Dora Elena Simion, Faculty of Marine Engineering (second year), Mircea (Romania) (pictured above) was the winner of the SCF Black Sea Tall Ships Regatta 'Best use of social media' prize.
Sail Training International introduced this new prize category to the final port award ceremony in Constanta, Romania, to encourage trainees and cadets to share their stories and experiences of the Regatta on social media.
Dora's winning blog about her unusual friendships with some dolphins can be read below. Her accompanying video can be see here.
"My first ”adventure” on the sea. This is a story that I will always remember because it represents one of my most interesting experiences and - most importantly - I discovered how important it is not to feel alone.
Two very playful dolphins appeared close to our ship when we still were in Constanta harbour. Day after day they were there, so I got used to them. When I had a bit of free time, I went to see them. I even talked to them about what I was thinking, having a strong feeling that they listened and understood me.
My new friends dissappeared two days before the day of departure. I was sad because I had not expected this.
On ”the big day” emotions were placed at a very high level; I could not find my place on the ship, I had to deal with lots of unexpected feelings. But, surprise! - my dolphins came back. Their game, the way that they transmitted to me their good thoughts, distracted me from any unpleasant feeling.
My un-spoken friends made me a really nice surprise and went with me on the voyage. (This must had been the reason of their short absence.) It was unbelivable: every morning they were jumping not far from the ship. Sometimes I was feeling exhausted and I missed so much my family and my friends, but, they were with me. Even if they were not able to talk, their presence was more than I could had been wished for. Their aquatic dance was a distraction for me and a medicine for my soul.
I know that I will miss my ”brothers of arms”, but I am sure that we will see each other again. They have made a strong contribution to my way of thinking about life on the sea, which is not easy, but is really beautiful."
Inspired to want to take part in a Tall Ship Race or Regatta? Find out more here.
- ends -
About Sail Training International (STI)
STI is the international voice of Sail Training, a registered charity (not-for-profit organisation), which has worldwide membership and activities. Its purpose is the development and education of young people through the Sail Training experience, regardless of nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background. It organises the annual Tall Ships Races and other international Tall Ship sailing events. STI members are 29 national Sail Training organisations around the world and STI’s head office is in Gosport, Hampshire, UK.
The organisation was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2007 for its work in promoting international understanding and friendship www.sailtraininginternational.org
What is sail training?
Sail Training is an adventure activity, which includes far more than sailing instruction. Participants are required to confront demanding challenges, both physical and emotional. It is an activity that inspires self-confidence and personal responsibility. It promotes an acceptance of others, whatever their social or cultural backgrounds, and develops a willingness to take controlled risks. Those who undertake Sail Training on Tall Ships generally find it a positive life-changing experience.
For more information about the event visit Sail Training International
SCF is the lead sponsor of The SCF Black Sea Tall Ships Regatta, 30 April – 27 May 2014, and was previously sponsor of The Tall Ships Races 2009. Sovcomflot Group is Russia's largest shipping company and one of the world's leading energy transporters.
Its mission is to be the leading international energy shipping company, offering a full range of seaborne energy solutions to its customers, based on advanced shipping technologies and innovations, achieving long-term sustainability of growth and profits through a socially responsible industrial shipping model.