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Posted on: 18/10/2016

TALL SHIPS VOYAGE 2016 - Report by Zubair, 10H

Tall Ships Voyage 2016 by Zubair Hussain 10H

My name is Zubair and I was part of the 2016 Tall Ships Voyage aboard the Stavros S Niarchos.

I was accompanied by a few other Year 10 students from our school: Ohee, Ibrahim, Tanweerul, May, Destiny, Lily and Tuilulaith. The main objective of this voyage was to be able to sail from London all the way to Southampton. Along the way we made several stops at places such as Weymouth, Dover and the Isle of Wight.

The first day was a long day as we had to learn all the tricks of sailing a ship. Aboard the ship we were put into teams which were known as ‘watches’. Personally I was in blue watch and within this watch I knew no one but, in my opinion, that was a good thing as it helped me make friends along the way. I think it’s safe to say that we all bonded together straight away and from a group of different schools we became a crew or a family.   We were a group of people with different personalities but put together we were something special.

Now back to the voyage itself: we had to climb the ship and put the sails down on our first day to get used to it and learn lots of different knots and that was our first day over really. The next day we decided to lift anchor and leave Canary Wharf and London behind. We decided that we were going to sail throughout the day but also the night and this was called ‘night watch’.  At first we were all excited seeing the stars that we don’t usually see in London but as soon as we woke up the next day we were all sick and it was a feeling that all of us will want to forget. And that was pretty much the story of that day: being sick.

So the next day we were all truly happy as we were going to get shore leave  and after being on a ship for three days we all couldn’t wait to be back on land. It was definitely weird being back on land as we all still felt as though we were on the ship rocking about and having strangers walk past and look at us as if we couldn’t walk straight. So the shore leave happened at Weymouth and we couldn’t complain as there was a beach and it was sunny, unlike most parts of England.

After our little shore leave we were supposed to stop somewhere else but instead decided that we were going to go straight to Southampton through the Isle of Wight and in order to do that we had to do another night watch, but this time we all made sure that we took our pills before taking part in our night watch. Finally, we reached Southampton and it all hit us that we weren’t going to see each other again for a long time but made sure that the trip back on the coach was one that we would remember. And that was our voyage, the 2016 Tall Ships Voyage.

Being on the Tall Ships Voyage I have definitely learnt a number of skills but most importantly I made a lot of new friends from different schools and that was the beauty of the whole voyage.

When the teachers told us it was a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ it sure was and I am very sure that everybody else who was also part of it would agree with me.

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