Well folks, its day 14 and the end of the big sail for us. After close
on 1200 miles, we are finally anchored off Cascais at the mouth of the Tagus
awaiting our early morning arrival in Lisbon and the end of our voyage.
This morning we held an early, and quite moving, Remembrance Day service
around the main mast, focusing on the wars at sea.
We had hoped to run a couple of boats over to Cascais for the afternoon, but
the weather closed in and that option was withdrawn. Just as well as there
was a lot of work on board to finish. Harbour stowing
the sails, bracing the yards for the night, watch-leader debriefing,
organising departure times, and of course, getting ready for the end of
voyage dinner. All the typical activities of the life of a hard-working square rigger.
The sailing had been particularly ‘ace’ since leaving Porto, and our weather
‘God’, Captain Chris, continued to make the right calls in relation to the
quite stormy conditions encountered in these seas, this time of year. We
headed out west into the Atlantic to gain sea room into Lisbon.
We soon got back into sailing mode and the next few days flew past as we
made our way south, arching into the coast and sailing best course to wind.
After all the poor weather over the last week and a half, the moon and the
stars finally came out and treated us to an amazing astrological night show.
Setting moons, constellations and all the bad jokes that Patrick Moore used
It always quite amazes me how crews develop over the period of the voyage.
When we first set out, we were a raggle-taggle of relative strangers and not
particularly that well-skilled. But when we came on at 4am for our watch,
the combined watches made short shrift of sail stowing taking in the
‘squares’ and motoring into the coast. We should remember that ‘Tinny’ is
the last British square rigger in existence, and one of the few places where
the strength and exuberance of youth is matched by the experience and
technique of the mature sailors.
Cousteau said, “That once the sea casts its spell, it holds one in its net of wonder for ever.” And that is what is the
wonder of Tall Ship sailing. Free of the land and its burdens, if only for a
couple of weeks. To experience the power of the earth and to make us value
what a beautiful world we live in. And that it needs protecting and
So, after 30 years sailing on the Nellie, I’ve finished my last LN voyage
and found a new home on the Tenacious. And it marks my final voyage with
Captain Chris Phillips, a Cape Horner and Antarctic sailor, and my captain.
Long live the JST!
Fore S’board: Mike W/L, Anne, Tim, Argentina, Sean, Jim and Roger.
Fore Port: Steve W/L, Mick, Karen, Mark, Nikki, Sammi, Luis.
Aft Port: Steve W/L, Steve, Jacob, Margaret, John, Lauren and Sam
Aft S’board: Craig W/L, Steve, Nigel, Fran, Rosemary, Andrew and Richard.