Nathan ready to hit the high seas with the Ocean Youth Trust

AN EYEMOUTH High School student will be keeping everything crossed that he gets some better weather than we’ve had of late when he embarks on a sailing trip to the Faroe Islands at the end of next month.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 7th July 2012, 7:57 am

Sixteen year old Nathan Craig from Ayton will be taking the journey with the Ocean Youth Trust after winning a place on their young leader programme.

A member of Whiteadder Sailing Club, Nathan said he got into sailing after going along to a club training session with a friend and has enjoyed life on the water ever since, embarking on his second voyage with the Youth Trust at just 14 years old.

It was on that voyage that Nathan won a skipper’s recommendation for promotion to bosun and after completing his bosun training in April he is looking forward to being an active member of the crew for the trip to the the Faroe Islands.

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He will use the journey as an opportunity to develop the leadership skills required to serve as a third mate on Ocean Youth Trust youth training vessels.

And if Nathan’s commitment to his sailing wasn’t enough he’s also been putting his all into his Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award on dry land.

For the physical section of the award he combined climbing at Edinburgh International Climbing Arena in Ratho and skiing at Hillend Dry slope - transforming himself from snowplough beginners to parallel skiier before taking up snowboarding.

He plans to take to the water on a sea kayak voyage for his Gold expedition next year, by which time he should be qualified to lead a crusing yacht expedition as but for the next month or so his thoughts are firmly focused on the Faroes.

There were only 12 places on board up for grabs and he told ‘The Berwickshire’, he was really looking forward to setting sail on July 23.

“I first found out about Ocean Youth Trust voyages on a poster at the sailing club and then I asked a teacher at school about it.

“It’s a great thing to get involved with and I’m really enjoying being on the Young Leaders Development programme.

“As a volunteer bosun I’ll be responsible for making daily checks on the ship’s engine etc.

“We’ve had some training in the last few weeks to get us used to the boat we’ll be sailing on and study our route.

“But if the weather is really bad there’s every chance that that might have to change so we’re all keeping everything crossed for some good weather!”

Places on the Ocean Youth Trust voyage cost £4000 per member of crew but youngsters are encouraged to fundraise so they don’t have to foot the whole bill themselves.

And like with his sailing, Nathan definitely threw himself into his fundraising challenge by organising a ceildh which proved a big success and paid for way over half of his fee.

As well as establishing a strong connection with the Ocean Youth Trust, Nathan has also tasted success with the Royal Yacht Association National Youth Sailing Scheme, becoming the first Eyemouth High student in a number of years to complete all four stages of the programme.

And even though he is still only young himself, Nathan is already keen to pass only his skills to even younger sailors and is training to become a RYA sailing instructor.

He has already completed his RYA first aid, RYA Powerboat Level 2 and RYA Safety Boat qualifications and aims to qualify as an RYA Yachtmaster when he is 18 at which point he is also hoping to forge a career in outdoor education.