18th July 12
26 young people are now halfway through their sailing trip
On Monday 26 young people who have been treated in hospitals in Cardiff, Bristol, Newcastle, Cornwall, Liverpool and Manchester arrived to begin their sailing trip. After the usual welcome and teambuilding games, everybody went down to their boats to get settled in before the majority went to the swimming pool to mess around on the giant floats and have a game of wild water polo! After this it was back to the boats for games and winding down for their first night sleeping on board.
The next morning after breakfast the crews had more safety briefings and got ready to sail. The sun was out which made a nice change and everyone left the pontoons by around 10:30 heading out to The Solent. Ellen popped down to say hi to everyone, and briefly joined the Moonspray crew to leave the river then left by RIB with Norman when they got to Princes Consort.
The boats sailed down to Newtown Creek where they all moored up and had lunch. Lead skipper Mark had his saxophone on board and although Alisha had never played one before, but using her skills as a flute player she serenaded everyone with Robbie Williams ‘Angels’! After this some boats motored and some sailed down to Yarmouth, their home for the second night. At Yarmouth the crews went and had tea and doughnuts courtesy of the Royal Solent Yacht Club, and afterwards the weather was good enough for them to go to the local playing field for some games of Rounders and a bit of kite flying, which was apparently lots of fun!
The crews cooked dinner, chicken stir-fry, on board their boats then there were games on each boat in the evening including Irish Snap, and bingo with playing cards!
On Wednesday morning the groups have gone for a tour of the local Yarmouth Lifeboat, and have been joined by Patron Ellen for the morning.
The crew on board Morning Dew pictured here had this to say about their time with the Trust so far:
Elise, aged 14 and treated in Cardiff said, “I was very nervous about the boat to start with but when we went sailing it was good. We sat right at the front of the boat and got really wet! I also had a go at steering, which was fun. Last night we played Rounders and Corris and Luke cooked dinner which was really nice.”
Luke, aged 14 and treated in Manchester said, “It was my first time sailing and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. I had a lot of fun. I’ve helped put the sails up the main mast, steered the boat and helped out with everything really, I’m enjoying getting really involved. There’s been nothing I haven’t enjoyed so far. This morning I helped cook breakfast which was bacon, egg and sausage so everyone’s set up for today.”
Corris, aged 14 and treated in Cardiff said, “It’s my first time sailing too and its been really good. It feels like we have lots of freedom and I’m getting on well with everyone. Sitting on the front of the boat was quite a lot of fun and I’m getting involved with everything. Last night we played Rounders and football, and the volunteers are really good, especially Rob the ripper!”
Sian, aged 14 and treated in Cardiff said, “ It’s been really good. We’ve been learning different things and sailing by ourselves and also making fun of the skipper! The best bit so far was sitting at the front of the boat getting all wet because it was really windy. Last night we played cards and this morning I helped with breakfast of bacon, eggs and sausages.”
Ashley, aged 14 and treated in Cardiff said, “I’ve really enjoyed the trip so far. When we were sailing on the boat the waves were coming in and we were going up and down which was fun. I had a go at steering which was a bit scary, I thought I was going to crash but didn’t. This morning I’ve just done the washing up.”
The crew of New Dawn pictured here also had a great day. Beatrice on board aged 12 and treated in Bristol said, “It’s been great. I’ve definitely enjoyed the sailing and liked putting the sails up. My favourite bit was gong to the front of the boat and I did the titanic pose when we were moored up yesterday. I’m learning a lot about sailing and we’ve got a rota for kitchen duties so I did the drying up yesterday and will be washing up today. In the evenings we’ve been playing a lot of Uno, Articulate and board games. Ellen MacArthur has just walked onto our boat now.”
Adam, aged 11 and treated in Newcastle said, “It’s been cool, I’ve liked the sailing and have helped to put the sails up and helped with tacking. I steered the boat which was weird because if you turn one way it tips, but that’s quite fun. Yesterday I helped chop up stuff for dinner.”
Some of the crews have left Yarmouth to sail now and others will be departing soon to sail back up to East Cowes Marina for the BBQ. Have fun everyone!!
"I would love to return to Bradwell next year. Thank you so much. I had such a good time, got on with everyone including staff who were really friendly and made the week great fun! Thank you and hope to see you next year.”
- Frances, 16
“Jay returned full of confidence, chat, and knowledge of sailing. Jay had ‘life’ back in his eyes. He enjoyed the whole experience. His highlight was the privilege of sailing a yacht with Ellen. He would love to sail again. He even cooked a lasagne on his own for his yachting crew (He never cooks!!) He was full of pride.”
- Mother of Jay, 16