We were all hugely relieved recently when we were able to finally get one group of young carers away on a successful sail on Cambria after 2 false starts in 2013 when bad weather stopped play twice for the same group. We are, as you know, a motor-less barge so completely reliant on the sails, and therefore sensible winds, to move us about, and if the assigned Skipper on the day decides that it is not safe to sail, then we are as wind-bound as would have been the Sailormen of old. They would have lost their livelihood; at least we ‘only’ lose the pleasure of being able to take the carers out, though it is surely just as galling for them.
Well, on our first charter of 2014 we were finally able to fix this and one of the young trainees has been generous enough to write us a report of his day. I hand you over at this point to Jed Pearson who needs no further ‘wrapping’. Thank you very much for the write up Jed, which I will almost certainly reprint in the next newsletter also.
Jed Pearson: My trip on the Cambria.
It was third time lucky for Crossroads Young Carers to sail on the Cambria; it had been called off twice (in 2013) because of bad weather so when we got to Gillingham Pier and it was chucking it down our morale was not at its best.
We had to wait for the tide to rise before we could get aboard and by this time the weather was improving so it looked like we would finally get to sail. We met our fabulous crew and had a safety briefing before we set off.
We set off up the Medway because we couldn’t fit under the bridge downstream. I had a chance to hoist the mainsail and then we had to turn around and head back because another boat was coming in our path. Once the boat had passed we turned back again and I had ago at steering the Cambria, this was hard because the wheel was so heavy and the wind was pulling the boat off course.
We dropped the anchor and had lunch of bacon sarnies and brownie, YUM!! But had to help with the washing up. After lunch we practiced our knots, I learnt the figure of eight, round turn and two half hitches ready for the Great Knot Race. We got put in teams and had to bounce along the deck on the fenders then when we got to the end Reggie or Ian gave us a knot to do, the team I was on won YIPPEE! Our next task was to scrub the decks and hatches ready for the Sunday open day.
We winched the anchor back up and my job was to put the anchor chain away tidily in its box, we headed back up the Medway to Gillingham pier where had to beach the boat in the mud because the tide wasn’t in far enough, we waited long enough to be able to float the barge boat back to the pier.
We said our thanks to the crew for an amazing but tiring day and I cannot wait to go again!
Thank you Cambria, Crossroads and the Rotary Club
Good Man Jed!