Greetings to all family and friends of voyage crew aboard TNS416 from the Greenwich Regatta to Southampton. Everyone arrived promptly on Monday through the crowds around Woolwich admiring the ships.
The watch leaders had arrived on Sunday evening and were busy having briefings, when the VIP of the day (Mayor of London – Boris Johnson) was being shown around by the crew.
But back to Monday – once everyone had found their bunks and signed on with Jo our purser, it was time for the permanent crew introductions and safety information and evacuation drill training. After smoko, the general alarm was sounded and we proceeded to evacuate the voyage crew including 5 wheelchair users to our muster stations and don our life jackets (remember this was just a drill). All out we then posed for our watch photos. After dinner some of the voyage crew took the opportunity to escape the ship for one last time before we set sail.
After a quiet night, with just a few of us on harbour watch we woke up to a beautiful blue sky morning and after breakfast we went straight into another evacuation drill, this time we shaved a couple of minutes off yesterday’s time. Ali then gave a talk on how to pull and secure ropes.
Just before lunch we cast off from the pontoon at Woolwich and headed up towards Tower Bridge for the start of the parade of sail. Dave had the enviable job of helming up to Tower Bridge and then turning the ship 180 degrees to go the other way under the command of both Captain Simon and the pilot.
Considering it was a Tuesday and all the schools have gone back there was a huge turn out all along the Thames to see the ships leave. Climbing training was next on the schedule and up to the first platform on both the fore and main masts and then out onto the lower topsail yards. We then dropped anchor just before dinner so a quiet night for most with a few of us keeping a close eye on the safety of the ship on anchor watches overnight on a very calm night and a super moon .
This is Aft Port sending love and best wishes to all friends and family: Carol, Dave, Adam, Simon, Douglas, John, Judy, Ali, Helen and Caroline.