Another hot, clear day for our second sail. 9 students in attendance including one new enrollment who was very excited to be invited to the program. Sydney harbour was in fine form with no swell, a light breeze and schools of fish feeding all over the place. The students were all ready for another good day and participation levels were very high across the board. The seniors again set an excellent example for the others and I was particularly impressed with one student, Sky, who had had very little sleep and was visibly fatigued and yet turned up to school to attend the WOC program and fulfil the commitment they had made. Some excellent technical instruction was given to students including knot tying and trimming of sails and the level of interest from students was high throughout the day. Students have begun to volunteer for jobs willingly rather than be asked directly to help, which is lovely to see. Two year 11 student, Josh and Tyler, were particularly impressive, working on a winch and other ropes for the entire duration of the sail. The therapeutic benefits were again clearly evident as students smiled and chatted easily with the crew and were relaxed and cooperative throughout the day's sailing. An interesting occurrence was when one boy, known for difficult and oppositional behaviour, approached David independently at the beginning of the day and asked about details of David's life. They had a lovely conversation and it was really something to celebrate for us as this particular student is often very unwilling to engage in serious conversation with our staff.
In summary it was a very successful and productive sail, with very encouraging signs that students are starting to respond to the challenges presented to them.
(update from Teacher Andrew Russo)