- PRESS RELEASE -
On 15th July 2009 the Reverend Canon Simon Stokes, Minister of Bowthorpe is to set sail as crew aboard a Tall Ship. This is to be a remarkable experience for Canon Stokes as not only will he be joined by his father, Colin and son James, but also because the Reverend is visually impaired.
Sailing with the Southampton based Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST), Rev. Stokes and his family will join a crew of 40 volunteer sailors for a voyage from Canary Wharf in London to Southampton via northern Europe.
Although visually impaired, Rev Stokes will by no means be merely along for the ride because the JST is the only organisation in the world that takes physically disabled and able bodied crew members to sea aboard two specially designed tall ships, Lord Nelson and Tenacious. The unique design of the ships means that everyone sails as crew and has an equal role to play.
The voyage is to depart London on the 15th July, for 10 days sailing to the Netherlands, Belgium or France before setting course for a 24th July arrival in Southampton.
Once aboard Rev Stokes will be sailing as a ‘watch leader’ he will supervise a ‘watch’ of 9 people of all physical abilities. Not only this but he will be involved in almost every activity aboard including setting sails, helming and even cleaning the ship, affectionately known as ‘Happy Hour’.
Equipment aboard such as a talking compass will enable Rev Stokes to sail the ship as effectively as someone without a visual impairment.
“I’ve now sailed with the JST a number of times but never with so many family members. The sense of exhilaration I get working out on the yard arms keeps me going back time after time.”
He continued, “Having lost my sight I can’t skipper my own boat, so sailing with the JST is the closest thing to it. As a watch leader I am able offer guidance and support to people, just as I do in my day job – it’s fantastic!”
Anyone over the age of 16 can sail with the Jubilee Sailing Trust regardless of physical ability or previous sailing experience. For more information on how you or someone you know can get involved contact the JST voyages department on 023 8044 9108 or email email@example.com