For a sail training vessel to have value beyond the virtues of voyaging for its own sake, she must carry commercially viable cargo, and she must do so without mechanical assistance.
To be a vital part of a venture which delivers the real goods to their destination using only wind and tide is not only to discover the obvious satisfactions of muscle-cracking labour, it is to appreciate one’s place in the natural world. Using only vernacular artefacts we cannot hope to defeat the elements. The best we can do is to work with them and, so far as is humanly possible, turn them to our ends.
Anyone working under sail alone soon learns to accept those things which cannot be changed. They also develop the fortitude to alter what can and must be altered. Understanding the difference between the two is a basic key to wisdom which few adults today ever achieve. When a young person steps ashore after discharging a cargo they have personally worked across days and nights of deep water and shoal, they will look up at the towering spars and begin to know their true worth as individuals.
It’s as simple as that. The cost in money terms is minimal by today’s standards. The pay-off in turning lives around will be incalculable and is the basis of our thinking for Blue Mermaid.
Tom Cunliffe. Sailor, writer, broadcaster and Sea-Change Appeal Patron
Our newsletter is now available to read or download and includes ‘A View from the Bridge’, a review of our year by Sea-Change’s Executive Officer Richard Titchener. Get it here.
It also explains how to join us afloat next season and how you can help us to build on our success.
Everyone at Sea-Change wishes you a Very Happy Festive Season and a successful 2017.
The Essex coast is the longest of any English county with 350 miles of varied and beautiful coastline. Our route takes in rugged sheltered coves, vast salt marshes that teem with wildfowl and beautiful sandy beaches.
Here at Dementia Adventure we have witnessed first-hand for years how much benefit people with dementia and their carers can derive from joining a group sailing trip like this—even if they have never sailed before. Read the rest of this entry >>
Also, this new video of time spent aboard with us has just been published.
It has been a busy year for trips and activities within the Nautical Department, with a residential trip taking place for the year 9, 10, 11 and 12s!
One of the most successful Nautical trips has been the Thames Barge Sailing Experience for the year 9s back in the Spring term. A group of 18 year 9 Nautical Students took part in 3 day sailing experience on-board a Thames Sailing Barge, where the boys had to prepare their bunks, organise all the catering (including cooking) and the navigation of the vessel.
For all the boys, it was a first time experience being on-board a 1929 Sailing Barge “Reminder”, which is now fully modernised to accommodate groups of students in comfort and safety.
Departing from Maldon in Essex, the boys set sail into the Blackwater sailing waters and spent the first day getting accustomed to the boat and its large sail area. Each student was organised into a watch-duty system, which arranged who was on duty on the main deck, who was off-duty and the roles of cooking and cleaning clearly allocated. Much to the surprise of the boys, they were either in Port or Starboard watch and it all became clear why each form group at the LNS is allocated into a “watch” as part of the Nautical ethos of the school. Read the rest of this entry »
Thanks to generous sponsorship from the Port of London Authority and the Royal Thames Yacht Club Charitable Trust 10 cadets aged 11 – 17 together with two volunteer adult leaders were able to embark on a 5 day adventure with the Sea-Change Trust aboard TSB Reminder sailing from Maldon on the East Coast.
The purpose of the voyage was to give the cadets a rather different experience to that provided by the Sea Cadet Corps own offshore fleet of Royalist and the two power training vessels John Jerwood and Jack Petchey.
In particular, part of the intention was for the cadets to gain an insight into an area of maritime history of particular significance to the area in which they live and as part of the project the cadets undertook some research into the history of the Thames Spritsail Sailing barge. Read the rest of this entry »