“From my first voyage, I was in awe of the Permanent Crew and how they worked together with the Voyage Crew. My work with the JST has been a huge part of my career, thousands of hours volunteering and hundreds of hours sailing – I have no regrets, just many amazing memories”.

Ruth Padday sits on the JST’s medical committee and also sails as Watch Leader and/or doctor. She describes every voyage as having something special, new, unique and incredible.

***

My husband, Laurie, and I visited Tenacious while she was being built with our children including our disabled daughter Tash. We initially chose to sail as we thought our daughter would gain so much from the experience, however I think Laurie and I have gained even more than she has.

We have both been heavily involved with the JST for many years – I sit on the Medical Advisory Committee, conduct the medical assessments for all the Voyage Crew and also sail as a Watch Leader and Doctor. Laurie, also a watch leader , continues to support the JST and can often be found fibreglass in hand designing, making and fixing various items on board the ship.

My first voyage with the Jubilee Sailing Trust was soon after I joined the Medical Advisory Committee. I was in awe of the Permanent Crew winching the wheelchair users from the ship to the small ‘dotty’ boat and then driving it on to the beach and bouncing the wheelchairs over the sides. It was such an exceptional voyage that I phoned Laurie and we swapped – him joining for the delivery voyage straight after my own experience. We were both hooked!

Throughout my many years on the Medical Advisory Committee I have helped to write and update various medical policies and encourage training to ensure the Permanent Crew are as prepared as possible and the Voyage Crew are as safe as possible. This has involved developing guidance for sailing whilst pregnant, with Diabetes or on anticoagulation ,to name a few.

We can put in place as much planning and training as possible, but of course sometimes accidents can happen. We now have access to a system of Medical Advisors through the MSOS system – but before this was put in place the ship had my telephone number!

One of these calls stands out – a man had dislocated his shoulder. I received a call from the Medical Purser on board. I rung an orthopedic consultant friend who happened to be at a medical conference – during their coffee break they video called the ship and advised our fantastic Medical Purser how to relocate the shoulder. The patient was very happy, the ship did not have to detour over 100nm to get medical assistance and the conference delegates had their most interesting coffee break ever!

The Tall ships races are a completely unique event. The camaraderie and spectacle of so many fabulous ships being in one location has provided so many amazing memories. I thoroughly enjoy visiting the large ships, talking to their doctors and seeing spectacular medical facilities – and then watching as they learn that we take people of all abilities on board Tenacious, a much smaller, less luxurious ship.

Another voyage that stands out in my mind is when we sailed from The Netherlands to the UK and back. A group of young people from six different countries came together with experienced Watch Leaders – it was a fantastic voyage for me and even better for the voyage crew. I know of two marriages both now with children that came from that voyage!

On every voyage there is something special, new, unique and incredible.

My work with the JST has been a huge part of my career, thousands of hours volunteering and hundreds of hours sailing – I have no regrets, just many amazing memories”.