What it's like to crew a tall ship

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

Crew on board tall shipSail Training International

Tucked away in a few ports around the world, the last of their kind and so little advertised that it’s easy to miss them altogether, are tall ships that offer berths to ordinary people. These are working sailing vessels, but for parts of the year, usually in summer, anyone can book a berth aboard, and they specialise in teaching people how to sail.

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

This is real sailing – you will be climbing the rigging, setting sails and scrubbing decks all the way – and what they offer is something that not many places can any more: adventure. And as long as you are able to stay out on deck for a four-hour watch and you can hurry away if somebody gets too enthusiastic with the deck hose (and it is so much fun to get enthusiastic with the deck hose), you are welcome aboard.

I came across Pelican, a beautiful square-rigger, after the second lockdown. I was miserable, and I wanted to do some work with other real humans, so I got in touch with a ship owner and volunteered to help with the vessel’s refit.

Global Tech News Daily

Then I did it again, and spent a stupendously happy three weeks in a boiler suit painting things and fixing holes in the deck. Maintenance on sailing ships is constant, so if you love DIY and you want to do something that doesn’t involve a desk and does involve some of the funniest, most interesting human beings you could hope to meet, it is always worth volunteering.

Finally, last summer, I did a two-week voyage from Glasgow to Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides.

Global Tech News Daily

One of the most satisfying things in the world is walking along a dockside with your backpack, aiming for the pirate ship. My first day was in Glasgow, where Pelican was moored on a part of the Clyde with a huge 13ft tidal range.

Natasha Pulley

It’s a lot of fun to get on one of these ships when it isn’t level with the dock. When the range is so big, it’s impossible to set up a proper gangway, so what you have to do is holler, get someone onboard to take your bag off you and climb down. It feels like an achievement to land on the deck after that, and it sets a lovely salty tone for the rest of the voyage. The greeting I got was amazing. It’s not a myth that crew feel like family – if your family is enormous and full of glorious, crazy people who make a living sailing through the Arctic and express their fondness for you by attacking you with a wet flannel.

What follows, whichever ship you join, is two days of intensive training. Everyone is fitted with a safety harness and shown how to climb the rigging. Everyone is taught how to helm the ship and use a ship’s wheel and compass. Everyone takes part in a full fire drill, is shown how to put on a life jacket (it is too loose if the second mate can punch the bottom of it up into your chin) and how to get into an immersion suit (there is no dignified way). Everyone is taught the right knots to tie aloft, for life lines, and for everything else. I loved every second.

It’s usually six people to a cabin so, after lockdown, it was heaven: there is never a moment when you can be lonely – and I’ve never slept so well. Each cabin has a smart little bathroom on Pelican, which feels like total luxury in comparison with more traditional ships. When water aboard is low, it might only be a shower every three days – but you get used to it so quickly, it seems amazing that you used to care so much about wearing a fresh shirt every day on land.

Tall ship sailing – Valery Vasilevskiy/Sail Training International

Once the voyage starts, living is strictly structured. The watch system is four hours on, eight hours off, four hours on. This means being woken up in the night to go up on deck in the Atlantic.It’s the coldest I have ever been, but it is also uplifting to see the summer dawn over the water at four in the morning.

I won’t lie: seasickness is a consideration. I get it badly. The bright side is that people are very understanding and will tell you maddening, distracting riddles. There is one about somebody being found dead in a desert holding a drinking straw that annoyed me for a full hour.

Don’t let the watch system put you off: you get a break twice a week. Every few days, the ship comes in to a harbour. One of our early stops was Staffa, a tiny and unpopulated island formed of incredible, eerie natural black rock columns. Tucked among them is Fingal’s Cave, and across the other side of the island is – drum roll – a puffin colony. With no people permanently on the island, the puffins tend to be cheerful around humans, and I sat about 2ft away from some for hours. After staring at my kitchen table for most of 2020 and 2021, it was medical-grade magic.

Island of Boreray in the Saint Kilda archipelago, Outer Hebrides – Chris Gomersall / Alamy Stock Photo

The landscapes of the Outer Hebrides are a good enough reason to do a tall ship voyage in Scotland. But, honestly, it doesn’t matter where you go. What sets tall ships apart from other holidays are the people on board. This particular voyage of Pelican’s was chartered by a nature conservation team called Darwin 200, who were filming a documentary about Britain’s lesser-known islands. Then there was an artist who produced charcoal sketches of the places we visited; there were the permanent staff, all seasoned sailors with the most unbelievable stories about life at sea; and there were people like me who just wanted to sail, from students to retired people in their late 60s. It is a tiny taste of a life that is almost lost. Try it. It’s the best thing in the world.

How to book your place on a tall ship

There are lots of ships to choose from. At the more luxurious end of the spectrum is the Dutch ship Oosterschelde, which has a piano and a bar in its beautiful saloon. For a grittier experience, there is the Spanish galleon, Atyla, which has engines but only just, and very little electricity. Search for the right voyage for you at sailtraininginternational.org/find-your-adventure. Berths are usually priced at about £90-£110 per night. Full board is included. From 2023-2025, the company that chartered Pelican for my voyage will be doing a “Darwin 200” world voyage, following the course of the HMS Beagle. Berths will be available aboard for 27 separate voyage legs, across the world (darwin200.com)

News Related


New York Rangers get another comeback win to force Game 7 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

PITTSBURGH — How many times can the New York Rangers dig themselves into a hole and climb back out? At least one more, as of Friday night. The Blueshirts came ... Read more »

Wilson, balanced Aces cruise to 96-73 victory over Dream

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. (AP) — A’ja Wilson scored 15 points, Kelsey Plum had 14 points and 11 assists and the Las Vegas Aces rolled to a 96-73 victory over the ... Read more »

EXPLAINER: Why frustration lingers in Okinawa 50 years later

The Associated PressFILE – U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Mike Anglen of Turner, Ore., center, stands atop a cliff as Sgt. Bryan Wallace of Pikin, Ill., waits for his turn before ... Read more »

Astros beat Nationals 6-1 for 11th straight victory

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jose Altuve homered on the first pitch of the game, Yordan Alvarez and Yuli Gurriel also went deep and the Houston Astros extended their winning streak to ... Read more »

Kreider scores late, Rangers edge Pens 5-3 to force Game 7

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Chris Kreider’s long slap shot bounced over Louis Domingue and into the net with 1:28 left and the New York Rangers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 on ... Read more »

Astros push winning streak to 11, roll past Nationals 6-1

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jose Altuve homered on the first pitch of the game, and Yordan Alvarez and Yuli Gurriel also went deep to help the Houston Astros extend their winning ... Read more »

Moustakas, Drury power Reds to 8-2 victory over Pirates

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Mike Moustakas homered twice and Brandon Drury drove in four runs to break out of a slump and lead the resurgent Cincinnati Reds to an 8-2 victory ... Read more »

Peterson's bases-loaded walk lifts Brewers over Marlins 2-1

MIAMI (AP) — Jace Peterson walked against Anthony Bender with the bases loaded in the ninth inning and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Miami Marlins 2-1 Friday night. After starters ... Read more »

Padres: No cancer found during manager Bob Melvin's prostate surgery

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Padres say no cancer was found when manager Bob Melvin had prostate surgery on Wednesday. Melvin, 60, was recovering at home Friday after ... Read more »

Ogunbowale, Gray help Wings rally past Mystics, 94-86

WASHINGTON (AP) — Arike Ogunbowale scored 27 points, Allisha Gray had 21 and the Dallas Wings overcame a 15-point second-quarter deficit to beat the Washington Mystics 94-86 on Friday night. ... Read more »

Resigning North Dakota senator led lawmakers in travel costs

The Associated PressFILE – North Dakota Sen. Ray Holmberg listens during a joint House and Senate Appropriations Committee meeting at the Capitol in Bismarck, N.D., on Jan. 7, 2009. Holmberg, ... Read more »

Residents in picturesque California county hit with gas prices topping $7 a gallon

A California county known for its spectacular mountains and proximity to Yosemite National Park has been paying the nation’s highest gas prices. Read more »

Boudreau to return as coach of Canucks next season

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Bruce Boudreau will return as coach of the Vancouver Canucks next season after helping to turn the struggling NHL club around as a midyear replacement. ... Read more »

New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern tests positive for COVID

On Location: May 13, 2022 Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.The Associated Press WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has tested positive for COVID-19 ... Read more »

Today in History for May 14th

Highlights of this day in history: Colonists go ashore in Virginia to set up Jamestown; Lewis and Clark begin to explore Louisiana Territory; Israel founded; Skylab launched; Movie producer George ... Read more »

Twitter CEO expects Elon Musk acquisition to close, addresses spending cuts

Musk is awaiting details supporting calculations that spam, fake accounts represent less than 5% of Twitter's users Read more »

Padres: No cancer found during Bob Melvin's prostate surgery

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Padres say no cancer was found when manager Bob Melvin had prostate surgery on Wednesday. Melvin, 60, was recovering at home Friday after ... Read more »

Renovated NYC museum shows indigenous perspectives

The American Museum of Natural History in New York City recently finished a major renovation of its exhibition on the native peoples of the northwest coast of North America. Curators ... Read more »

Police release 911 calls in Gilgo Beach case

A woman who disappeared in a beach community on New York’s Long Island more than a decade ago, sparking an investigation into a possible serial killer, said “there’s somebody after ... Read more »

Academy Awards set 2023 Oscars for March 12

The Associated PressFILE – Oscar statue on the red carpet at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Next year’s Academy Awards will ... Read more »

Actor Fred Ward, of 'Tremors,' 'The Right Stuff' fame, dies

The Associated PressFILE – Fred Ward, a cast member in “30 Minutes or Less,” poses at the premiere of the film in Los Angeles on Aug. 8, 2011. Ward, a ... Read more »

Judge refuses to drop elections suit against Trump, media

NEW YORK — A Colorado judge on Friday denied motions to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by an election systems worker against former President Donald Trump’s campaign, two of its ... Read more »

Q&A: Becky G unveils every side of herself in latest album

The Associated PressFILE – Becky G appears at the Oscars in Los Angeles on March 27, 2022. Beck G’s latest album is “Esquemas.” (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File) NEW YORK ... Read more »

North Korea reports 21 new deaths as it battles COVID-19 outbreak

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea reports 21 new deaths as it battles COVID-19 outbreak. Read more »

North Korea confirms 21 new deaths as it battles COVID-19

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea says 21 people died and 174,440 people were newly found with fever symptoms on Friday alone as the country scrambles to slow the spread ... Read more »

White Sox place Giolito on COVID list, activate Vaughn

The Chicago White Sox placed ace Lucas Giolito on the COVID-19 injured list and activated outfielder Andrew Vaughn following a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte on Friday. Giolito began experiencing ... Read more »

Traded back and forth, Ford learns to live out of suitcase

NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Ford has learned to travel light — and quickly. Since the start of the season, the 29-year-old first baseman has played for Tacoma, San Francisco ... Read more »

Falcon 9 rocket launches Starlink satellites

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched 53 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit from California on Friday. (May 13) Read more »

Celtics' Robert Williams remains out for Game 6 vs. Bucks

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Boston forward/center Robert Williams missed his third straight game with an injured left knee as the Celtics tried to keep their season alive Friday night in Game ... Read more »

Padres sign Robinson Canó, plan to use him off the bench

ATLANTA (AP) — The San Diego Padres have signed veteran second baseman Robinson Canó to a major league contract and plan to use him as a left-handed bat off the ... Read more »

WNBA star's Russia detention extended by 1 month

The lawyer for WNBA star Brittney Griner says her pre-trial detention in Russia has been extended by one month. Alexander Boykov told The Associated Press the relatively short extension indicated ... Read more »

Louisiana justices toss COVID-related charges against pastor

Hundreds of thousands of Americans fighting long-haul symptoms from COVID-19 Dr. David Putrino from Mount Sinai Health System and COVID long-hauler Joel Fram discuss the long-term effects of the disease.The ... Read more »

Sandy Hook lawsuits against Alex Jones on track to resume

The Associated PressFILE – This Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, photo shows radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones at Capitol Hill in Washington. The Sandy Hook families’ lawsuits against ... Read more »

Rockies' Bryant closer to return after cortisone shot

DENVER (AP) — Colorado Rockies outfielder Kris Bryant took swings in the cage Friday for the first time since he was sidelined with a sore back nearly three weeks ago ... Read more »

Mariners demote Jarred Kelenic to minors after poor start

NEW YORK (AP) — Rather than make his Citi Field debut against the team that traded him, Jarred Kelenic was demoted to Triple-A Tacoma by the Seattle Mariners on Friday ... Read more »

Biden: ASEAN partnership 'critical' in this moment

Looking to strengthen ties, President Joe Biden welcomes leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to Washington for the first time. “We’re launching a new era in U.S.-ASEAN relations,” ... Read more »

Phil Mickelson will not defend his title at next week's PGA Championship

Phil Mickelson caught lightning in a bottle last year at Kiawah Island, winning a major championship at 50 years of age. The fairways flooded, and the golf world stood and ... Read more »

Tennessee Titans' Malik Willis on Ryan Tannehill's mentorship comments: 'Everything is cool'

The Tennessee Titans didn’t take issue with Ryan Tannehill’s comments about mentoring third-round rookie Malik Willis. Willis and coach Mike Vrabel were asked about Tannehill’s scrutinized remarks following the first ... Read more »

Lawyers plan suit against Lufthansa over Jewish passengers

Lawyers for 26 passengers said Friday they told Lufthansa that they will sue the German airline for refusing to let members of a large group of Orthodox Jewish passengers board ... Read more »

Wild face offseason after yet another early ouster

While the Minnesota Wild were stacking up franchise records and securing the extra home game for the first round, general manager Bill Guerin carefully acknowledged a “great year” for the ... Read more »