After discovering his true self as a young man on a 10 day trip, Kyle has gone on to achieve great things, setting up his own business (Bare Kiwi), doing what he loves most…..exploring our beautiful outdoors.  He still finds time to fit in volunteering for the Spirit and encourages others to find the time to do the same. 
How long have you been volunteering for the Trust?  
I have been volunteering since 1999 when I did my first voyage as a buddy, then a leading hand.  2001 was my first voyage as a watch assistant and since then I have sailed 13 times (10 x WA trips, 2 x buddy and 1 x Leading Hand trip). 

What prompted you to want to volunteer for us?  
I came on a 10 day voyage in 1998 (voyage 269) and it was a massive life changer!  I wanted to get more involved and give back to the Trust for the incredible opportunity I had had. 
When I came on my voyage, I was just a small town kid from rural NZ.  School wasn’t really a positive place for me and let’s just say I was on the cusp of going in a negative direction.  My school offered me a place on the ship, covering some of the cost and encouraging me to fundraise for the rest. I remember being quite scared heading up to Auckland.  
What I remember most is trying to be multiple different versions of Kyle trying to fit in with everyone.  No one else knows you so I tried to be like all the other people at different times, even though they were all different!  However, being on the Spirit forces you to try and figure out who you really are.  There is nowhere to hide on the ship, there is nowhere normal or familiar to have a quiet moment, even the toilet isn’t like a normal toilet as you are usually moving as you are out on the water!   
I found this breaks you in a good way, it helps you become who you actually are. My normal got challenged and I loved and embraced it. Spirit totally made me realise who I was and it was very different from the person I thought I was when I stepped on board.   
I just wanted to continue to be a part of this magic, so couldn’t think of a better way than helping out as a volunteer. 

What do you love most about volunteering for Spirit? 
I love seeing younger versions of myself (just like when I was on my voyage). I can see what stage they are at and I love being involved in helping make that journey better for them.  Helping them become the person they truly are. 

What would you say to someone considering volunteering for us?  
That the world is OK without you for 10 days!  I hadn’t volunteered for a few years as my life and work had got busy, I thought I couldn’t actually be away from my business / day to day life. However, when realising that I needed to get away, my recent 10 days at sea was the best!  Even if you think you cant make time for 10 days away, you really can and you certainly won’t regret 10 days on the Spirit! 


Cropped pirate