Like any other business we have to keep our customers happy so I am delighted today to be able to bring you some good feedback right from the sharp end. One of the lads on a recent Rotary sponsored, sail training charter has very generously written us the piece attached describing his adventures. He is Rick Martin (12) and he has also emailed us some nice pictures, one of which I used in a post recently and this one of Rick himself clambering out along the bow sprit nets (brave man!) I am using today. The article is, I am sure you will find, a brilliant piece of work and I am going to let Rick speak for himself.
Rick Martin writes…
“I was looking forward to going on board SB Cambria on September the 27th because I live near the river and see lots of ships coming and going but I had only ever been on a ferry and knew it would be a lot different. I enjoy outdoor activities and being away from home isn’t new for me.
When we arrived I finally saw how big SB Cambria actually was and I thought it was MASSIVE and had itchy feet desperate to get on board. Within the first few minutes on board I was learning new things like going down the stairs backwards. From there on I was learning non-stop. Some things were more important than others like how Skipper Ian likes his tea (every 20 minutes, milk and no sugar!).
Sorting out and adjusting life jackets was a very IMPORTANT job. To start with it felt weird with the life jacket on but I soon got used to it. Next job was wet weather gear, this was very funny as everything was too big for me – the only large things about me are my mouth and appetite! However on the positive side after all it would keep me dry.
My first meal on board was dinner and it was very tasty. It was nice to get to know everyone as we sat around the table to eat. Then we had to muck in washing and drying up, this was no problem to me as I have to help out at home with the chores. The tide was not right so we set the sails so we could set sail in the morning, this was challenging and hard work but lots of FUN. After that is was bedtime.
I woke up and had to pull SB Cambria along the pier wall so we could finally set sail. It was very challenging even with 7 of us but we had to all work together otherwise it was not going to budge. As we headed out into open water it was breakfast time (mmm bacon baps) and tea for the first time we felt the movement of the water beneath us, I thought we might have heard the water lapping against the sides but we didn’t, instead the peace was broken by Skipper Ian shouting orders!
During the next few days we did some fun things and some things that were vital to make the boat move. Some of the fun things were climbing the mast and out to the very front (both were a long way when I only have little legs), being in the row boat – rowing (phew hard work but only going round in circles !!!) and using the motor (mmm very nice !!!!), using spare tear-drop shaped rubber fenders as space hoppers, a knot race and Playing cards. The jobs we were encouraged to do were “Leo” (turning) and then tacking, steering (quite hard), raising and lowering the sail, raising anchor (hard work and messy hands), listening to the radio (shipping not music), looking out front for buoys (not boys) to avoid. There were some jobs we had to do like washing the decks. My favourite thing was “Leo” (turning) and then tacking because it was a lot of fun and you had to be quick. My least favourite thing aboard was washing the decks even though we used fire fighter hoses. I was determined to prove being smallest was not a problem and do everything on board as I wanted to make the most of my time on SB Cambria. I saw some AMAZING sites like seeing the Montgomery with its 2 rings of buoys around it. The first ring acted as a warning ring but the second as an offence ring because of the amount of explosives on board. We were lucky with the weather as it gave us lovely sun rises and sun sets.
I was sad to go home but made the most coming back to shore by dough-nutting in the little boat as I was given the chance to drive it. All in all it was a FANTASTIC weekend and I would love to have the experience again but do more sailing instead of as many activities. I am really grateful to all who give their time to make sure SB Cambria is available to allow others like me the experience of being on board. It really is a truly amazing experience. Thank you all.”
Thank you, Rick!