No sooner had we got everyone on board and made our introductions to our bunk mates, we were straight into the afternoon meeting. In the meeting we were introduced to all the permanent members of the ship’s crew and the three volunteer crew. We ran through the various safety briefings, not forgetting the biggest emergency of all: sea sickness! After all the meetings, greetings and briefings we met with everyone on our watches for the first time, the people whom we would be spending the most time with. Then it was up the mast in our climbing harnesses in preparation for going aloft at sea. Once everyone had climbed down from the rigging we had two hours free time to properly introduce ourselves to our bunk mates and get accustomed to ship life. Finally, we had dinner time down in the lower mess, a masterpiece from Dave the chef and his assistant Marie. All being fed and watered, we got underway with assistance from a pilot boat, heading over to Swanage Bay to anchor for the night.
After a calm night in Swanage Bay we woke to another beautiful, sunny, windless day. Leaving Swanage Bay at 8am we motored our way across to Alderney, racing for the best spot in the harbour with Stavros. After such a calm crossing we were all in need of a well deserved beer watching the spectacular sunset over the harbour wall.
The following morning we had rig climbing drills which was a great achievement for many of the less able crew. The range of climbers went from young wheelchair dependant individuals to our 83 year old visually impaired lady, all ascended to the first platform of the main mast.
After these drills it was time for some rest and relaxation and a run ashore on Alderney. Some of the crew ran or walked around the island, others simply took in the atmosphere and enjoyed a light lunch, whilst others took advantage of the local fayre. Fortunately everyone found their way back to the jetty, into the DOTI boat and back on board ready to depart at 1900 hours. With anchor weighed and engines engaged we headed out west into a fairly thick sea.
After quite an intense night due to strong wind and stronger waves – that resulted in those on the upper deck staggering about and clinging desperately to the sides of the ship – we woke to a morning that was significantly calmer. Everyone enjoyed breakfast in the lower mess, which was a welcome change to eating up above as we did before. The sun began to emerge from the clouds but it wasn’t very successful in providing warmth, which everyone would’ve been grateful for, considering the wind was still present. It came with an advantage though, as we were able to release the sails, which made the unstable motion of the waves more pleasant. After lunch we tacked the ship, and that meant we could move with the wind – after an arduous process that required a lot of people to lend a hand (or two, two being undoubtebly better when handling ropes) – and subsequently we would be able to head towards Jersey. Thankfully four days down and only eight people have been lost to scurvy – ( it would have been more if it wasn’t for the saviour of Alderney!)
Fwd Port: Stretch, Blair, Greg, Steve, Hannah, Jean, Bernie, Katie, Lewis & Alice.