Following our earlier report from Forward Port Watch; Lady Helen, Isabella, Jack, Lois, Jane, Douglas and Pirate Beth (!) here’s our latest report from the rest of the trip:
On day 7, the weather continued to improve slightly and most of the crew had fully recovered. The stay sails were set in the early hours by the voyage crew on watch, before been handed again when the wind was on our nose shortly afterwards. We were in a relatively busy channel with two containerships and a few bulk carriers. Chief Mate Ben also gave a talk on all the different buoys and their meanings for all the voyage crew. Later in the afternoon, the voyage crew learnt all about the different knots with Bosun Fi and willing assistant Anna. VC learnt a range of knots and had fun figuring out the elusive ‘Monkey Fist’ (used for heaving line when mooring) in the afternoon. In the evening, once anchored, all watches were relieved from their night duties to take part in a quiz organised by 2/Eng Didi and Bosun Fi. The ‘Leadership @ Sea’ participants then asked their own questions about ‘Tenacious’ (there are 21 sails when fully rigged and 28 bunt lines!). Both Voyage Crew and Permanent Crew, not on watch, had a fabulous time especially since sombreros, princess outfits, pirate outfits and Christmas hats were involved.
We remained at anchor in the morning, eating breakfast and completing ‘Happy Hour’ before motoring towards an anchorage just off Southend after lunch. When we reached Southend, a short motor down the coast, we dropped anchor and enjoyed a quieter day for everyone to rest a little. In the evening some of the VC went on the bowsprit and others climbed to the foremast platform to take photos and enjoy the view. Everyone had fun but it was a bit breezy – both up the mast and on the bowsprit. The shop was also opened and VC were able to purchase everything Tenacious from hoodies, t-shirts and coats to postcards and magnets. The ‘canary yellow’ t-shirts modelled by Didi were a hit with some of the crew .
On the 9th day, we departed the anchorage at Southend and continued into the Thames estuary. At Tilbury, we exchanged a pilot and two trainees for cake left over from “smoko” earlier in the day. Pilots onboard, we motored through the Thames Barrier at lunchtime before continuing to Tower Bridge. The bridge was opened and we travelled under with a few metres to spare above the mast. Later, we came alongside at West India Docks and found out that we made the news as the bridge was stuck…………!