In the summer of 2015 “Sea-Change”, a Maldon based charity, offered Plume an exciting opportunity to spend a week aboard “Reminder” one of the Thames Sailing barges and travel up the east coast with one group, change the group over and then return to Maldon. For most of the pupils this was the first time students had been on a boat let alone travel up the east coast to Harwich.
The trip was used as a reward for those on the Year 9 Prevocational programme who had worked hard throughout the year and showed commitment to all of their lessons. Students had to work as a team, cook their own meals and ensure that the boat was kept in tip top shape.
The trip was a huge success with students growing in confidence developing valuable life skills such as team work, communication, time management and personal safety. Students also achieved accreditation towards Read the rest of this entry »
This season, in addition to our established work aboard a sailing barge we are introducing the opportunity at weekends for small groups or individuals to turn their hand to traditional gaff rig sailing aboard an engineless Colchester fishing smack, Sallie CK224 built in 1907.
Based at Maldon and in the hands of highly experienced and qualified crew you will have the opportunity to sail on the Essex rivers and creeks in the manner of the fishermen in the days of sail whilst learning traditional marlin spike seamanship. No previous sailing experience is required.
Last week we had a visit from Alex of New Dawn Traders and Jorne and his partner of Fairtransport who run Tres Hombres. Jorne is one of the Tres Hombres who met when sailing together on Europa and have established Fairtransport using the engineless brigantine named after their partnership. She trades between Europe and the Caribbean.
They had been visiting various places in the UK including the Albatross at Wells, and stayed on Lady of Avenel on their way home. They are pictured aboard Lady of Avenel with Jim Dines, owner and project manager for the Sea-Change Blue Mermaid project.
Sallie is licensed for charter and this year will be used to offer gaff rig training and smaller boat experience to members of the Youth Sailing Scheme who have mainly sailed before on a barge, a much larger vessel. Hence there will only be up to four trainees at a time on the smack.
Last week Richard and Hilary with Lucian and Dan ventured to the Colne and back in the kind of varied English weather which kept all but the bravest in harbour.
Friday was a mix of calm and sun, but Saturday more than made up for it with wind and torrential rain until early afternoon, calling for plenty of tea and card games, before a one reef sail to Bradwell. Sunday needed two reefs but at least it was sunny. Read the rest of this story…
Wednesday dawned clear and bright and produced a lovely sail to Walton backwaters (Arthur Ramsome’s Secret Water). With a clean bottom SB Reminder performed well and the team delighted in tacking into the Backwaters with the first of the flood for a visit to the beach at Stone Point for firewood. Later we counted over 100 seals in Oakley Creek.
Thursday and Friday also gave excellent weather on the whole apart from the customary bringing up squall at Brightlingsea where we went ashore for fish and chips. Arriving back early on the tide Friday evening the next charter party of adults for the weekend were already waiting on the quay before Kitty left and we were able to get alongside.
Sailing with Richard and Hilary were established YSSers Quinn, Dan and Lucian and first timers Herbie and Isobel. The next YSS trip is planned for the first week of August. Photo album.
Laura Bailey has provided many of the lovely photos of Blue Mermaid under construction at Toms. Here she is with Richard beside a sample of her work on the New Barge Project.
They are at an exhibition by second year students of Press and Editorial Photography at Falmouth University at Oxford House, Bethnal Green, London.