On a fine sunny day the new voyage crew joined the tall ship the Lord Nelson. The usual bustle ensued as crew members found their bunks, unpacked their bags and signed themselves on board. Our voyage briefing followed and we were informed of our duties and route to France. Next we proceeded to muster stations for drills. Gary was our guinea pig for the evac drills and looked serenely calm as different parties took it in turn to haul him up and down the stair case to familiarise themselves with the procedure. Once this had been practised sufficiently the whole crew engaged in a live drill and arrived at their appropriate muster stations before donning life jackets. By now we were beginning to get to know one another and it was time for our trust to grow sharply as we prepared to go aloft for the first time.
Harnesses were checked and double checked and everyone who wanted to got their chance to climb. David, who is totally blind decided it was a race to the first stage platform and actually tried to overtake his buddy! With great composure, David and the rest of the forward starboard watch gathered together, aloft, to listen to the Bosuns briefing on safe procedures for working aloft before eventually returning to the deck. Some cracking food was served before we left Southampton. Forward starboard watch were on hand for the first sea watch of the trip. We each took it in turns to take the wheel and follow the captains course instructions. We proceeded to Yarmouth where we dropped the hook over night before weighing anchor early next morning. Forward Starboard breakfasted next morning on a wonderful variety including a sumptuous cooked breakfast that the JST always provide. They then took the first watch with Neave on the helm. This rotated every half hour.