“Challenging boundaries, handling ropes, developing teamwork and resilience in a moving place where the real natural environment is in control – that’s a compelling prospect for any parent to help provide for their children”.
John Fuller experienced tall ship sailing back in the nineties and was keen that his daughters did too. Dad to Laura and Susie, you can read about Laura’s experience here and what she got from her time onboard.
You never quite forget the experiences of a deep ocean crossing. In 1990, I remember approaching the flicker of the Gibbs Hill lighthouse in Bermuda after 800 nautical miles from Tortola in light airs and then, ten minutes later clipped-on aloft in the t’gallants, wrestling with canvass in a force 10 squall as crewmates on deck haul on ropes to reduce sail.
Such things stay with you. Experiences like that shape a person. They push boundaries. They did for me over 30 years ago as I was part of a winter Transatlantic Tall Ship voyage with TS Astrid in the days before GPS. Or the internet. We were truly on our own, finding our own way. I still use the skills learned in those twelve weeks from January to April, St Lucia to Weymouth every day.
Fast forward and life is so much more individual and compartmentalised nowadays. Technology constrains lives with constant connections on phones and PCs. It can be difficult to burst the bubbles our children find ourselves in.
So enforced time away from the screen at sea, miles from wifi, with 24 hour watch based rhythms, challenging boundaries, handling ropes, cooking in the galley, cleaning the heads and developing teamwork and resilience in a moving place where the real natural environment is in control is a compelling prospect for any parent to help provide for their children.
They say you can’t choose your family. And it’s same on a ship. What a sea voyage does is turn a random collection of unknown shipmates into a smooth-running set of teams that can harness a sailing ship with fun and laughter. It’s what the JST does. And did for my daughters. And could for yours too.