20 May 2022
THE WILLIAM HENRY SMITH SAILING TRIP 2022
Six of our students and staff had the opportunity to go on a Sailing Trip for a full week in May.
The journey started at Plymouth, boarding the boat and working with the crew on board to give them a chance to set sail that day. With all safety talks and checks completed, the team set sail and made it safely to Saltash. The crew were split into Port and Starboard teams and given their duties for the week. Which included cooking, cleaning, evening scrubbing the decks and everything sailing!
The next day, the teams cracked on the morning chores, and it wasn’t long before the boat was looking shipshape. The teams learnt how to pilot the boat, set the sails and drop the anchor. Some were especially brave and went out on the bowsprit to set the jib sails. The team then sailed from Saltash to Looe where they anchored for the evening. They also enjoyed a spot of fishing and managed to catch a dogfish.
By Day 3, the team had definitely found their sea legs. After spending the morning onshore at Looe, the team spent time navigating at the helm and everyone pitched in to ensure a safe journey to Portscatho. On the way, the team had the wonderful experience of a dolphin joining them. It was a truly special experience as the crew explained they have never had a dolphin stay with the boat for longer than a couple of minutes – the dolphin stayed with them for several hours, even staying with the boat after it had anchored!
The following day, the students took the opportunity to climb up the rigging and even learning to take down the top sails. The team then spent the morning in Portscatho, building sandcastles, crabbing and playing boules. Once they were back on the boat, they set sail and navigated some difficult waters by sailing between the rocks. The students did a superb job with navigation and communicating with each other to make sure they made it through safely.
After a few days the skipper met with staff and told them that the students had been absolutely outstanding throughout the week and were well on the way to completing a RYA Start Sailing qualification, which is an internationally recognised qualification. On the final sail, the students learnt how to tie knots and learnt more about the weather in relation to sailing before arriving at Sutton for the night.
The following morning, the team met with the ship’s crew to reflect on how the week had been. All the staff and students had really enjoyed the challenge of the experience and the ship’s crew praised everyone for the effort and determination they had shown over the trip. All the students successfully completed their RYA Start Sailing qualifications and a certificate of achievement that stated the team had completed 98 nautical miles as the crew of the ship. For the students and staff it has been an experience unlike any other.