auction and raffle plus any other fun things that
we can think of!

PRICE: €45 per person

FOOD AND DRINK INCLUDED: We serve an 18 litre bottle of ‘Can Feliu’ red wine from a hand-built Gun Carriage. White
wine, beer & soft drinks included. Cash bar for other beverages. Finger food.
RSVP: **Booking Essential** Reservations necessary due to numbers-planning, with payment to our bank account
kindly requested. Regret, no tickets at the door this year.
Reply to – Jo@marineinspirations.org

 

BANK DETAILS:
BVA Bank, Son Ferrer Branch in Calvia
Account Name – Anne Wade
IBAN: ES 3901822375740291502367

The Marine Inspirations programme provides young people from around the world – who would otherwise not have the opportunity – with an insight into careers in the super-yachting and maritime industry, developing a range of seamanship skills and industry connections to improve their prospects.
For the past 21 years the Lawhill Maritime Centre www.lawhill.org has helped students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds embark on successful careers in the maritime industry  by providing them with an industry-focused education while still at school. Lawhill receives no state funding and is reliant on industry and individual support to fund its operations and provide student bursaries.

The Wall

The Wall

The Wall

RCYC ACADEMY REPORT – by Lindani Mchunu

From 1961-1989 the communist government of the German Democratic Republic ‘GDR’ began to build a barbed wire and concrete wall between East and West Berlin. The official purpose of this Berlin wall was to keep Western “fascists” from entering East Germany and undermining the socialist state, but it primarily served the objective of stemming mass defections from East to West. Summits, conferences and other negotiations came and went without resolution. Meanwhile, the flood of refugees continued. In June 1961, some 19,000 people left the GDR through Berlin. The following month, 30.000 fled. In the first 11 days of August, 16,000 East Germans crossed the border into West Berlin and on August 12 some 2,400 followed- the largest number of defectors ever to leave East Germany in a single day. From 1949-1958 almost 3 million people crossed from East to West. The construction of the Berlin Wall did stop the flood of refugees from East to West, and it did defuse the crisis over Berlin. President Kennedy conceded that, “A wall is a hell of a lot better than a war.” In all at least 171 people were killed trying to get over, under or around the Berlin Wall. Escape from East Germany was not impossible, however: From 1961 until the wall came down in 1989, more than 5,000 East Germans (including some 600 border guards) managed to cross the border by jumping out of windows adjacent to the wall, climbing over the Barbed wire, flying in hot air balloons, crawling through sewers and driving through unfortified parts of the wall at high speeds.

Man has been erecting walls from time immemorial, most of them have been physical structures, built to fortify castles and cities, dogmas and doctrines. Like all things man made in time they wither away or are destroyed by man himself only to erect more walls in future. I think these walls of brick and mortar are better than the one’s we construct in our minds, the ones that are ethereal and shapeless. These walls are the most resistant ones, like a cancer, that continually mutates and spreads from one organ to the next. In the sky we have
walls and they are called flying zones, at sea we have walls and they are called territory. They are of course imaginary, in the sense that they are not physical objects but rather lines written in navigation manuals, fortified by every countries’ navy. Yet it would seem at every turn in the pages of history, human beings have resisted the restriction of free movement. To this very day they resist to be confined to a single area, maybe it is our inherent primal instinct to be nomadic, like animals migrating through the ever changing seasons. I have always made mention that our academy is a social experiment like no other, we seek to break down the walls of colour, the walls of geography, the walls of class, yet most of all we seek to break down the personal walls of every young sailor from under-served communities, the walls that they have constructed in their minds. The walls that make them believe that sailing and the ocean is a white man’s sport, the Royal Cape Yacht Club is a white man’s place, and that to dream to be free on the open ocean with a boat and a destination is a fool’s errand. On the 28th of February I was in Durban attending the inaugural Minister’s Dialogue hosted by Blade Nzimande. The minster spoke strongly about the need for the maritime sector to Transform, he quipped that very few black people were interested in this industry, could it be perhaps because we are afraid to swim? My answer to that was to show a video of Sibu Sizathu and Sabatha Gayeka, sailing on Arch Angel flying a kite on their way to Mykonos. There was awe and shock in the room, nobody could believe what they were seeing. Two young black boys from Masiphumelele Township, so comfortable out at sea. What we are doing here is special in a way that the ordinary member of the club who has never been to a township could not imagine. This academy is changing perceptions not only on this side of the Wall but on the other side too. As we collectively warm up to the idea of seeing young black kids out on the water, so too are the people on the other side of the wall. Walls of the mind are insidious and tenacious. They are like carbon monoxide, odour less and colourless. We should be vigilant like the night owl, not of the enemy on the other side of the wall but rather the one within. I truly and honestly believe that if we can get it right, here in our small community of sailors, if we can have free movement from East to West, without any check points and walls, we can leave a legacy that many would imitate.

When I was in Durban in my Royal Cape Yacht Club Jacket, giving a presentation with my polished English, many who sat in the room, thought I am a colonised black man, I felt their walls pushing up against me and thought to myself, what a shame, if only you could cross to my side, you would be pleasantly surprised to find out that the waters of Table Bay treat me the exact same way as a girl from Khayelitsha, without fear or favour.

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