After 1 ½ days of training (which involved sail setting, climbing the rigging and bracing the masts) we left Belfast Harbour and motored to Bangor where we anchored for the night. It was a pretty calm night with good visibility and there were no issues thankfully during anchor watch. During this time we also had a flag raised from the charity ‘353’ which was a charity that one of the on-board veterans is a member of.
After breakfast we weighed anchor and set sail from that point using the main and fore topsail and sailed out of Belfast Lough and started heading south, down the Irish coast. Upon passing Donaghadee we raised the main and fore corse and t’gallant as well to make best use of the strong wind we had. The rest of the day was spent sailing down the Irish coastline with good speed and weather. Later that afternoon all cadets onboard received a talk on the different types and parts of sails from the first mate which was highly insightful and interesting.
After breakfast, we took the sails off and decided to motor through to the coast of Ireland as we were approaching the coast of Wales due to the wind pushing us in that general direction. This however had a bit of a negative effect on a few cadets therefore some were bedded down for a while to see if there was any improvement. Throughout the day we all participated in different talks and activities, such as a knot tying course, and CVQO workbooks. Throughout the journey we all continue to get to know each other, learning different things about one-another’s cultures and hearing different stories of past times and experiences, this enables us to better appreciate the time that we have with these extraordinary people and make bonds that will last for a lifetime.
One of our veterans has drawn this incredible picture of the lord Nelson which he has happily agreed I can share with you all. Thanks Mark.
Yesterday we experienced rough seas so we were forced to take down the sails as lots of my friends were sea sick. Due to this we continued to work on engine power early next morning.
Today we put up the sails (nine of them). At ‘smoko’ we celebrated Amy’s birthday with a cake and everybody singing happy birthday to her. Meanwhile we was surrounded by dolphins which were also singing with us. Now we are sailing into Waterford Bay, the wind is SSW by 25 knots, and shall anchor tonight. Love from all Starboard Aft watch.
Happy Birthday Amy!
Throughout the voyage the crew has an opportunity to do a BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Teamwork and Personal Development in the Community. Between duties cadets find a new way to relax working together on their workbooks.
We first had a group photo in front of the ship while in port at Waterford. Mark presented the captain with his drawing which was signed by all the veteran voyage crew. Following this and the morning meeting we prepared to leave the port.
After some difficult navigating along the river we were out of the estuary and into calm waters of the Celtic sea. It could possibly be mistaken for the Caribbean as the weather was bliss; easy waters and sunshine.
While Forward Port were on watch from 20.00 to 00.01 the fog set in and the visibility went down to almost zero. To make matters more interesting it happened while we were moving through a busy fishing area. As the night went along the fog horns had to be sounded during the night. This morning we all awoke to almost calm seas and hardly any wind to help us on our way. Due to the lack of wind we will not anchor up at Lundy Island and carry on slow sailing onwards to Cardiff.
We have been attacked by two large aggressive animals. One large male gorilla, signaling alpha male aggressive behaviour, and one tall moose, that sparked out one crew member. They were replaced by a very pretty penguin….. We will report if an easyvac is needed. (The voyage crew had found the dressing up cupboard!!)
Listening on the radio we heard that the coastguard had been called out to rescue two girls stuck in the mud, one was identified as wearing red socks.
At present we are just off the port of Barry with three large ships due to overtake us before we arrive in Cardiff. We are going to dock at Brittannia quay.