- PRESS RELEASE -
"At the age of 78, sailing on a square rigged sailing vessel has been a new and very interesting experience for me!"
Roy Waters aged 78 from Bangor, Northern Ireland set out on a fantastic tall ship sailing experience with the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST). It was his first time sailing a tall ship and for a former professional seaman, it fulfilled a child hood ambition.
He began sailing at the age of 12, when his Dad built him a 12ft dinghy using scrap materials costing £10! One of his first memories of tall ships was back in the 1930’s when they were still operated in a commercial capacity, most notably seeing the Moshulu when she visited Belfast. She is now a restaurant in Philadelphia, the USA where she’s been for a number of years.
"I have spent all my life involved with ships and the sea, from small dinghies to offshore racing and cruising yachts (on the amateur side), to 16 years at sea in the Merchant Navy including command of a deep sea oil tanker with Shell."
He was the only sailor from his family and went on to meet his wife who was also a keen sailor from the age of 12 she began her love affair across the Atlantic in Cape Cod Bay, near Boston.
Their son Geoffrey, aged 27, suffers from Friedrich’s Ataxia. He is severely handicapped and is completely wheelchair bound. He has been unable to sail with us for several years. However a visit to "Tenacious" in Belfast during a tall ships event in 2009 led to him spending a very happy week on board "Lord Nelson" last summer and he is booked for another trip next summer.
"If Geoffrey could go then why shouldn’t I, with Susie as my "buddy". She is a few years younger and very fit! Also the Caribbean for a few days in mid winter sounded attractive!"
Here’s the rest of the story from Roy.
For me there were three "firsts" My first visit to any of the Leeward Islands, my first trip on a square rigged sailing ship and my first trip under a female Captain! It was a delight to go aboard a British registered ship with all British officers and (mostly) all British crew. This is rare these days!
While this ship has many modern devices and equipment the hard work on deck, such as setting and furling sails is all "pulley hauley" and involves strong teamwork! On the Bridge I was pleased to note that paper charts are still in use although the GPS has largely replaced astro and coastal navigation
Susie and I signed on the ships Articles of Agreement and found we were on the Port Forward Watch under the charge of an able Watch Leader, who directed us to our various duties and I was very sorry that I was unable to do much in way of heavy pulling and heaving, lifting and carrying! I would have just fallen over and been in the way. On the second day I was on Mess Duty but could only do tasks where I could sit down. Sitting on a deck locker with another mess man we managed to peel a huge bucket of potatoes and I really knew then that I had been demoted to Galley Boy! Not only that but some of the potatoes were not to the Cooks satisfaction and were returned to us for further attention!
When I was serving my time I would have loved to sail in a ship like this but Shell did not have any square rigged tankers! They very obviously enjoyed what they were doing on this particular and unusual ship and although everything seemed very casual they were very professional especially in dealing with the amateur voyage crew. They no sooner get one crew trained than they have to start again with another! This includes the Cook and her assistant. The food provided was ample and excellent thanks to "Hammie" and snacks were available 24 hours a day.