The brochure said "No passengers", but I never imagined I would be allowed to steer the ship across the channel in total darkness on day two of my first voyage. I didn't want to leave!!!
Life on board really is about joining in and getting involved regardless of your physical ability. Don't worry if you have not sailed before - most people step on Lord Nelson or Tenacious with no experience of sailing a tall ship, so you will not be alone. The permanent crew will support you through all the tasks involved with sailing the ships and you will always have an experienced hand with you on watch.
Why not download your crew information booket
How do I know what to do?
You will be put into one of four teams, called Watches, which take it in turns to be responsible for various tasks on board including keeping watch, even at night. Each watch includes an experienced watch leader who will work with you and be your formal link with the permanent crew. Between them, they ensure that you are given tasks that suit your individual strengths. Together you will sail the ship.
There are eight cabins on each ship for wheelchair users and their buddies. The remaining accommodation is provided by spacious fixed bunks on board both Lord Nelson and Tenacious.
Accommodation has heating and air-conditioning, hot showers and points for electric tooth brushes, shavers and hair dryers(the power supply on both ships is standard 240v). Bathrooms are shared and include all the facilities required for those with limited mobility, including four clos-o-mat toilets.
Food glorious food
The food here is tremendous, quite possibly the highlight of my week!
The food on board is plentiful and often praised. A professional cook and a cook's assistant produce three cooked meals a day and make cakes, biscuits and scones for elevenses and afternoon tea (both known as 'Smoko' on board). In addition you can help yourself to fresh fruit and if you are still peckish during your night watch there are always some 'night rations' to help you through.
Special dietary requirements are catered for – just remember to include them in your voyage booking form.
On each day of the voyage one member of each watch helps the cook and cook's assistant in the Galley - a busy and rewarding part of life on board known as 'Mess Duty'!
On board ship you may be assigned a 'buddy'. A buddy is another crew member who will be your companion on the voyage, and together you will discover how to sail the ship. We aim to buddy everyone up into physically disabled and able-bodied pairs as this integration lies at the heart of our mission. If you are sailing alone, do not worry! You will soon be part of the team on board as the buddying and watch systems help to quickly create a new family on board.
So what is it really like?
People were arriving left, right and centre. The variety and mix of people that tootled up the gangway was truly splendid. There were individuals who were old hands at these sailing adventures who were getting reacquainted with past friends and then there were the newbie's like myself who were letting the whole atmosphere and madness wash over their heads in the hope that it would all sink in in the end. Everyone was different; some were loud, some quiet, some wacky, some not so wacky, but all were eager and excited about the voyage ahead.
Lucy - TNS 212 Antigua
I boarded a ship full of strangers and left a ship full of friends. A genuinely uplifting experience and JST’s tagline of "changing lives" is simply spot-on.
Damien Burke - TNS 325
I have done things on my JST voyages that I was quite sure was totally beyond my physical ability and have felt about 8 ft tall in consequence.
Allan TNS 236