On March 23rd, the combined Jimmy’s and Wintercomfort gang piled into a bus, double-checked their supply lists, and set off for a week-long adventure of a lifetime. 6 individuals from both services together with 3 support workers set sail for what would be a 200-mile journey around the Thames Estuary in Faramir, one of the Cirdan Sailing Trust’s 3 ships.
Once settled in (which took a few hours – Miranda may have over-packed), it was a delight to see everyone so keen to jump in and help stowing sails, loading the dingy, coiling ropes, learning to read the navigation instruments, and playing a role in plotting our course for the week. During the trip, each and every member of the crew had the opportunity to steer the ship, hoist and trim the sails, tack (and tack some more), and mark our course on the map. After being dividing into shifts of three, each group was responsible for the day-to-day running of the ship including making meals, washing up, cleaning bathrooms and living spaces, and manning the ship. Finally, everyone played a vital role in preparing the ship for the evening and readying it in the morning. All individuals proved to have skills and proficiencies highly suited for life on a ship including fantastic cooking skills, amazing senses of humour, surprising resilience to seasickness, an impressive ability to work through pain, and great balance.
Many, many thanks to the Cirdan Trust who made the trip possible and to everyone who contributed photos (Callum, Miranda, Tom). It was an experience of a lifetime.