|TS Pelican in Weymouth harbour|
The Tall Ship Pelican, based in Weymouth, operated by the charity Adventure Under Sail, provides sailing experiences for people of all ages. When it’s not sailing off to warmer climes or taking part in Tall Ships races, the Pelican is available for hire, both by private parties and small groups joining a scheduled day sail.
What’s involved in a day of sailing on the Pelican?
I was invited to join the first day sail of the season for 2014, on the first weekend in April. Unfortunately, the forecast wasn’t too promising, with rain expected from around 9am to 5pm, exactly the times of the trip. But I was determined that the weather would not dampen my first experience of tall ship sailing.
|Teamwork gets the job done|
Pulling on ropes is allowed, even encouraged, and there’s plenty of opportunity for that as sails are raised, lowered and adjusted. Some of us were given the chance to steer the ship, using the huge wheel at the stern. We were encouraged to ask lots of questions of the crew, a mix of permanent staff and volunteers.
Working on a sailing ship gives you an appetite and we were fortified by mid-morning bacon sandwiches and a wonderful lunch served from the busy galley.
Networking and knot working
Spending several hours in close proximity with others who share a common interest, in this case doing business in Weymouth and Portland, inevitably leads to interesting conversations and the exchange of contact details.
|Lots of rope on a sailing ship|
No trip on the water is complete without a discussion of seasickness and there was plenty of sharing of extreme past experiences. Fortunately, while some of us may have had moments of discomfort (particularly when spending time inside) there was no sign of anyone having a real problem.
As for the weather during our day sail - the rain held off until after lunch and we had a few moments where the sun almost broke through. Our glimpses, through the murky mists, of Weymouth, Portland and the Jurassic Coast, were enough to show us that on a sunny day, sailing on the Pelican would be a very different experience.
For more information about the Tall Ship Pelican and Adventure Under Sail, visit their website. You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook.