Its hard to comprehend that about 10 months ago I had never stepped foot on a yacht, let alone sail. As I set off on the flight from Leeds/Bradford airport to Southampton I was both excited and nervous. I felt confident that I finally had my kit right, thanks to my sponsors, clipper and the usefulness of social media. I had re-read the Clipper manual, practised my knots and tried to imagine my responsibility at each evolution.
After a good sleep at one of the homely Bed and Breakfasts in Gosport who are used to Clipper trainees I met my crew for the week. Day one we took the IASF/World sailing safety course and exam which was a very useful revision exercise. We then met our skipper Patrick and first mate Judy who spent the next 5 days putting us through our paces.
I thoroughly enjoyed level 3, as a team we worked so well together. We had incidents on the way but these were good training exercises and even after a 18 hour shift we all made an effort to keep the morale high, we looked after each other, helped each other and learnt so much. I went home on such a high that my line manager at work the next day described me as ‘bouncing off the walls’! Though exhaustion did set in after a while and catching up with sleep was vital, I was on lock down for 18 hours.
Next important date is the 20th May, it is crew allocation day in Portsmouth where we will find out which skipper, team and yacht we will be with. Thanks to everyone for their support so far.