Zoe Skinners’ Journey Of A Lifetime

July 5, 2024 | 3 Comments

[Written by Stephen Wright]

Bermudian Zoe Skinner has reflected on the “journey of a lifetime” after spending almost two years on a tall ship sailing around the world.

Ms Skinner has completed around 30,000 nautical miles on the Picton Castle, leaving Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, in October 2022 and returning on July 13 via ports such as Panama, Pitcairn Island, Fiji, Bali, Cape Town, St Helena, Grenada and Bermuda.

She is on the island for a week after the Picton Castle, a 179-feet three-masted ship, arrived in St George’s on Tuesday [July 2], with Ms Skinner enjoying an emotional reunion with her friends and family.

“It was special seeing a whole group of them waiting just by the cut into St George’s,” Ms Skinner told Bernews.

Zoe Skinner 3 July 2024 1

“I had no idea they would do that. It was very emotional seeing them for the first time after almost two years!

“By the nature of this travel, you spend so much time away from the internet and connection from the outside world.

“You miss out on what’s happening with your family and friends – I have lots of catching up to do!”

After graduating from the University of Surrey in London, Ms Skinner searched for a programme that offered an education experience but not as formal as a university degree. The Picton Castle seemed a perfect fit.

She said she has forged close friendships with her crewmates and created memories that will last a lifetime.

“The people on board are a special group of people, and you’re sharing 24 hours of your day with them,” she said.

“You’re eating every meal together, working day and night, and spending your downtime with them. You do have a special connection with everyone on board.”

The former Saltus Grammer School student added: “Our first long sea passage from the Galapagos Islands to Pitcairn Island took 28 days.

“We’d seen one ship the whole time – no land or anything. It was just dusk, and Pitcairn Island came up over the horizon, and we watched the lights from the houses as we dropped anchor. That was our first long passage – it felt like a big accomplishment!”

Picton Castle Tall Ship Arrives in Bermuda Bermuda July 2024 (17)

The 22-year-old, who had little sailing experience before boarding the Picton Castle, said the crew adopted a three-watch system, working for four hours and taking eight off throughout the day.

Among her tasks are maintenance, including sail repairs, painting, helming, lookout duties, and sail handling.

“This was my first time being away from land for any extended time,” she added. “This ship helps train help for a professional career in the maritime industry. It’s opened a couple of extra doors for me.”

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Comments (3)

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  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    What a wonderful experience for a young person. Well done, Zoe

  2. Lion Paw says:

    Amazing. What an experience and a wonderful welcome home for you. May your future continue to inspire

  3. Trudi Pugh says:

    Welcome home, Zoe! Well done seeing the world from this wonderful view!

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