TEENAGER Michael Watson has set sail on the adventure of a lifetime.
The 18-year-old student from Longwood left Barbados yesterday on a 2,000-mile voyage across the Atlantic.
He is doing it on the two-masted brig Stavros S Niarchos, a classic tall ship.
The voyage, which is expected to last about 25 days, should see the ship arrive in the Azores before the end of the month.
Michael is one of a number of young people crewing the ship.
He has been chosen to take the Tall Ships Adventures challenge, which is run by a charity which helps young people from all over the world.
Michael, of Lamb Hall Road, is on a gap year before starting a physics degree course at Lancaster University in October. He previously studied at Greenhead College.
His new challenge will present him with some dangerous tasks - not least of which will be shinning up the 120ft masts to set the sails.
"I'm terrified of heights, but I am determined to overcome those fears," said Michael, who lives with parents Craig and Janet and younger brother James.
"I have been sailing several times with a neighbour around the coast of Anglesey and loved it.
"But this will be my first voyage on a tall ship and I am really looking forward to it.
"I flew out to Barbados over the weekend and we set sail yesterday.
"It was very hot in the Caribbean, but the weather will change dramatically as we cross the Atlantic.
"I am really looking forward to getting stuck into it."
* The Tall Ships Youth Trust celebrates its 50th anniversary this year
* It was formerly known as the Sail Training Association and was founded in Torbay
* More than 75,000 young people have sailed the ships
* Other voyages offered by the trust include trips round the UK coastline and in the Mediterranean.