Both able-bodied and physically disabled voyage crew will be sailing to Gran Canaria in style this week – on the deck of an accessible tall ship.
The British accessible tall ship, Lord Nelson, is currently sailing south from the Bay of Biscay and will be arriving in Gran Canaria on the 8th November.
The 55-metre tall ship, which is operated by the Jubilee Sailing Trust, a British charity, has spent the last 2 years on a ‘Sail the World’ challenge. Visiting over 100 ports in 30 countries (including Australia, Brazil and India), she travelled 51,000 nautical miles and crossed the equator 6 times, all the while being crewed by over 1000 people – both able-bodied and physically disabled.
Lord Nelson arrived home at the end of September, and after a maintenance period in her home port of Southampton, she set sail on the first voyage of her winter programme – to Gran Canaria – on the 20th October.
She’ll have a week’s maintenance period in Gran Canaria – where the crew will be taking advantage of the warmer weather – before she’ll be setting off across the Atlantic to spend the winter months island-hopping around the Caribbean.
Lord Nelson, like her sister ship Tenacious, is one of only two fully accessible tall ships in the world designed to be sailed by both disabled and able-bodied crew. They combine traditional square-rig with special features that make it possible for physically disabled people, including wheelchair users, to take a full and active role in crewing the ship. The special facilities on board ensure that everybody has the opportunity to participate in all aspects of tall ship sailing. Among the unique features are:
• Hearing loops
• Wheelchair lifts between decks
• Integrated Braille instructions
• A joy stick for people who want to steer the ship but cannot hold a wheel
• An audio compass for those who want to steer but cannot see.
Since the Jubilee Sailing Trust was established in 1978 they have taken over 40,000 people sailing. Of these, approximately 15,000 people were disabled and 5,000 were wheelchair users.
The ethos of the Jubilee Sailing Trust is to focus on what people are able to do, rather than what they can’t, and a buddy system on board pairs able-bodied and disabled crew during a voyage so they can provide each other with mutual support.
Lord Nelson will have a week’s maintenance period in Gran Canaria – where the crew will be taking advantage of the warmer weather – before she’ll be setting off across the Atlantic to spend the winter months island-hopping around the Caribbean.
There are a few voyage crew spaces available on her Caribbean voyages departing on the 17th November. Berths are available for both able-bodied and physically disabled people. The lower age limit is 16 and there is no upper age limit. Anyone interested in sailing with the Jubilee Sailing Trust should call +44 (0)23 8042 6849.
No sailing experience is necessary as the permanent crew will give all the training and guidance needed to get the most out of the voyage, whether that is showing a crew member how to climb the rigging, steer the ship or haul on a rope to help set the sails.
You can come and see Lord Nelson and her crew whilst she is in Gran Canaria, and interviews can be arranged with the Captain and crewmembers. Please call the Jubilee Sailing Trust Head Office on +44 (0)23 8044 9108 for more information.