Day 2  08/03/19

Having spent the first 24hrs getting acquainted with the ship and learning all the basic seamanship training the crew set off from Falmouth Harbour, some for the first time but for most after a couple of days (maybe longer for some) to a mixture of delight and excitement as the deep blue waters await them.

The temperatures remain good and morale high aboard a very inexperienced crew, but all willing to get stuck in to the delights a square rigger brings. with half the sails set before evening meal the crew get a chance to enjoy Cookies delights that he has spent the day preparing.

Making a steady 5 knots+ which is all we require to make good progress we sail gently past the northern islands waking up to a view of St Martins off our starboard side.

Daz (Medical Purser)

Day 3  09/03/19

Welcome to the vignette voyage of the Caribbean!

For many this voyage is their first voyage and I wanted to find out why in particular this Ocean passage voyage was a ‘must do’ voyage on their list. They wanted to experience Oceanic sailing and I couldn’t agree more. If you are someone like myself who love the perils of seamanship on long voyages in the idyllic of Caribbean then it an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed with the JST!

One of the JST ethos on the ship that has particularly struck me is the ‘sea of possibilities’. This statement has a profound impact as a person with a disability, the JST were a catalyst to transforming my life around fifteen years ago. It gave me the self-confidence to go on and break down barriers I had faced with my disability and still to this very day I have obliterated these challenges!

We  are now nearly 48 hours into our sailing heading towards the BVI (British Virgin Islands), many have acclimatise the glorious weather we are currently experiencing and accustomed to the ship’s routine. We  are currently west of Anglia. On this voyage, there is a real sense of inclusion as we have become a big family for the next 12 days.

This morning we did some bracing of the sails and had a fire drill practice with permanent crew carrying out a practice fire evacuation which is routinely done on most voyages to maintain their robust response.  There is routine downtime for the voyage crew so I write this update while others catch-up on their sleep and feel refresh for their next watch shift in the next 24 hours ahead of them.

Dr. Julie McElroy – Forward Port Voyage Crew

Day 4  10/03/19

The Lord Nelson now has almost every sail up! I think she looks spectacular as she sails in all her finery past the American Virgin Islands. NB:  As I’ve never sailed before I can’t remember the names of all the sails but am slowly learning. Apparently the Spanker is rarely used so  I feel privileged to see it.

Last night, I was on evening watch (1800-2000hrs) which was great as we saw flying fish as well as both a wonderful sunset and thousands of stars – the Milky Way, Polaris, Scorpio, the Plough. During the watch we saw a squall ahead but managed to avoid it as blew across in front of us. Nevertheless, before our watch was dismissed, we took down the two Royals and Spanker for the night.

This morning I woke up to the sound of my shampoo rolling around inside the bedside cupboard. The swell had definitely increased and we were comically holding on to our cereal bowls and drinks during breakfast. After trying not to spill breakfast everywhere,  it was time to go back on to watch (0800-1200hrs).

I enjoy watch as there are basically two jobs – look out and helming. Look out (especially in the Caribbean) is relaxing as you gaze at the horizon for any boats or land, watch the flying fish, the sunrise/sunset and try and guess which stars are which. It’s also lovely and warm.

During the morning both Royals and the Spanker were set as we sail WNW. The weather is good and we’re sailing at about 6 knots (which is apparently good…).

Jackie (Aft Starboard watch) + Phil – Watch Leader, Gerry, Ann, Woody and Mo

Day 8  14/03/19

Woke to a Adapted poem by our very own fore-starboard watch which goes as follows:

The helmsman and his crazy course

With honest gate that looks so false

Will never now for its too late

Master the art of sailing straight

Yet has, who knows so well as I

Ajust sense of how not to sail

For even the acrobatic swift

Has not his sailing crocked gift

More to come from the many poets on-board. Other than that a calm sea today as we continue to motor sail on towards Bermuda, with 850 miles beneath our belts the crew feels well-oiled and eager. Flying fish have been spotted of the port bow most of the day unfraternally however no sea birds have yet taken the bait. The big excitement of the day being stowing the sails at sea, along with, of course, all the crews favorite time of the day happy hour. A talk on sea navigation given by 2nd mate Rory, a fellow Scot, received applause and was very informative. Other than that a pretty calm day with sun shining and a cool breeze coming from the north giving the crew time to catch up on sleep, make a decent start to their books or work on the tan or in some cases sun burn.

Aft Port- Hamish, Nate (watch leader) , Steve, Sue M, Sue V, Marco Man

Day 9  15/03/19


“And then the day came,

When the risk to remain tight in a bud

Was more painful

Than the risk it took to blossom”

The question was asked “so who is willing to volunteer to sea stow the sails?” Yes why not! Climbing the rigging while at sea, shimmying out onto the yard arm while ‘Nellie’ dipped and dived into the deep blue ocean, trying her best to shake us off. Was it worth the risk? Yes definitely. It was exhilarating and back down on deck seeing the course sails looking neat and tidy, very satisfying.

The Watch leaders Watch

The watch leaders watch has stopped never to go again.

What good is said watch leader if he don’t know what’s when.

His morning agenda has all gone askew.

And the rest of his watch are ready to spew.

A steady hand on the wheel is what’s needed tonight, but his wake up call just came as a fright.

To calm him down they all agreed he’s working hard and doing alright.

Nick D

A quiet evening watch with nothing to report was followed by a most entertaining talk by Fred the Bosuns Mate. (aka) “Fred’s Fishy Tales” This had us all in stitches as he reminisced about his time growing up in the ‘Bottom end’ of Scarbourgh. An entertaining end to a memorable day.

Fore Stbd watch. Chris, Gordan, Sian, Diane, Gary and Nick.

Day 11  17/03/19

The crew of the good ship Lord Nelson

went sailing out in the ocean,

they were covered in spray. Caught fish everyday

and saw whales of the stern so they say!

(Composed by Judy – Watch Leader)

The last 24 hrs the FP watch have had watches (1800 hrs to 2000 hrs) and (0800 to 1230 hrs) and you may be wondering how we are coping being at sea for long period?! I can say that you are always learning new seamanship skills and never bored! (For some they are enjoying the ‘digital detox’ of not checking emails either!) The Permanent Crew have done a fantastic job in keeping us educated so far with the oceanography, metrological, tying knots; navigation, sails and ship lights.

While on last night (1800 hrs to 2000 hrs) watching the beautiful sunset, it struck me that we have all become rather interested in astronomy! A fellow voyager has this mobile app called ‘Digital Star map’ and it allows you to hold the mobile up against the sky to detect the different stars. (There is always way to develop new knowledge while at sea!) We staggered off to bed peacefully, knowing that we would be awakened in 10 hrs time for our next watch duty.

As of today, we are more than half way to Bermuda – 300 miles to go! Yay! We are still motoring as there is no winds although there is a chance of some easterly winds which would allow us to do some sails setting tomorrow – we’ll shall see! We are heading to St George’s Harbour which is in the NE of the island. Interestingly, there is one way in and out for our Ship. We will have a pilot onboard to assist us in maneuvering the Ship into the Harbour as I have been told the entrance to Bermuda for ships/cargos is a 100 metres wide so a very skilled planned operation will be underway when we are expected to dock on Wednesday 20th March. Bermuda is surrounded by Coral Reefs which is currently unsurveyed.

Happy Sunday meant no happy hour! Instead, those who wanted to climbed and sew the stern of sails were able to do so. It has been a perfect Sunday with ideal weather to sit and relax and soak up the sunshine. Our watch duty was kindly interrupted by a stimulating talk on metrological by Rory, 2nd Mate. Once again his sense of humour and wits has us in stitches as he delivered a compelling talk on the weather!

Finally, the motion of the Ship has settled and everyone is beginning to find their sea legs again after a challenging few days in the ocean swells!

Forward Port Watch: Julie, (Voyage Crew); Judy – (Watch Leader); Amy; Roly; Stuart and Maddy