Another busy day in the tall Ships events. The students and teacher from Peter Symonds College, departed the ship at 06.00 some were looking very bleary eyed when I got up to say goodbye. Most of the other voyage crew left during the morning, to catch the 2 trains to Amsterdam and the airport.
The day was very busy below decks, just managing to get all the under blankets quickly washed dried and back on bunks and linen put away by 12.00 and the arrival of the joining voyage. The briefings started soon after 2pm, with the bracing being left until Saturday as we had the company of Lotos moored alongside of us. After dinner the voyage crews were free to wander ashore.
In the evening I showed around in 2 groups over 22 people in total half of whom are blind they are Polish and sailing on Zawisza Czarnym and Zobaczyc Morze, accompanied by a film crew. They were interested in what facilities we had on board for blind people. Most were amassed when I told them about Duncan, a member of the voyage crew who was on the last voyage and this one. Duncan is blind and quite happily goes up the rigging and out on the yards to help stow the sails. They were also interested in the Braille imprints of the sails, the fore and afters on one page and square sails on the next, also the layouts of the various decks.
We then had a live radio show being Broadcast from the ship. This went to Dutch hospitals, they interviewed Captain Neil Duncan and also Barbara a disabled crew member who had just joined but has sailed before.
At 21.00 there was a procession around the harbour with lots of decorated small vessels including a large Octopus with flashing eyes and moving tentacles, a viking ship with vikings, a polar bear and lots with various lights and other decorations. At 22.00 another spectacular firework display occurred, with lots of exclamations from the crowds on the quayside, especially for the ones which became giant red hearts. This was followed by the usual Tall ships appreciation to a great firework display of a cacophony of various ships horns from around the watersides.
Thank you to Tall Ships International and Den Helder for a wonderful experience and a fond farewell to all who left the Lord Nelson yesterday.
Update By: Jo Hicks Medical Purser