Jubilee Sailing Trust set sail to Seine!July 11, 2013 6:58 pm
FTT Global helps send money all over the world, and we are delighted to support the Jubilee Sailing Trust. Jonathan Bean from JST recently set sail on a voyage to Seine, we caught up with him to find out more…
The Jubilee Sailing Trust operates the two Tall Ships, Lord Nelson and Tenacious. For over two decades they have taken thousands of people, of all physical abilities, on traditional sail training adventures. As impressive three masted barques, the two ships are often invited to prestigious sailing events the world over. One such event was the recent Armada in the French town of Rouen.
Tenacious made the trip up the Seine to fly the flag for the JST’s ethos of sailing for all. I was fortunate enough to be on board for five days of the Armada and the nine day voyage back to the UK.
As the second largest public event in France (after Le Tour), the Armada is a spectacular event. The banks of the Seine played host to Tall Ships and sail training vessels from all over the world, including the Russian giant Kruzenshtern. Also in attendance were the immaculately turned out Cuauhtemoc; the hospitable Shabab of Oman; the massive, ‘blanc’ Monge; and HMS Blyth of the Royal Navy. Tucked away rather anonymously, but attracting a sizeable crowd of knowledgeable connoisseurs were all five of the surviving Pen Duicks of Eric Tabarly.
Days were spent dodging the crowds and touring the ships. The nights were spent listening to the likes of Mika and Madness on the festival stage. Evenings on board the ship in our down time included an ‘Engineers’ Barbecue’ (loud music, lots of meat) and music from a French highland band.
The voyage crew joined on the last Saturday and early the next morning we slipped away from our mooring to lead the Grand Parade de la Seine. This was a procession of all the ships in the Armada, sailing in line from Rouen out to the sea and attracted cheering clouds along almost the whole length of the river. Extra cheering was enjoyed when we attempted a Mexican wave with the crew stood out on the yards.
Just before we reached the Channel, HMS Blyth overtook Tenacious. After matching our speeds we then engaged them in a water fight, landing a number of water bombs on their bridge. It was always going to be a one-sided fight against a vessel with such superior firepower, and we should perhaps be thankful they only retaliated with hoses.
The week consisted of sailing along the Northern coast of France, staying in Cherbourg and Boulogne, trying to get as much sail up as possible in the fickle winds. Despite a mix of abilities and experience, everyone is important. We were even able to help the disabled crew members ascend the mast, with a little assistance.
On the penultimate day we sailed into London, taking the opportunity of motoring up the Thames to stow the sails and tie down the clew lines. This is tricky work to carry out aloft during a Force 6 – 8, but resulted in massive grins when completed. Our final night was spent moored in Canary Wharf, enjoying the looks of those surprised to see a tall ship amongst the tall buildings.
When it came time to leave, everybody disembarked and went their separate ways; tired, but happy with a whole crew of new friends and incredible memories.
Anyone over the age of sixteen can sail on a voyage with the JST (twelve and over for Day Sails). For more information please look at www.jst.org.uk , find the Jubilee Sailing Trust on Facebook, phone 023 8042 6849, or email [email protected]. They really do change lives.
Categorised in: News
This post was written by Kayleigh Driscoll