Elana Connor planned to sail around the globe.
Instead, she found herself stranded in New Zealand as Covid-19 swept the world, beating her to the task.
The forced layover has not curbed her sense of adventure - or the former foster child's sense of charity.
She plans to spend four months sailing around New Zealand to help youth in fostercare.
The real kicker is Elana Connor is singlehandedly sailing a figure eight of the country out of love, making the most of her time while stuck in the country due to Covid-19 and raising money for Voyce Whakarongomai, an advocacy service for young people in fostercare.
The result will be enabling the creation of a new scholarship programme for youth in fostercare to attend the 10-day youth development journeys aboard the Spirit of New Zealand tall ship.
In December last year, the American pulled into New Zealand after beginning a circumnavigation around the world.
While making her way around the north of the country, she received an alert that the country was going into lockdown.
"It's like stay where you are and I'm right in the middle of a channel thinking 'This isn't really an option'."
Connor was trying to head south to visit friends at Malborough Sounds who had a safe mooring for the lockdown period, but bad weather meant she had to moor in the Tauranga harbour.
"I was really anxious. To be in a foreign country through a pandemic, and being responsible for a ship and myself, everything was just up in the air."
She soon bonded with the Tauranga sailing and marina community and the Bay became her base.
At 15, Connor was put into fostercare. It wasn't an easy road being pulled from one place to another and, at 18, she had to find her own feet.
When she entered adulthood, the dreams she once held began to bloom again and she realised there was no time like the present to live them.
For six years Connor saved with her heart set on a boat. While she was abroad she considered what she could do to encourage fostercare
teens to live their dreams.
"Everybody encourages foster youth at 18 to be practical, so I gave up the things that I really dreamed about doing. That's the byproduct of the care system, social workers and well-meaning foster-carers tend to be very risk-averse.
"By default, people set the bar really low for foster children because they just want them to be stable."
That's exactly what Connor wants to change.
"If foster children find out what's possible for them, they can dream big, they can point their ship at the horizon, whatever their ship might be and go after their dreams."
Connor was soon in contact with Voyce Whakarongomai and began her sail from Auckland on October 14. From Wednesday this week, she has been moored in Tauranga holding talks with Tauranga Girls College, Tauranga Fishing Club and Tauranga Yacht Club.
She returns to sea today
heading around the East Cape, through the Cook Strait, down the west coast of the South Island, through the Foveaux Strait, north to Dunedin and Christchurch, through the Cook Strait to Wellington, and north to New Plymouth, around Cape Reinga and past the Bay of Islands to return to Auckland at the end of the summer.
Along the way she hopes to stop at every point she can, to spread her message.
"I'd like to see more yacht clubs and sailing organisations make a concerted effort to reach youth who might not have access to the programmes otherwise.
"If we can pull foster children out of poverty, give them an education, give them opportunities, give them access to a career, you're going to change the next generation that comes after them."
Connor's Givealittle page has raised almost $4000 for New Zealand's fostered youth.