Delivery Voyage Southampton to London 31 March to 2 April 2017
Following a week’s much needed maintenance on Nellie, it was essential to get her round to London for the first of an exciting series of Barclay’s voyages. Given how difficult it is to schedule Watch Leader Training, someone had the bright idea to combine delivery with training.
Mostly it worked pretty well thanks to the natural flexibility of JST people (things were ‘fluid and dynamic’ as Chief Mate Lesley said on more than one occasion when updating us on the plan). Of course as a perfect sailing wind blew on Friday morning, we remained tied up as last minute bits were fixed so that when our 11am departure became more like 14.30, the wind had changed and we ended up motoring the whole way to arrive at Leigh Small Ship anchorage on Saturday evening. We did manage to get some WL training done on the way as three watches had WL trainers as their Watch Leaders.
Sunday started fine and sunny, and as we waited for the time to meet the pilot (about 14.00) we carried on with the Watch Leader course and practiced wheelchair evacuation. Having a voyage full of Watch Leaders (actual or in training) was an ‘interesting’ experience but, as usual, everyone mucked in and an enjoyable time was had by all. During the voyage, we heard the great news about the RBS debt being paid off which raised a cheer!
It has been a very calm, extremely helpful and informative couple of days. The only unfortunate thing was that the wind did not allow us to sail all the way to our anchorage but as we all know that was beyond anyone’s control, which actually simplified the watches and allowed more time for training. By doing watches, future watch leaders in training have freed up the maintenance team to get on and finish those last little bits that never quite get finished in the time allowed!!
We celebrated the great news that the RBS debt had finally been paid off and the loan from the Cator family had been forgiven too. We naturally felt obliged to celebrate and as we were at anchor, all met in the bar for a cheery night and some amusingly revealing games and we all went to bed at the end of the day on a good note.
Sunday dawned with a slow start and more watch leader training after breakfast and the wheelchair evacuation drill which was more thorough than the usual voyage drill as we had the time to consider all the eventualities we could dream up. This was followed by buffet lunch on deck in glorious sunshine in preparation for weighing anchor and heading up the Thames to West India Dock.
This ‘one off’ trip has worked out well and been a great success killing several birds with one stone doing the delivery trip for the forthcoming Barclays voyages, completing some of the maintenance as well as training Watch Leaders, so we hope it can be repeated. Thanks very much to everyone in the office and those on board who made it possible.
Sally and Heather