Southampton to Cardiff 10-15 April 2012
Viola 25 Yrs Blue Watch
‘I wasn’t very sure what I was going to experience because I knew little of what the trip was about. I had never gone sailing and most people I told actually tried to persuade me to cancel. But I wanted an adventure so I came, tagging along my friend…Claire’s idea. Soon on board we got given our ‘oilies’ and got trained to leave tomorrow towards Cardiff.’
‘Best feeling ever! I was on the lower top sail, right at the end of the starboard yard. It was so refreshing to see such beautiful scenery from up there. I felt free. I conquered my fear of heights.’
‘We were put on the 00:00hrs to 04:00hrs watch and it was cold and tiring. But all this paid off when the light was switched off to show us the night sky. It was displaying scattered clusters of stars. It made me feel small in God’s hands; small but protected and safe. I was complete awe of God.’
‘We worked on the yards today to set the sails. I was up on the yards twice. Totally love the sense of adventure, achievement and teamwork. Thank you, God for the amazing experience. We’re heading toCardifftomorrow. We’re on time with a few hours of sunshine to spare.’
Chloe 17yrs White Watch
‘At first I was nervous but excited when I joined. Since day 1 I have done four watches, enjoyed different roles on the ship. I enjoyed being Helmsman the most. I would definitely recommend Tall Ships to my friends and might do it again.’
Benedict 16yrs Blue Watch
‘When I arrived I was nervous because a tug boat was playing Titanic music out loud.’
‘Since day 1, I got to work on my fear of heights by climbing the rigging and also I have worked with other people. My highlight was watching the moon rise on the night watch. I would feel keen to this again and recommend it t my friends.’
Jason 18yrs White Watch
‘Since day one I climb up the rigging, hauled, cleaned heads, performed watch and helm duties. My experience so far is really good. I would love to do something like this again . I would recommend this to my friends as its fun and life changing. My best bit is overcoming my fear of heights and climbing the masts.’
‘I was nervous about the experience, and what it was going to be like. For the first day, I was mainly homesick and worried about making friends and meeting new people. Soon however, I started speaking to people and was made to feel welcome.
‘Today, I climbed up the rigging onto the course to practice letting sails down. I was nervous at first but by the time I’d climbed up I was happy to be climbing. We did a watch in the evening, and although it was freezing it was quite fun. It was also great to moving, having embarked.’
‘We did the 04:00- 08:00 watch today, which although I was tired I found it surprisingly fun. We worked on bracing, too, which proved to be good fun. Our next watch was set for 12:00- 0:04 watch the next morning and decided to go to bed early. ‘
‘We let the sails down today! But there was no wind, so we kind of sat in the same place for a couple of hours. I was shattered having done an early watch, but it was still very enjoyable being able to see the night sky. Watching the moon rising and the sun setting. The past few days were equally amazing.‘
K. Goddard Chaplain/Mentor White Watch
‘As I arrived at the Dock Side I was a mixture of nervous anticipation and excitement. I wondered how I would cope living in close quarters with others, and whether I would be able to master the tasks set for me. However at first glimpse of the sip just filled us with awe and wonder.
One of our first tasks after being kitted out with water proofs and harnesses was to climb “up and over”. Given my previous fears of heights and failures to climb elsewhere, I was extremely apprehensive and not at all convinced that I would succeed. However I was determined to make an attempt and started up the ladder in full conviction that I would only get there half way. Nicky (Chief Officer) gave me some encouraging words and a cheery smile and other staff checked me along the way. I was astonished to find myself quickly standing on the platform between the two lower yards. Declining the invitation to admire the view, I concentrated on staying calm and completing the journey down safely. As my feet touched the deck securely I was full of elation and wanted to tell everyone; convinced that my family would not believe me!
Since then I’ve climbed aloft in no time – out on to the yard arm; I’ve spent happy hours gazing out to sea, watching gannets and guillemots (I think); and have taken my turn at the helm. Settling in to the routine of the watches was relatively straight forward and we all got used to snatching sleep whenever we could.
Now I’m contemplating with sadness just two more watches (not to mention the forecast of high winds) before our journey comes to an end as we dock in Cardiff.
The teams have been great; the staff crew and volunteers fantastic. It will certainly be a wrench when the adventure is over.’