A big thank you to Alex Lamb who submitted his blog to us while onboard the Southampton to Southampton roundtrip voyage TNS600, embarking 24th March 2022 and disembarking 30th March 2022.

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Tns600- the writings of a dyslexic tailor

Sea date 28 March 2022

“The long-awaited Bath”

Starting upon the train at an unruly time of 0649 I went my way through the Cornish countryside flashing with the first real sun of the year. A crisp start to a long-awaited trip although overshadowed by a heavy presence. Lugging an overly heavy kit bag across two changes whilst the early (for me anyway) start increasingly weighed upon my eyelids. Stations counting down and the anxiety increased. Mask on, hands washed. The ticket is eaten at the station as the gates launch you into Southampton – bag full and sitting uncomfortably on your back. One hour till boarding and a cheeky Sub sandwich steals 20 min and the walk another 30. The sun is hot and the walk is showing it. Will my temperature be ok? Will I see the dreaded 2 lines? Past the port authority then where? Look for the mast… it looms in the distance. I need to go right the cruise terminal and beyond. Two tents green then red, crew scattered for safety. The ship in all its glory blazing in the sun. Within touching distance and yet a million miles away. First the throat swab then the nose, sneezes ensue and the wait is nearly at its end. The liquid passes T then on to C and only one line is beginning to show. 15 minutes the lines are still settled but another 15 to go. The ship gets closer for some but for others it has already sailed! “you are good to go” and the real journey has just begun.

The warmest welcome greets you, as a brother returning home. Guided to your bunk and your bag goes down, “with changes afoot your bunk is likely to change, you will like the upgrade” more storage and a space to call home, bunk gets made and all is good to go.

Emergency training, getting to know your crew and “call the hands” comes all too soon. A hearty breakfast and then with lines in hand we go “down to one turn” and off to unknown land. The sea is slight and the sailing smooth as Southampton fades into the haze. The pinnacles (Needles) pass and with the sails squared, a vague plan begins to form. South is the direction. A few hours have passed  and the first watch is due: first dog. Morning watch starts with the moon and the stars, a sun rise that follows and there’s nothing but sea! There is truly no other place I would rather be. Out of the haze the land gets clearer, the island of Sark ever drawing nearer. The anchor goes down as does our heads, as you well know sailors relish their beds! The day anew hands called aloft, more training is due and challenges up top, limitations redefined and barriers broken, its back to the deck for our favourite “smoko.”

After the success of the morning the dotty awaits, more splashing “were soaking” in haste we make. We land on the island, in Sark we’ve arrived, of to explore the new land we have found.

The church, the court, the prison explored, we kept going for more to adore, dog legs, 2 pubs, the bank and the agents, a gold post box and tractors and bikes galore. The path kept on winding, a light house to find, we’d walked the far side, but nothing in sight, the horn was sounding a distance away. The view was amazing but only one place to sit, an old enamel bath, great for a laugh. Some photos ensued, a banter we had, time had passed and our time was done, the walk back mind, was just as much fun!

The crew got stuck as the tide withdrew. A mountain they climbed but what a view; back to the ship for the BBQ. A birthday was celebrated and our thanks to the chef.

Our journey continues, on the mighty waves!

It’s amazing the baggage we carry on our journeys, but better yet the journeys that wash our baggage away!

Left leg cocked, then right leg cocked, bum out wiggle, wiggle, wiggle – the mating dance of the blue footed Boobie. Galley 2022

As always JST and the Crew of SV Tenacious Thank you so much for this amazing trip, after the pandemic and the issues faced by many It is amazing to feel myself again!

Yours aye

Alex Lamb