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Sea To Sea ……………………With A Bump In The Middle
Claire’s Trans Pennine Trail Challenge.
On the 8th September 2012, I will embark on a challenge of both body and mind: to walk the Tran Pennine Trail, coast to coast, from Southport to Hornsea, 215 miles (346km) in 12 days, all in aid of the Jubilee Sailing Trust.
Over the years I have seen first hand the wonderful work the Jubilee Sailing Trust does and have chosen this challenge to raise money to help the trust continue giving people the opportunity to experience the adventure of tall ship sailing.
Back in the dim, dark, distant past, when I was a horrible 17 year old, I decided I wanted to have a holiday on my own, my very own adventure, and a chance to do something different. At the time I was at collage studying on a care course and had gained some information about JST from the magazine PHAB.
I was fascinated by the work JST did and thought this would be a perfect adventure. Little did I know how much it would change my life. How much I would learn about myself, how much I would gain from fellow crew members, and how much I would come to love a charity which means so much to so many people.
During my first voyage so many years ago, I experienced every emotion I could possibly imagine. From the thrill and excitement of helming and climbing aloft, (even with my fear of heights!) to the sheer joy experienced by every one of the voyage crew as we built friendships, shared our limitations, pushed our own boundaries and worked together to make Lord Nelson sail.
From Esbjerg to Antwerp and then on to London we sailed through a gail force nine, calm, clear, starlit nights, fished for mackerel from the stern, enjoyed the merriment of the tall ships race in a city I knew nothing about and then the thrill of sailing into London and under Tower Bridge. This is just a few things that made my first voyage so special, and in truth these things only made my experience all the more enjoyable.
It was the things I learnt about myself and other people which has been most important to me. I came to understand that no matter what someone’s physical ability, everyone has something they can contribute, something to teach, and a personal goal to achieve. Aboard these beautiful tall ships everyone is equal, ability and disability becomes the least important thing. The overwhelming power of 'I can do’ becomes the focus. Time and time again this is then transmitted into everyday life when voyage crew return home.
Since my first voyage I have sailed on both Lord Nelson and Tenacious several times, and have had the opportunity to support the trust at the Southampton Boat Show, and on occasions when the ships have come into Liverpool. So often I have wished I was able to do more to help the trust to raise funds and to make more people aware of what JST do each year for so many people. This is why I have chosen to walk the Trans Pennine Trail this September.