Tenacious – this is how we boarded the ship, with the spirit of tenacity, we were the first new voyage crew in three weeks as Covid had cancelled the previous trip. We didn’t know each other but we were about to embark on the same journey. The weather was as if we were in the Canaries (Canary Wharf anyway). The sky was bright blue and the sun shone whilst we all waited on the quay for our negative Covid test results before being allowed aboard. After the longest half hour, Ben the First Mate welcomed us with a broad smile and introduced us to our Watch Leaders. After signing on and Leah and Matt had given us “oilies” and welly boots, we made up our bunks and met our bunk buddies! The anticipation and excitement was huge. We then had time to meet other members of the watch, led by the lovely Sally, before the whole ship’s company gathered for the permanent crew introductions and meeting the Captain. Captain Simon was a man of few words but he made sure everyone knew he was the Boss.

We left West India Quay around 4.30 to catch the tide as we headed out along the Thames passing the O2 arena and the Thames Barrier at Woolwich under the watchful eye of the Pilot and all the way to the Thames estuary. Supper followed and was rounded off with a slice of Ivan’s birthday cake.

We then had a peaceful night anchored off Southend with a beautiful red moon rising in the distance.

The following day, we made our way to Margate for our very own ‘Jolly Boys Outing’! On route the calm waters meant that the very brave and gallant crew were able to go aloft – yes, we climbed the rigging……part of it anyway.  All the crew ascended & descended safely.  Nathan, our youngest watch member, entertained other younger crew members playing cards – not getting too competitive honestly.

Happy hour was fun as we cleaned below all with allocated tasks. The heads being the least desired job, hand rail cleaning the most…

The day has been windy… yeah!!, but in the wrong direction…boo!!  Yes, another day burning fossil fuel, however, we did get a sail setting talk – the older members among us being a little anxious that we might be expected to retain this information for a time when we might really use the sails!

Fwd Stbd watch

Sally, Richard, Nathan, Jane, Colin, Keith, Helen