Sailing the high seas!

Vera O’Riordan of MacEgan Senior Branch, Macroom, and Helen Moriarty of Bandon Senior Branch were lucky enough to go on a tall ship voyage with Sail Training Ireland. Here Vera writes about the experience:

My name is Vera and I am a Senior Brancher in the South West Region with IGG. This year I had the opportunity to take part in the Tall Ships voyage representing IGG along with Helen from Bandon! Helen and I both agree that the Tall Ships voyage was one of the most exciting events we have ever been involved with through IGG and loved meeting young people from other youth organisations, such as Youth Reach, the Sea Scouts and also from youth organisations based in Liverpool.

As part of the voyage, we stayed on a tall ship with 20 other young people between the ages of 18 and 30 and with a crew of 20-odd volunteers and  crew members, including a chef. Each bunk had six beds in it and we all ate together in the main rest area called the ‘mess’.

During the day we helped out on deck, adjusting the sails by climbing the masts with harnesses (scary, but amazing!), monitoring the direction and steering the ship. We were organised into groups called watches where we rotated monitoring the ship through the night. It was really exciting sailing at two o’clock in the morning!

On day three we had a break where we spent the day on the Isle of Man. It was fab! We went to the beach and relaxed in the local bars while the ship was docked nearby. By day five we had reached Liverpool and had become close friends with both the participants and the crew members. Even after the trip ended we keep in touch and have planned a reunion scuba diving in Dublin!

The tall ships’ experience requires an open mind and a willingness to get stuck into work, just like us Guides do at camp. A lot of the rotas and work ethic from camp translates really well to getting the full benefit of the tall ships, so if you love camping you’ll enjoy the busyness of sailing on a tall ship for sure!

Remember to pack sea-sickness tablets and something for nausea – I found them handy on the first day we set sail!