The Jubilee Sailing Trust is offering Western Australians a unique opportunity to sail on board its tall ship, Lord Nelson, when she arrives in Fremantle next month. The ship is one of only two in the world that is especially built to be accessible for disabled and able bodied sailors alike, and the first ever to sail around the world.
The 55-metre square rigger boasts a number of features which allow the crew to sail on equal terms including an audio compass, hearing loops, wheelchair lifts between decks and a bowsprit which is wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, allowing the user to get right to the front of the ship for their own ‘King of the World’ moment.
She is taking part in the Norton Rose Fulbright Sail the World Challenge, a 50,000-mile voyage designed to promote inclusion and equality in every port of call. During the 23-month odyssey Lord Nelson will cross the Equator four times, visit 30 countries on seven continents and become the first accessible tall ship to round the three Great Capes: the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa; Cape Leeuwin, WA; and the infamous Cape Horn at the tip of South America.
Lord Nelson is due to arrive in Fremantle on 17 July on her first ever visit Down Under.
During her visit to WA she will undergo planned maintenance in dry dock before setting sail again for Adelaide, SA, on 18 August.
Members of the public will also be able to visit the ship while she is alongside in port.
But perhaps even more exciting, Australians can sign up now to take part in the voyage from Fremantle to Adelaide, or get on board for one of the other coastal voyages during her visit to Australia, including the opportunity to see the Great Ocean Road from a unique perspective, sailing from Adelaide to Melbourne in company with other international tall ships.
There are also places available on the voyages from Melbourne to Hobart and Hobart to Sydney, where Lord Nelson will take part in the Royal Australian Navy International Fleet Review before heading for Auckland, New Zealand.
No sailing experience is necessary as the permanent crew will give all the training and guidance needed to get the most out of the voyage, whether that is showing a crew member how to climb the rigging, steer the ship or haul on a rope to help set the sails.
Berths are available for both able bodied and physically disabled people. A ‘buddy’ system on board pairs able bodied and disabled crew to offer mutual help and support during the passage. The lower age limit is 16 and there is no upper age limit.
For more information on all the opportunities to sail on board Lord Nelson, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.jst.org.uk, or call 03 9981 3312 in Australia.
Sydneysider Karen Leverington sailed on board Lord Nelson on the voyage from Durban, South Africa, for the seven-week voyage to Kochi, India, via Mauritius and Sri Lanka and has this advice for any Australians thinking about getting on board.
“Do it! It’s an extraordinary experience, on many levels. There is the sailing and the working of the ship, but also the way 40-50 strangers come together into a unit. Everyone is expected to do whatever their abilities allow, from cleaning the heads to peeling potatoes to rope pulling, helming and going aloft.”
As well as Lord Nelson, Jubilee Sailing Trust operates a second adapted tall ship, Tenacious, and more than 37,000 people have sailed with the organisation since it was founded in 1978, 14,000 of whom are physically disabled, including 5,000 wheelchair users.
Lord Nelson embarked on her 23-month voyage from Southampton in the UK on Sunday 21 October, riding the wave of success enjoyed by the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 9 December, before setting sail again for a second transatlantic crossing, this time to Cape Town, and a first-ever visit to South Africa.
Norton Rose Fulbright, which has five offices in Australia, including one in Perth, is supporting this unique global voyage under their banner of “All abilities. All aboard.” The global legal practice supports the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s values of diversity, inclusion and integration.