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A year on Maiden – a blog by Belinda Henry

One year has passed since the day I set sail on Maiden for our first leg of the world tour…

Just before leaving on the world tour, we had a great brunch reception at The Royal Southern yacht club in Hamble, UK, with all our family and friends and local supporters. It was a typical wet and cold British day!

That first day is one I will never forget. It was horrendous conditions, with 45kn headwinds and a medium sea state. Maiden was slamming along with a storm sail, 3 reefed main, and the majority of her crew were vomiting.  Night fell and our first cooked meal was chili with a baked potato. If someone managed to eat it…. it didn’t stay down for long! I think I managed 2 mouthfuls and resorted to dry crackers.

So after that first terrible 24 hours, it wasn’t enough to make me quit! 24,630 miles later I am still sleeping in the same bunk that I have made my home.


Over the past year, Maiden has taken me on an incredible journey, filling me with love and gratitude from the wonderful people I have met, and the adventures thus far I have endured.

She has given me many stories to tell…

  • Sailing through the Suez Canal and to having armed security men onboard to protect us whilst passing through on the way to Sri Lanka.
  • My first long ocean passage, of a grueling 28 days, with downwind sailing, no wind equator motoring and beating upwind for 10 days. Arriving in my home country with my family there to greet me.
  • Getting Maiden’s speed record on the way to Auckland. 17.5knts and still holding it to this day! 2 equator crossing parties,  beautiful wildlife off the west coast of America.
Belle illustrates Maiden’s position relevant to the equator ©THE MAIDEN FACTOR/AMALIA INFANTE
  • But then also seeing the devastating amount of garbage and debris in the ocean of the northern pacific. It brings it to real perspective of how we need to look after our beautiful planet more then we do.

So that’s one year done! As I lay in my bunk I call home, I have set sail again on to another year of Maiden’s world tour, with our mission of female empowerment and girls’ education.


Next stop Antigua!

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