Joining day from different perspectives by Aft Port Watch

After making our way through the crowds of excited spectators who had come to see the Tall Ships, we boarded Lord Nelson, where we were greeted by our watch leaders.

We were shown to our bunks and then signed in to get our name tags, wet weather clothing and wellies. We then assembled in the lower mess to meet the permanent crew, and to be made aware of the do’s and don’t’s for a successful voyage… don’t block the heads etc.

Dinner was served after that, where we were free to come and go into the city, stay on board or stroll around the port to gain a better position for the 22.00 firework spectacular. A great show ending for many after a long day, we were glad to hit the sack after!

The kitchen for the cook (galley) is only big enough for one person. Similarly the room for the engineer is very small and therefore crowded with tools and equipment ( a true ‘man cave’) ( engineer’s workshop). The number of heads is limited and the space is limited especially for showering!

The fireworks were a spectacular end to our first day. On the second day we were all up early and on deck for 06.00 to get ready for leaving our berth and being part of the spectacle of sun and sail splendour as we joined the parade of Tall Ships saying farewell to Quebec.

We had a lot of our sails set and were able to admire the results of our sweating and tailing!

Aft port watch Craig, Hazel Marc V, Peter S, Mo, Penny, Nick, Paul

25th July

Well we said goodbye to the St. Lawrence River pilots at 2300 on the 23rd and we were off towards Cornerbrook. Staying within the restrictions of the traffic separation schemes, coupled with unhelpful wind conditions restricted the setting of the sails, but we did manage to set a few stay sails and the fore Topsail for a while.

The morning of the 24th heralded the first happy hour with lots of enthusiastic cleaning and scrubbing- will it last! We also carried out a fire and evacuation drill it was so good we did it twice.

Days 4 and 5 saw the continuation of the fantastic weather and calm seas, conducive to whale watching and numerous sightings of various species of whale including Beluga, Humpback, Minkie etc., and dolphins.

The good weather also allowed assisted climbs to be done whilst we were motoring; this included Marc going up in his wheelchair. We were motoring along the North side of Anticosti Island. The views were fantastic and many braved the cold and stayed on the platform for some time. The climbs took most of the morning so it meant cancelling happy hour.

Captain Richards’s daily sailing plans were subject to Chief Mate Lesley’s ‘fluid and dynamic’ policy and had to be revised several times due to the changing wind conditions. The chosen option was to motor along the north coast off Anticosti Island, and anchor for a few hours to admire the view of the limestone cliffs. The island is apparently populated by introduced deer.

Drinks in the bar were enjoyed in the evening to celebrate Alistair’s 60th birthday, he spent the morning on mess duty and then had the joy of after his birthday, having a midnight to 04.00 watch. This was the second birthday of the voyage and an excuse for another one of cookies fantastic cakes.

We weighed anchor at 20.00 in advance of a forecasted wind, to get in a good sailing position. The continuing brilliant and clear skies enabled a second night of star gazing for the night watches who were entertained by shooting stars and the clear transit of the international space station.

A birthday one person won’t forget. Cheers everyone.

26th July

On Wednesday 26th July, the forward starboard watch was musically motivated by a sing- along of the full score of the sound of music. There was little else to report on this watch in contrast to our first watch leaving the city of Quebec, days earlier as part of the Rendez-vous 2017 Tall ships sail past, when vessels of all sizes gathered on the St. Lawrence River to watch us leave port while thousands waved from shore as we made our way down river with the sails up.

On the 26th we anchored overnight in Pont au Pont, West Bay on the coast of Newfoundland, and the last sound we heard was the anchor rattling into place.

After breakfast on the 27th, the full crew were called into action to standby ready to set sail off the anchor. We managed to sail of the anchor without using the engines, in a great sailing breeze.

Captain Richard instructed us on how to “wear” ship so that we could make the manoeuvres needed to clear the reefs and return to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Once clear of the bay, the wind picked up to a force 5 and filled the sails to roll us with the waves.

Several of the voyage crew reached for ginger supplies, and anti- nausea supplies. Whilst still bouncing around, we were shown how to tack, so that we would be ready to, manoeuvre in the Bay of islands on our approach to anchor tonight. We are hoping to have supper before our next deck action.

Forward Starboard Watch aka the singing watch. Bridget, Diane, Heather, Karell, Norah-Lynn, Peter, Tony under the guidance of our wonderfully supportive watch leader Jim

31st July


Yesterday we were woken up at 07.30 and prepared for breakfast at 08.00. Breakfast was sausage, egg, tomato and toast.

We then headed up on deck for a harness instruction lesson and were briefed on our evacuation drill, which we then practiced. We learnt how to use the ascenders when climbing up the rigging, which I’ve never used before. And because I can’t pull ropes I got to shout the orders.

Roisin Aft Port watch

The ship had another open ship day yesterday and with the rain holding of unlike the Day before, there were a lot more people interested in Lord Nelson. I personally really enjoyed greeting everyone in my home country during the 150th celebrations, “bridging the gap” between country of birth and adopted country. A number of voyage crew went out in Cornerbrook to take part in the traditional NFLD “screeched in” ceremony. This required a “Newfie” tongue- twister in a sou’wester (yellow fisherman’s hat), kissing a cod and downing a shot of screech. Certificates in hand we then were treated to fireworks over the water celebrating the last night of festivities in Cornerbrook.

Lianne Aft Port Watch


On watch very warm and a clear sea, like a mill pond, time to gather thoughts, I am now a bonafied Newfoundlander by kissing a cod! We are doing harbour watch and checking that everything is ok, it’s all quiet now, considering the fireworks yesterday wow and music, such an honour to be part of this Cornerbrook festival and be part of an amazing crew on Lord Nelson. We have four ships of varying sizes around us and we will all be sailing and leaving Cornerbrook together, towards Sydney. Gosh I wish I could stay on until St. John but I am here on my first epic journey to Canada and I still keep pinching myself, that at 49 with a disability and I am on a ship working HAPPY DAYS. I want more of this 3 voyages so far and one booked for next year, that’s my plan, a voyage a year on Nellie or Tenacious.

Loopy Aft Starboard Watch


Moored alongside the Cornerbrook dock as the sun rises on the scene of last night’s festivities with, portaloos, empty picnic tables and just a few seagulls scavenging in vain for scraps of food in the garbage. Behind the incessant, filthy belching of Cornerbrook’ s pulp and paper factory, massive plumes of grey smoke streaming into the early morning sky. But if we turn our backs on the scene of industry and frivolity and look across the rippling water, distant views of green hills and places unknown beckon. We depart at 18.00 hours – can’t wait.

Kirsten Aft Starboard watch