At just 14-years-old, Milan Cilliers is busy preparing himself for an adventure of a lifetime. An adventure which will see him take to the seven seas in a catamaran with his parents Tom and Carin Cilliers.
The Cilliers family bought a catamaran in April this year and are currently in the process of fixing and repairing it, in order to sail around the world for a few years.
In order to join his parents on the journey, Milan decided to be home-schooled. This would allow him to continue pursuing his education while exploring the world.
“While school is great, this is a once in a lifetime experience. Homeschooling is more flexible, and it allows me the opportunity to embark on this trip with my family,” Milan says.
Currently, the Cilliers family is travelling from Newcastle to Durban on a regular basis, as the boat is moored at Durban Yacht Club. It is there that the family are prepping their boat for the upcoming journey.
In July this year, Milan did his sailing course. This is to ensure he is a fully functional crew member. Being a qualified crew member is of the utmost importance during an ocean crossing, as all crew need to be able to handle the boat 100%.
During an ocean crossing, the crew can be at sea for two to three weeks at a time depending on the wind. Which is why someone is always needed at the helm, usually during four-hour shifts.
Milan’s course comprised of navigation, which includes learning, how to plot a journey, theory; which includes learning all the different lights and signals, as well as practical; which includes night sailing, man overboard, anchoring, gibing and tacking (these are the different ways of turning the boat through the wind).
With the preparations for the journey underway, Milan says he is excited on what the trip has to offer.
“I’m hoping to achieve life experience, meeting new people and experiencing a lot of opportunities which I would not have experienced if I stayed behind.”
As Milan sets his sights on the horizons, the Newcastillian wishes him and his family all the best in their exciting adventure.