Ship ahoy!

SHIP AHOY! Ten students from St Michael's School embarked on a five-day Tall Ships Adventures voyage around the English Channel. Here they are pictured on their ship, Challenger 4, when it was docked in Portsmouth.

SHIP AHOY! Ten students from St Michael’s School embarked on a five-day Tall Ships Adventures voyage around the English Channel. Here they are pictured on their ship, Challenger 4, when it was docked in Portsmouth.

It was a tall order but pupils from St Michael’s School in Wimborne met the challenge when they were tasked with sailing around the English Channel.

The Year 8 youngsters – and their mascot Sid the sloth ­- embarked on a special five day voyage with Tall Ships Adventures.

They set sail from Portsmouth and took a course that saw them sail past Poole, Old Harry Rocks, the Jurassic Coast and then onto the Channel Islands.

During their adventure the five boys and five girls not only got to learn how to sail but also discovered what it was like to work side by side with an experienced crew.

Headteacher of St Michael’s, Ron Jenkinson, said: “This was a fantastic experience for our pupils and they had an absolutely wonderful time.

“Our school partners with an amazing local charity called the John Thornton Young Achievers Foundation which made this trip possible.

“They create opportunities for young people to stretch themselves and open up new passions.

“So being out at sea for so long and in a complex and powerful yacht certainly tested every aspect of our pupils’ determination and teamwork.

“It truly was an adventure of a lifetime and something they will never forget.”

During the trip, the students reported their experiences via an online blog.

Entry one read: “Viewed a very pretty sunset, jelly fish and what looked like animated water as we got closer to Poole. We arrived at 10pm (ish) and went to bed ready for our 6am wake-up call!”

Entry two: “We were out of Poole by 6.30am by motor and then we hoisted the sails up, which took all of us working together as a team (even Sid, our mascot toy sloth). After a while we couldn’t see any land – it was a bit scary and then it got really cool.”

Entry three: “Once we moored up in Guernsey harbour, we went sightseeing around the beautiful town of Saint Peters Port and afterwards we hunted down a pleasant beach to swim at. Then we meandered back to the boat where yummy fish and chips were served!”

And the teenagers were certainly integrated into the crew, helping to take responsibility for the running of their vessel 24 hours a day.

The St Michael’s sailors learned to navigate and read charts plus they assisted in the galley – helping to cook, clean and control the deck.

Chas Cowell, Tall Ships Adventure’s youth development and training manager, said: “The St Michael’s students were such a great group of young people and we had a wonderful time with them.”

St Michael’s Middle School is one of seven First and Middle schools in Wimborne Academy Trust (WAT), along with Allenbourn Middle School, Colehill First School, St John’s CE First School, Merley First School, Hayeswood First School and Witchampton CE First School.

All of its academies are rated either Good or Outstanding.

 

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