Thanks to all the volunteers who came to help us with our weekend of daysails. It was a fabulous effort all round and we couldn’t have done it without you! Our first daysail saw 45 people on board complete with a surprise guest for Pat Palmer as her son had arrived from America in order to sail with her to help celebrate her BIG birthday! On arrival back in Southampton, we said our farewells and then busied ourselves in preparing the Lord Nelson to go back out and we delivered her to Portsmouth in readiness for a wedding party. We came alongside under the shadow of the Spinnaker tower, ready for the daysail on Sunday. Once we had our wedding guests and bride and groom on board, (and a special promise to Laura’s Mum not to allow the bride to be late), we set out for a day on the waters around Portsmouth. Of course, as the ceremony couldn’t be held on board, once we’d made fast, the happy couple headed off for the event and then returned as man and wife for photo’s and champagne! It was a real treat to be part of their special day and all the permanent crew, bosun’s mates and volunteers would like to send our own congratulations to Rob and Laura and hope to see them back on board very soon – this time with no worries about chipping nails and smudging nail varnish!
Monday came round with an early start to deliver the Lord Nelson back to Southampton in readiness for the arrival of the new crew for LN 743. Once they had arrived, they were signed on (no passengers here!), introduced to their watch leaders, then discovered their cabins and saw their loved ones back onto dry land. Captain Clare then invited everyone to meet her in the lower mess for the introductions to begin. The permanent crew for this voyage were introduced as: Steve the first mate, Alex the 2nd mate, Marcin the Bosun (aka Marcinski the Bosunski!)then, Marco the chief engineer with Alec as 2nd engineer and John the engineers assistant; then the galley team of John the wonderful, fantastic , ‘darling’ Cookie (well he did step in at short notice to help!) and his equally lovely assistant for the voyage Rosie; Rachel, medical purser and finally our wonderful Bosun’s mates Lesley and Rachel.
With introductions out of the way, Captain Clare then outlined the plans for the voyage ahead – well, plan A that is! Namely, to go to anchor tonight at St Helen’s, off the Isle of Wight, then a night at sea before arriving in Cherbourg at noon the following day. After a night in port it is hoped that we will then set off again for an anchorage near Alderney before returning to Southampton. But as with wind and tide, and mice and men, you’d better watch this space to see if we can stick to our first plan!
Of course, once the voyage plans had been voiced, the next job was to make sure our new crew had undertaken the training in order to put this altogether. First of all came the briefings and then after a swift ‘smoko’ the first of the evacuation drills ensuring that everyone knew how to find their muster stations safely and don their life jackets. Next came the opportunity to be fitted with full rigging harnesses and the first climbs aloft! Then the messmen were introduced to the joys of the galley; helping to set tables, serve dinner and of course clear away afterwards – every aspect of ships life is shared with our crews! In the meantime everyone else was helping get the ship off the berth and out to sea, to our anchorage. So the gangway was hauled in with our new crew heaving away, mooring lines were let go and the fenders brought in and stowed away. After dinner, no time to be wasted, we started our bracing drills, learning how to move the yards into their positions and then we put the theory into practice. Then with all the ropes tidied away, we proceeded to our anchorage and settled down getting to know each other in the bar, finishing the unpacking or taking advantage of an early night in anticipation of the voyage ahead
We’ll keep you posted!