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Successful Sailing Barge Course

The Thames Sailing Barge Trust and Sea-Change Sailing Trust collaborated during June to trial a bespoke training course for competent mates looking to become skippers. Thames Sailing Barge Centaur was kindly donated by the Thames Sailing Barge Trust for the occasion and Richard Titchener and Hilary Halajko from the Sea-Change Sailing Trust donated four days of their time. Richard and Hilary have run many sail training courses for people wishing to become competent crew and mates in the past but this was the first time that the focus was specifically on mates wishing to become skippers in the near future.

Richard and Hilary where joined by Lyndon March from the Heritage Marine Foundation, David Cooper from TS Rigging, and Peter Taylor, Shiner Wright and Mick Nolan from the Thames Sailing Barge Trust.

Each trainee skipper experienced running the barge for an extended period over the four days. Many Read the rest of this entry »

Blue Mermaid Ahoy

Following a meeting of Trustees at the weekend, Chair Hilary and Skipper Richard showed everyone over Blue Mermaid to inspect progress. Anytime now the mast will be stepped. Click the photos to enlarge.

Recent Residentials

Colchester Institute’s Becky takes time to watch the seals

This end of the season has been particularly busy leaving little room to catch our breath. Here are some of our activities.

Colchester Institute Pathways Course joined us last month. Regular clients, this course aims to prepare students for life after leaving the college.

Then our returners group of independent clients, Youth Sailing Scheme joined us for their traditional late season voyage. This trip took them from Maldon to the Walton Backwaters and on to the River Orwell. Here is an album of their adventures.

Our season wound up with another residential of sixth formers from the London Nautical School. With light winds there was ample opportunity to study chartwork and pilotage and Head of Maritime Studies James Bullar posted numerous excellent videos during the week, including some of Blue Mermaid fitting out.

Well Worth A Second Viewing

London based Single Homeless Project sailed with us this season and had such a great time they came back for more.

This brief video resulted and cannot be recommended too highly.

SHP supports people in crisis, helping people take the final steps towards independence and employment.

Following another trip with us, Tara Carty explains how a sea voyage opened new horizons for young people. Find it here.

We’ve Launched Our Lottery Page

BBC1 Britain Afloat – Meet Jimmy Lawrence

Meet Jimmy Lawrence, one of the last men to skipper a working Thames Barge and a good friend to Sea-Change. He has been working on these beautiful sailing boats for nearly 70 years.

In their heyday, there were over 2,000 barges on the Thames until river transport was overtaken by goods deliveries by road.

But Jimmy’s passion for these majestic boats lives on and has been recorded by the BBC. Transmitting on Friday 29th September at 1930hrs on BBC1 or Saturday at 2000hrs on BBC2 and then available on the iPlayer.