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Tall Ships Voyage 2024

A fantastic week spent at sea!

Ten students headed off to Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth to spend 7 days learning to sail a 72ft Challenger racing yacht with the Tall Ships Youth Trust. None of the students had any previous sailing experience, so they were literally thrown in at the deep end!

Due to an enforced repair to the boat, we spent the first afternoon visiting the Royal Naval Dockyards, and caught the departure of the aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales. Upon the arrival of our boat, we all chipped in to load it up and were ready for the next day's departure.

Day 1 was a baptism of fire for the crew as we made our way through the rain and murk to East Cowes in the Isle of Wight, while the crew began to learn how to work the boat. Each day brought new challenges, but greater competencies, as the crew's confidence grew in helming, hoisting and lowering the sails, working the winches and looking out for hazards. 

Over the week, we moored at both East Cowes and Yarmouth in the Isle of Wight, as well as making a passage to Poole and back. The crew quickly gelled as a unit and supported each other throughout the week. They all grew in stature and found they all excelled at different aspects of sailing: whether it be helming, hoisting the sails, working the winches, planning a passage using the charts, navigating at sea, cooking meals for 15 people or even making a mean cuppa! 

Our final night was spent on a 3-hour night sail. Using the route they had plotted from the charts; the crew followed their course from East Cowes to Gunwharf Quays. This required them to sail a course from mark to mark, while constantly checking their planned course, while watching out for passing cruise liners, ferries, jet ferries and hovercrafts.  

All the students achieved the Royal Yachting Association's Competent Crew qualification, which they will be able to use as evidence of their sailing competency in the future. In addition, they have all been recommended for future volunteer positions or voyages with the Tall Ships Youth Trust, which is a fantastic achievement. The 10 students were a credit to both the school and their families, and we are very proud of them.

Thank you to the Tall Ships Youth Trust (especially Ian and Anna) for making it work for us, and for giving our students amazing opportunities and the chance to shine.

Click here for pictures.

#resilience #confidence