Saturday, June 30, 2012

Stavros S Niarchos anchors offshore.

The Stavros S Niarchos, which was seen anchored offshore on the west side of Saltburn pier on Thursday evening, is a British brig-rigged tall ship owned and operated by the Tall Ships Youth Trust. She is primarily designed to provide young people with the opportunity to undertake voyages as character-building exercises, rather than pure sail-training. She is also used for adult voyages and holidays, which help subsidise the operation of the ship.

A crew of 15 students from Year 9 at The King's Academy, Coulby Newham, boarded the 60m tall ship on the banks of the River Tyne to take part in a ten-night sea going expedition.

They formed part of a crew of 40 from the Emmanuel Schools Foundation with fellow students from their sister schools, Bede Academy in Blyth, Emmanuel College, Gateshead, and Trinity Academy, Thorne, near Doncaster.

The annual adventure, operated by the Tall Ships Youth Trust, aims to support students' personal development through being a crew member and playing an active part of life aboard the ship.

Vice Principal of The King's Academy Gary Wiecek said: "I've organised this event for the last couple of years and the students absolutely love it.

Because the weather has been so unpredictable of late we are still unsure exactly where the voyage will go. The captain has said that when they reach the mouth of the Tyne he will make his decision so our students could travel to Scotland, London or even Holland and back.

For many this trip will be a life changing experience. A tall ship voyage takes people out of their comfort zone and they will find things within themselves that they did not realise were there.

Tasks such as climbing the rigging or helping prepare dinner for everybody on board can give young people a real sense of achievement and self worth."

The students are living in cabins on board ship and taking part in every aspect of sailing including helming, scaling the 40 metre masts to set and stow sails, navigating and scrubbing the decks.

They will also be expected to take part in one of three watches and get up for night duties at 4am.

Student Ellie Walker 14, of Middlesbrough, said: "Loads of my friends have been on the ship in previous years and they all said how good it had been.

I've been on a ferry before but never a tall ship so this will be an amazing experience. Not everyone can say they have crewed a real sailing ship for ten days."

The Stavros S Niarchos anchored offshore early yesterday morning before making her way to Hartlepool. The vessel's position was reported as safely anchored offshore just after midnight on the 29th June.

Map showing the course of the Stavros S Niarchos on route to Hartlepool. The vessel was anchored offshore overnight just west of Saltburn Pier.

The Stavros S Niarchos will be carrying the Olympic Flame into Dover Harbour on the 18th July with 28 young people from Kent and 12 young people from Pas de Calais all aged between 14-15 years old joining the crew on board.

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