London Nautical School Back Again For More

Nine Year Nine Nautical Studies Students from the London Nautical School at the end of their three days with Sea-Change aboard SB Cambria, with their teacher James Bullar MBE and crew Dave Cooper, Capt Richard Gavin and Hilary Halajko.

Monday and Tuesday were sunny but windy and quite a challenge beating down the Blackwater against an easterly force 6, though shelter was found inside Colne Point for a visit to the beach and a swim.

Wednesday produced more normal conditions and by the time we picked up the mooring, the students were working well as a team and appreciated the kind of attention to detail and sticking at their jobs required by engineless sailing.

Thanks to Chris Livett who has supported this and another LNS trip this year. More photos here.

By | 2018-07-06T11:43:28+00:00 July 5th, 2018|

Sea-Change Mates and Skippers Training Course 1

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Richard Writes: As part of their commitment to the future of sailing barges, the trustees of Sea-Change supported offering structured training for aspiring mates and skippers during their bareboat charter of Cambria from owners the Cambria Trust.  This has been made possible by help from the Whirlwind Trust which has supported the charity for several years.

Cambria was on Pin Mill hard as a picturesque backdrop to the Barge Match weekend after some maintenance a week earlier and while Sea-Change delivered a long-booked charter on Reminder. During the match weekend trustee Jonathan Simper painted much of the wale and the red line on the transom and the crew from Sea-Change returned on Sunday 24th to a smart looking ship.

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By | 2018-08-16T15:08:37+00:00 July 3rd, 2018|

A Great Week With Lexden Springs

Richard Writes: This amazing special school for young people with severe learning difficulties sailed first with us last year, when their headteacher wanted to try out the idea as it had worked well for him at another. On Monday a keen group of eight students and four staff arrived bright eyed and bushy tailed at Maldon Hythe Quay to join Richard, Hilary and Stretch on Reminder. The students included three who came last year, which is always good to see as they help new people settle in and reinforce their own learning and confidence. Food and gear was left on the quay to let the bus get away while everyone looked over the barge, before making a human chain to bring it aboard. After lunch there was the usual safety brief and deck brief before the tide served and we left the quay, turning on the anchor, which gave the students a first taste of winding winch handles. A fair but fresh to strong wind meant the engines could be dispensed with off the Bath Wall and foresail and gradually more mainsail could be set by the students for the run down river. We were careful to set enough sail to keep control but little enough to allow the new crew to slowly come to terms with their new home as it gybed at Herring and Hillypool Points. Down by Stone the wind eased and the gaskets came off the topsail to speed us to the Colne.

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By | 2018-07-11T09:25:32+00:00 June 23rd, 2018|

Blue Mermaid’s New Leeboards Take Shape

Work continues apace on Blue Mermaid at Downs Road Boatyard.

Here, Dan waits for a decision on Blue Mermaid’s port leeboard. The boards are a steel framework with a wooden insertion to stand the rigours of operation without the tribulations of leaking and rusting steel boards. The main concern is how heavy they will be!

More photos.

By | 2018-06-15T10:36:40+00:00 June 15th, 2018|

Cambria Enjoys Stretching Her Legs

Richard Writes: Cambria on the blocks at Pin Mill Tuesday 12th June taken from the bar of the Butt and Oyster. She has come “home” to Pin Mill where she was based in the late 1960s and where Bob Roberts lived, for some painting and maintenance while under charter to Sea-Change. There is no sight finer to stir the soul of traditional sailors – a fine ship viewed with a fine pint of Adnams in hand.

This comes after a busy start to her season with Sea-Change having successfully discharged nine residential youth and adult charters. The passage from the Blackwater was with Richard, Hilary and Stretch and was to windward every inch of the way from Heybridge to Collimer Spit just below Pin Mill. It was a glorious sail which showed the fine coaster at her best. We made low water at Holland Haven after which each mile had to be worked for against the flood. Bowsprit jib and topsail were carried throughout but there was a little too much wind in the sunny NE 5 for the mizzen with its whippy boom. The barge was in her element, comfortable, balanced and with a spoke or two each way on the wheel. In the offing the Hydrogen rucked her topsail for a gybe. From the Medusa a fetch at last developed and as we approached the Harbour Cambria seemed to smell her old haunts and accelerated – 5.5 knots became 6.5 and finally peaked at 7.2 over the ground against the tide and to windward. (more…)

By | 2018-07-11T09:26:50+00:00 June 15th, 2018|