Not very challenging seas

It’s all go here. Somehow I only have five more months left of work.

I spent last week in the Solent as a volunteer watch leader on Challenger 2 with the Tall Ships Youth Trust. Skipper was Sue Geary and we had a number of 16-25 year olds on board for a Competent Crew course. The weather was rather unexciting – we spent a lot of time motorsailing – but it was a very useful week in terms of becoming familiar with the watch leader roles and responsibilities – something I would like to do for at least one leg on the race.

I am watch leading for another of their young person courses in April, and have had a lot of fun with the Tall Ships Youth Trust in 2015’s Fastnet Race too.


Calm seas off Anvil Point…


…and Old Harry Rocks

This trip was on one of the old Challenge 72s – which used to take part in the BT Global Challenge yacht race before the company went into administration – so they are of a similar size and style to the Clipper race boats, although with some important differences:

  • Built in 2000 as opposed to the current Clipper 70s which first sailed in the 2013 race.
  • Steel hull, instead of the lighter foam reinforced plastic (FRP) of the Clipper 70s.
  • Hull & rig designed to sail against the wind, instead of with the wind. This is a fairly important difference, and makes a lot of difference in terms of speed and handling at different points of sail.

The day before this trip I passed the Marine Radio (SRC) Course, which is a prerequisite for the Yachtmaster qualification. Whether I’ll go for my Yachtmaster before or after the race is still to be decided, but at least I have most of the essential prerequisities sorted!

Finally, due to visa requirements, I’ve had to cancel a sailing trip in favour of an essential trip to the US embassy in London for a visa interview. I can only test the patience of my long-time employers Met Geo Environmental so far…

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