Sunday October 15, 2017

They sailed a Tall Ship from Nova Scotia to France, what'd you do on your summer vacation?

45 young people from across Canada sailed a Tall Ship from Halifax, Nova Scotia to La Havre (France) in August 2017 as part of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, all while taking part in Msit No’Kmaq, a Sail Training and Youth Leadership Program.

45 young people from across Canada sailed a Tall Ship from Halifax, Nova Scotia to La Havre (France) in August 2017 as part of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, all while taking part in Msit No’Kmaq, a Sail Training and Youth Leadership Program. (3 Things Consulting/Facebook)

Listen 6:39

Having grown up in Newfoundland and Labrador, Megan Dicker is no stranger to the ocean. But, this year, she got to sail across it.

"At first, I was anxious," Dicker explained. "I didn't know if I should try, because it seemed like such a wild adventure. But, at the same time, just the thought of sailing across the Atlantic encouraged me [to go]."

Dicker was one of 45 Indigenous youth chosen from across the country to spend three weeks on a Tall Ship, which she described as being like a "pirate ship". The youth sailed from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Le Havre, France.

"It was exhilarating. At first, I didn't know what to expect. But, ship life is a busy life," she said.

The 45 young people worked with the crew, learning how to put up and take down sails, and navigation techniques. She said it was physically challenging at the beginning. "By the end of the trip, it was easy-peasy."

Gulden Leeuw

The youth travelled from Halifax to France on the Dutch ship, Gulden Leeuw. (Emma Davie/CBC)

When they weren't on watch or taking tasks, the youth listened to and learned from each other. They came from all walks of life, and from many different communities.

Msit no'Kmaq — a Mi'kmaq phrase that means "all my relations" — is a  training and leadership program. The program recruited Indigenous youth between the ages of 16 and 24. They selected risk takers, hard workers, and future leaders.

"It was a reminder that you can do anything you put your mind to," said Dicker. "I already knew that we have power within ourselves. But, going on that trip, it kinda amplified that feeling."