Stevie Scanlan, Marketing Manager at Bangor University’s college of Physical and Applied Sciences, said of the journey, which started from the Canaries for Antigua in November: “The whole experience was amazing. It was much more of a mental challenge than a physical one, the hardest thing was getting your head around the fact that you can’t get off the boat, but now that I’ve done it I feel like I can do anything.” She continued, “I usually race keel boats here in Beaumaris and I have never done a long passage before but I wasn’t scared at all, that was the last thing on my mind.”
Stevie, from Beaumaris, took a month’s unpaid leave to complete the trying challenge with her brother and father, and after having spent the weekend before preparing their 56’ yacht for the 20 day long journey, set sail.
“The highlight for me was the night watches. It was incredible, just to be in the cabin looking at the stars all around you. You feel so alone and you forget all the silly worries that preoccupy you at home, your brain relaxes, it was almost like meditation. I feel like I’ve been on a 20 day retreat and I know myself so much better!
“We laughed every day, especially when a flying fish flew into the cabin and hit my brother on the back in the middle of the night! We saw pods of whales, we had a mid-Atlantic dip with 3,000ft of water underneath us – we had so many amazing experiences. It is something that we will remember forever and I feel so lucky that I got to share it with my dad and brother.”
Stevie and her family have already been able to raise £700 for the RNLI, though they are hoping to reach their goal of £1,000.
“I wanted to support the RNLI because all the volunteers are amazing, they all have normal jobs and drop everything to rescue people in need – that is not just sailors and people at sea, it’s also people like you and me. They deserve all the help they can get.” Stevie continued to add, “I have been overwhelmed by support from my friends, colleagues and family. I have come away from this with a massive sense of achievement and I am still on a high, I don’t want it to end!”