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Dkembe discovers that the possibilities are endless at sea

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After eight months travelling the world on the Tall Ship

Picton Castle, Bermudian teenager Dkembe Outerbridge-Dill is finally returning home.

Since Mr Dill left the Island for Canada last November, he has sailed through the Caribbean, visited the Galapagos Islands, experienced Bounty Day on Pitcairn Island, and tried his luck surfing with the locals in Tahiti.

In a journal, Mr Dill wrote: “It was incredible to see someone do this live and something that I never thought I would see, but on

Picton Castle it seems that you see everything, the possibilities are endless.”

Mr Dill, 18, first joined the crew of the three-masted sail training ship in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, with a bursary from Sail Training Bermuda helping to support the cost of the voyage.

A former student of the Berkeley Institute, and Impact Mentoring Academy, Mr Dill has pursued a career on the sea for several years. In June of 2011, he took part in a service mission to the Dominican Republic on board the Bermuda Sloop Foundation’s

Spirit of Bermuda.

A year later, he took part in the OPSAIL Youth Ambassador Voyage to Jamestown, Virginia, and completed a three-month Bridge Watch Rating Course at Holland College Marine Training Centre in Prince Edward Island with the help of the National Training Board.

Since the Picton Castle left port last year, the ship travelled south to Grenada before crossing the Panama Canal to the Pacific Ocean. From their, the crew journeyed to French Polynesia, Tonga and the Cook Islands.

Among the highlights listed in his journal was a visit to Pitcairn Island timed to witness Bounty Day, celebrating the day the mutineers of the

Bounty first arrived on the Island. The event is celebrated every year with a feast, fireworks, and the burning of a model

Bounty.

While on board the vessel, he said he has taken several seamanship workshops.

“We learn different types of rope work, such as splicing, seizings and knots, and maintenance, like how to sharpen tools, how to paint and varnish properly, basic sail making skills, like sewing canvas, and practicing by making ditty bags,” he wrote.

“We also learn about blocks, and tackles, and many other things necessary to be a good seaman.

“Other things I’ve learned, though not at sea, include how to sail, and row the small boat, and also how to run the skiff with an outboard engine. We practise small boat skills in bays, harbours and lagoons where the sheltered water is not too rough. These are also important skills for any good seaman to have.”

He said his favourite part of the daily duties on board the vessel is furling the royals, the highest sails on board set from the highest yard on the main and foremasts.

“Every time I hear that call I race up there,” he wrote. “I take pride in making my stow as beautiful, and even, as I can. It doesn’t matter if it’s strong winds or no wind, I always try to make my stows perfect.

John Wadson, Chair of Sail Training Bermuda said: “Dkembe is a role model for young Bermudian men and women who need encouragement to pursue their dreams.”

Dkembe at the helm at sunset
Dkembe at work on the sailboat
Dkembe enjoys the ocean
<B>Dkembe’s journal</B>

GalapagosBounty mutineers first landed on Pitcairn Island. They burned the ship so it wouldn’t be seen by His Majesty’s Navy ships passing and spent the rest of their lives on Pitcairn Island. Bounty, and when it gets dark it is set on fire to remember the day the original Bounty was burned.

The beauty of the island was not only in the landscape but the people were just as beautiful as the island they come from.

I’m not just talking about looks either. When I was there I felt the love in the air and everyone cared about each other. I could tell this just from how they greeted each other.

Whenever a local met another person they knew, they greeted them with a hug and a kiss on the cheek no matter who it was. It made me wish our island could be like that.

Pitcairn Island

Bounty Day is the day the

So these people’s ancestors were mutineers and they are proud of the story. The Bounty Day celebration is a big feast down at the boat landing, which is where we came ashore in the long boats.

Then a model ship is built out of wood and coconut palms to look like the

Mangareva, French Polynesia

It was the usual play for two days, work for one and by the end of my stay in Rikitea the whole village it seemed were my friends. So on the day we departed, they all came to see me off but they wouldn’t let me leave before giving me a few gifts.

I got black pearls from one guy, a T-shirt from another and a girl gave me a shell necklace that was made from the same oyster the pearls come from.

Ÿ To read Dkembe Outerbridge-Dill’s journals in full, visit www.royalgazette.com.

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Published May 15, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 14, 2013 at 11:42 pm)

Dkembe discovers that the possibilities are endless at sea

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