Our Ethos, Our Philosophy

As our season draws to a close with our traditional work with disadvantaged young people and those with learning difficulties, and as Blue Mermaid nears completion allowing us to broaden the scope of our work, its seems a good time to reiterate our ethos:

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. (more…)

By | 2018-11-04T08:39:43+00:00 October 31st, 2018|

Halloween Brings Season To Close

An early Halloween brought our last sailing residential of the season to a close. Half term is traditionally dedicated to our returners group, members of our Youth Sailing Scheme.

This is aimed predominantly at individuals who have previously sailed with us as members of schools or other youth groups and who have volunteered or been invited to return independently.

Members have the opportunity to embed initial benefits gained and to start developing traditional sailing skills. This can lead to formal sailing accreditation and could lead to maritime careers. Here is an album of their time aboard last week.

By | 2018-10-30T08:15:47+00:00 October 29th, 2018|

Red Sails Are On The Way

We visited Mark Butler at James Lawrence Sailmakers and watched Blue Mermaid’s new sails being built and to see her new bob.

Click here to see photos of the work in progress.

By | 2018-10-30T08:11:33+00:00 October 29th, 2018|

Clacton Foundation Sailing Residential

Karl Delaine, Course Leader at Colchester Institute writes:

Last October we had the pleasure of taking ten learners on Sailing Barge Reminder for a five day residential, with the Sea-Change Sailing Trust.

Our courses cater for learners with a multitude of learning difficulties, so consequently the group who took part in the sailing residential have a wide range of individual barriers to learning, in a social capacity, as well as academically. With this in mind, the sailing trip really is a great challenge for each individual. Read more here…

By | 2018-11-08T18:33:56+00:00 September 19th, 2018|

A Major Step Forward

Mark Butler of James Lawrence Sailmakers returned to Blue Mermaid yesterday to take us a major step forward.

The company was started by James Lawrence in the 1960’s. James was a commercial barge skipper, trading under sail, when he started making sails for barges & other traditional vessels. James & his staff concentrated on working in the traditional styles & methods while many other sailmakers moved over to more modern techniques. The company is now owned & run by Mark Butler who joined in 1977 & took over from James in 1995.

By | 2018-09-19T11:18:32+00:00 September 19th, 2018|