Year 6 reaped the benefits of their massive fundraising efforts last week when an excited group arrived at Plymouth Yacht Haven and made their way to the ships, ‘Tectona’ and ‘Moosk' for their Tall Ships Expedition. After finding bunks, a guided tour and fittings for wet weather gear and life jackets, the first group of children set sail in lovely sunshine and a gentle breeze from Plymouth Sound to Burgh Island.
The breeze continued to fade away, so they motor sailed, with the crew of the Tectona providing music and dance entertainment on their spacious deck. They anchored at Burgh Island with the two ships tied to each other and everyone helped to prepare and clear up the evening meal, then spent time socialising before sundown.
On Tuesday, shore raiding parties secured an excellent section of beach and everyone enjoyed beach sports, sand & water play and sea swimming under the watchful gaze of RNLI lifeguards. This was followed by a beach BBQ and return to the ships. Again the group socialised on Tectona, playing a game on the mess table which improved group co-operation but ended with a very squishy banana!
The final leg of the trip for this first group was up the river, past Salcombe to within sight of Kingsbridge for a well-earned sleep. The next morning was spent cleaning, packing and motoring to Salcombe for a change of crew.
The second tranche of intrepid sailors arrived at 1400 on Wednesday and not a moment too soon. The weather was closing in and there was no time to spare. Everyone was given their safety equipment and a brief before setting the sails and heading out of the safety of Salcombe, into the chop. The plan was to head straight for Saltash and some sheltered water in order to avoid the worst of the weather that was to come in overnight. The crew warned that there might be some seasickness and they weren't wrong. It was hard sailing into the weather but everyone 'learnt the ropes' quickly and got stuck into the task at hand. As the evening drew on and land was still not in sight, dinner was eaten on deck to stop anyone feeling worse than they did. Mr Watts did very well from unwanted dinners due to seasickness!
The two boats finally arrive in Saltash late at night with the slower Tectona having the worst of the weather and arriving later than Moosk, at 0200. After a well-earned rest, everyone enjoyed a leisurely sail down the Hamoaze and across the Sound towards Cawsand Bay. Once there, everyone helped get the ship tidy and prepared to land at the beach for a barbecue and a cheeky ice cream. It happened to be Craig's (Tectona's skipper) birthday and so everyone enjoyed cake made by the girls on Moosk (whilst at sea) before having a dance on the decks long into the evening.
The following morning, after breakfast, both vessels set their sails and went the long way round to Mount Batten breakwater and the end of the voyage. It took some time to make sure the boats were left in good condition with all hands mucking in to clean and re-stow all gear.
Tall ships was again a huge success and a just reward for all the hard work Year Six have put in to their SATs preparation and fundraising. I'm sure that everyone will have come away feeling more confident in their own abilities and closer as a group of friends and classmates.
Tall Ships 2018 Photo Gallery