“I saw a young man’s life being changed for the better, because of his experience on board. His mindset, and the mindset of his parents too, had totally re-set. It’s just one story of many – the JST does change lives.”
Mike Van Baaren is a long term Bosun’s Mate, with over 120,000 nautical miles sailed and more than 6000 days on board. Not only that, he has sewn hundreds of thousands of stitches to repair sails on board JST Ships.
“The Trust brings together a huge amount of people from different backgrounds – it is just amazing. The ethos of the JST and of the people who sail are unique.
One amazing memory I have was at the start of one particular voyage. A car pulled up at the bottom on the gangway, the parents got out of the front of the car and helped their 20-year-old son get out of the rear of the car. Their son had MS and used a wheelchair.
Upon seeing the gangway they stated that their son wouldn’t be able to join the voyage as planned. But the crew helped the young man aboard, ensured he and his parents were happy and set sail.
At the end of ten days at sea, the young man had walked around the deck, sat on the bowsprit and generally been an exceptional crew member. He walked down the gangway to his waiting parents – a moment I’ll never forget.
Not only had that voyage helped change his life for the period he spent on board the ship, but his future had been changed. What’s more, his parents couldn’t believe the change they saw in their son – the entire family had had their mindsets totally changed.
This is just one story of many. The JST changes lives.
I also met my wife Annie on board Tenacious, so it’s a very special place for me. I was sailing in Antigua and she was working there, and was put in touch with the JST for a voyage. The rest is history!”