SSN824 HSBC Voyage of Achievement

Sat 9 – Tue 19 September 2017

Entry Eight

An early morning departure from Boulogne. The Captain explained the plan at the morning meeting as we headed out into the English Channel. In order to get safely and quickly across the shipping lanes and as there was little wind anyway, we motored north towards the coast of England at Dover. Then we headed east, travelling close to the south coast of Kent. Lots of interesting views of the chalk cliffs. Plenty of marine traffic and the need to keep to a steady course, made life interesting on the Bridge for the helmsmen and lookouts.

During the morning an extensive ‘happy hour’ was carried out with all watches involved in different tasks. We sailed around the Kent coast turning north until we reached the mouth of the Thames Estuary and then headed west up river to anchor just before dark off Southend. Work on the ‘track chart’ was completed during the afternoon as was work on the HSBC voyage song. In the evening, all of the voyage crew practised singing the song, which was written by Savananah Whyte and Ilyada Kiran.

WHITE WATCH 12 – Eliane Candido – Malecama.

Entry Seven

The day started with a great sunrise and the sky was blue with a hardly a cloud. After heading east along the south coast of England for a day and a night, we changed course and headed south. This meant crossing the busy shipping lanes in the English Channel. The lookouts were kept busy keeping an eye out for other vessels. Our destination was Boulogne in France. The weather was very nice but with light winds and lots of other ships heading along the Channel across our path, we used engines to speed our progress towards France.  We arrived in Boulogne in the middle of the day and the weather was warm and sunny. After lunch we had the ‘social climb’ where we were able to climb the mast under supervision, to the top or as high as we felt comfortable. Most people climbed right to the top, some to the cross trees, some to the first platform, while those most anxious about climbing faced up to the challenge and went higher than before. Lois Barcoe did the ‘up and over’ with one to one encouragement from Boatswain Kim. Once the evening meal was over, the Chief Officer Jill said that we had been excellent all day and as a result we were given two hours of shore leave, accompanied by teachers and HSBC staff. Of course we bought lots of treats for ourselves.

RED WATCH 2 – Elesha Ali-Friel

Entry Six

After a night at anchor in Sandown Bay, Isle of Wight, the day began with the usual routine of breakfast, morning meetings and ‘happy hour’. Then we raised anchor and headed east. The ‘off duty’ watches went aloft and out onto the bowsprit to break out sails. Three square sails and two fore and aft sails were then set and the engines were turned off. We sailed along the south coast of England. A few people felt sea sick although only two or three actually threw up, including someone on the duty watch on the bridge. Messy!  With a favourable wind and mostly nice weather, good progress was made. In the afternoon, some of the sails were handed because we were going ‘too fast’ and some people had to go aloft or out onto the bowsprit to stow these sails. A few of the crew who hadn’t felt brave enough to climb aloft were allowed to go out onto the bowsprit just for the fun of it, which they enjoyed. Late in the day grey clouds chased us and eventually we were caught by the rain. Today was the first experience of sailing through the night. The best thing about night watches was the view of all the stars and the hardest part was staying awake for four hours.

WHITE WATCH 9 – Lydia MacDonald-Murray

Entry Five 

In the morning, after ‘happy hour’, we had an interwatch competition on making up the clewlines and buntlines on the belaying pins. Blue Watch was the neatest followed by White Watch and Red Watch was penalised for excessive intervention by the Watch Leader.

After lunch we raised the anchor with some difficulty, as it had become snagged on some lobster pot lines. Then some people were chosen from each watch to go aloft and out onto the bowsprit to break out sails. When this was done most of the crew were involved in setting the sails. Firstly, the square sails followed by the staysail.

We sailed east along the Solent and around the end of the Isle of Wight arriving in the evening at Sandown Bay. Before we changed direction we all helped hand the sails. On reaching Sandown Bay, we dropped anchor and some people went aloft or out onto the bowsprit to stow sails. After we had eaten our evening meal, the night watches began doing anchor watch and various tasks such as recording air and sea temperatures and this went on throughout the night.

RED WATCH 14 – George Boyland

Entry Four

So today after breakfast, Blue Watch had happy hour which means we had to clean the heads and showers. Then we met up with our watch leaders in the waist, where we were instructed to put our oil skins and harnesses on. Shortly afterwards, we had to climb up the rigging and onto the yards in order to break out some sails. This was so that once we left the shelter of Poole Harbour could set sail.  We sailed passed the Needles at the end of the Isle of Wight and along the Solent. Some people were sea sick, including me. I also felt very dizzy and I thought it wasn’t going to end. The forecast wind was too strong to sail to France, so we had to stow the sails and we went to anchor at a place called Ryde. The Chief Officer, Jill, called all of the watches to the mess to have a meeting about what was going to happen tomorrow. After the evening meal, we went into the mess to watch an action movie about a ship attacked by pirates, called Captain Phillips. Then when the lights were turned red below deck, we all had to go to our cabins to settle down.

This trip on the ship has made me more confident and it’s a good experience and helps develop communication skills.

BLUE WATCH 1- Katie Myles

Entry Three

So today we have done lots of different activities. In the morning we all had breakfast and met our watch leaders down in the waist. We were then told that we are going to tie ropes but in different styles that we would come across during our time on the ship. We also set sails up on the lower topsail which was very difficult because when you set sails you have to pull the ropes to secure the sails in place. After lunch we met our watch leaders once more and we were told we will be climbing on the yards which most people were very anxious about, I nearly had an anxiety attack but then I went out to see everyone else climbing which I realised it wasn’t that bad. When it was evening we had our delicious meal and Youth Mentor Mike made a music quiz to keep us occupied and to get everyone to calm down because we were so loud. After some time we all went back to our watch cabins and sat and talked for a while then slept.

BLUE WATCH 5 – Ilayda

Entry Two

In the morning we put our oilskins and harnesses on which had to be adjusted to fit properly. Then we had a briefing from Chief Officer Jill, about being safe while climbing in the rigging and working aloft. This was followed by doing the ‘up and over’ which meant we had to climb up one side of the rigging to the first platform, across and down the other side, with crew helping us to stay safe. After lunch it was oilskins and harnesses on again. This time a briefing from Bosun Kim and then we went aloft to the course yard which is the lowest one. We untied the ropes holding the sail to the yard and let it drop down. Then we practised stowing the sail and re-tying it to the yard. We did this training so that when we go to sea, we will know what we have to do. At the end of the afternoon we went ashore with some of the crew and teachers for a walk and returned just in time for our evening meal. After we had eaten, Youth Mentor Mike organised a music quiz, as part of the interwatch competitions.

BLUE WATCH 15 – Laith Abbas

Entry One

After all of the voyage crew arrived at ship in Poole, we had a meet and greet meeting with the permanent and volunteer crew. This was followed by a life on-board talk, signing on with Chief Officer Jill and lots of training. Starting with a talk on emergencies such fire, man overboard and general emergency, which included a muster and putting on life jackets. We learned from Second Officer Di, about helming, which is basically steering the ship on the correct course using the compass and rudder direction indicator. Then it was seamanship training from Bosun Kim, which involved learning about handling the ropes, sweating and tailing, coiling and making them up on the pins. In the evening we had a general knowledge quiz set by Youth Mentor Mike. Then it was time for showers and bed. We were all excited and it was a long time before people got to sleep.

RED WATCH 2 – Elesha Ali-Friel