Where We Are Now By Hilary Halajko Chair Of Trustees

Hilary demonstrating wind power

As time passes, it is already over two months since I wrote to clients that the season was suspended until further notice because of the coronavirus and its impact. Since then a lot has happened but none of it has involved sailing unfortunately.

The sailing season was due to commence with Inclusion Ventures at Easter and only a few days before I wrote to everyone, their staff visited Blue Mermaid at Downs Road as they had not all sailed with us before. At this stage we were busy fitting out, painting and pulling together the myriad of things needed to get the vessel to work. The stability data needed for the cargo load line was with the MCA, and the result awaited. The lifejackets and life rafts were collected from the Marine Safety Centre at Lowestoft and at the same time flares and first aid kits were updated.

Gradually it became apparent the world around us was changing. There was due to be a Shipshape Heritage Training Partnership meeting at Greenwich and people were starting to ask if it was wise to travel before the government told us we should not. It now seems likely the common sense of the great British public was already having a bearing on the spread of the virus before our toys were taken away from us and we were locked down. The meeting was cancelled and as legacy of the project was on the agenda, what it may be has become one of many casualties of the lockdown process.