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21/05/12 - Lord Nelson
Left Southampton on Saturday, after boarding in the shadow of large cruise ships. We are sure our voyage will be less predictable but more exciting than what those waving us off will experience!
We have the added excitement of having a BBC film crew onboard for the first few days. During the BBC's coverage of the Queen's Jubilee Pageant there will be a short item about the JST and how disabled and fully abled people share wonderful sailing experiences.
Quite a mixture of people make up our voyage crew, with some people having done over 50 voyages, and others embarking on their first trip, and ages ranging from about 20 to over 70 year olds.
After meeting our buddies and determining what help the disabled crew members may need, and unpacking in our compact berths, it was time for the briefing. After an informative and entertaining 2 hours, the first time crew members had a good understanding of what would be involved, and excited by what lay ahead.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of wind, our first evening and night was under engine. However, this provided time for those who wanted to climb the mast to experience this. Not sure there would have been as many enthusiastic people if there had been strong winds! The BBC film crew were busy during this time, so maybe some crew will be on TV!
After a nice evening meal, my watch had a 2 hour watch, supervised by our experienced watchleader and a member of permanent crew. What was required from us first timers was soon learnt.
Following an evening spent getting to know each other in the bar, and some characters being interviewed by Matt Allwright for the BBC, we retired to our snug bunks for the first night's sleep on board.
The next morning brought some wind, so a busy time for all crew members.
After releasing clewlines and buntlines, and hauling of sheets and halyards, we were a beautiful sight with 10 sails up. After sailing for the day, we arrived at Dartmouth at about 6.30 pm. During the day all crew had been kept busy setting the sails so that we could make maximum use of the gentle winds. As we arrived at Dartmouth, a small crowd appeared on the dockside to watch our coming alongside the jetty. They stayed to watch as a crew member in a wheelchair was hoisted to the first platform on the main mast, and listened to her laughter as she enjoyed the views and the thrill, which was all filmed by the BBC.
After dinner on board, most of the permanent and voyage crew adjourned to a local pub, where well earned drinks and merriment were enjoyed, and stories were shared.
As we retired to our bunks, we hoped for good winds and sunny days for the rest of the voyage.