Late last summer I applied for a volunteer position for the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust. They were looking for volunteers to work on board the sailing boat ‘Silurian’, which sails from the Isle of Mull off the Scottish coast to monitor the whales, dolphins and porpoises in the Outer Hebrides.
Fast forward to October and I was nominated through a teacher at school for the Governors School program. I knew this was a great opportunity and privilege but spent the remaining part of my day at school thinking about how I would work in my cross country running over the summer and building our team if I was away at Governors School for 5 -6 weeks of the summer, plus I was still holding out to hear from the Hebridean Trust.
When I got home from school that evening I was extremely excited to receive an acceptance email into the teen volunteer program and immediately knew I wanted to have the opportunity to volunteer in the area of marine biology over Governors School.
I will be heading to the Isle of Mull in July. During our 8 days at sea we will conduct monitoring via visual sightings and acoustic surveillance around the Hebridean Islands. As a volunteer I will be living and working onboard the sailing boat for the duration of the volunteer period. With a team of 8-10 other high school students and 2 members of the Whale and Dolphin Trust we will work, cook, clean and monitor the ocean – I am looking forward to the whole experience. This will be my first time at sea!
One of my main concerns when I applied for the opportunity was ‘what would I eat’! I emailed the coordinator and explained that I had Celiac Disease and they were very helpful and knowledgable about my situation. They will be able to provide the sailing boat with non gluten food items, and I will be careful during the week when we are in the galley cooking and eating together. I am looking forward to seeing what gluten free goodies the UK has to offer.
I am so looking forward to this once in a lifetime opportunity!
I will be able to share my story in August with you.