After 8 years of dreaming- and months of preparing- the first ever S.A.L.T. trip was successfully pioneered by the students of the Spring 2015 Surfers Leadership School!

So, what is S.A.L.T., you may ask? Surprisingly, the “S” has nothing to do with surfing, but rather – SAILING.

S.A.L.T., an acronym for Sailing Adventure Leadership Training, turned out to be the perfect description for what the students experienced over their five days at sea. Between high waves and beautiful Hawaiian islands, this journey was the experience of a lifetime. Modeling the quote by Yvon Chouinard, “When everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts,” S.A.L.T. provided ample opportunities for the students to expect the unexpected.

Expectation: Smooth sailing, with maybe a few people getting seasick.

Reality: Waters rough enough to make the entire team seasick. (Thank goodness for Dramamine!)

Expectation: Stopping at Molokai, Maui, and Lanai.

Reality: Engine failure, resulting in a voyage around Oahu.

Expectation: Basic sailing training.

Reality: Intense full time schedule where the students learned sailing, but also leadership skills and built lasting relationships.

Despite all of the challenges and unpredictable outcomes, this SLS class would be quick to tell you it was also the highlight of their semester. Not only did S.A.L.T. give the students an opportunity to learn how to sail – a unique and artful skill that not many had tried before – but it also provided an opportunity to develop a surreal level of team unity, and leadership skills that will be useful in the future. Each student walked away with a plethora of stories and unforgettable memories that will lay a foundation for future classes to come.

And, getting to experience a rare side of nature’s beauty was the cherry on top.


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