From the 27th of May to the 2nd of June, 11 students in Years 9 and 10 (Phoebe Barns, Freddie Ward, Nyah Waston, Tom Newport,Talan Skerry, Corey Sillifant, Poppy Bennett-Speare, Evie Asman, Abbie Taylor, Nic Sillifant and Ellie Butler) ventured out along the south coast of Cornwall and Devon on Tectona. Tectona is one of the three ships that the Island Trust take out to sea to give students a week they will never forget. Tectona has 6 sails, which kept all of us on our feet helping out either pulling in the main sheet or releasing the jib, it is also 85ft long and was built in India in 1928.
On the first day, we had a safety brief before all of the three ships sailed to the Tamar Bridge and stayed there overnight. When we awoke in the morning it was very foggy so we all decided to sail later in the day. When the fog eventually cleared, we ventured out to Looe and were amazed to see dolphins swimming next to our boat which was such a treat for everyone. When we got there instead of going inland to walk around the town of Looe like the other boats had chosen to do we all chose to jump into the freezing cold water. We all had to get a bucket of water poured over our heads beforehand so we wouldn’t go into shock when we jumped in, but when this happened we all realised how cold the water really was. Therefore, to warm ourselves up we followed Abbie with her pilates workout which got us all warm before jumping in. We had a flipping competition (won by Poppy), the biggest splash competition (won by Tom) and best synchro jump (won by Corey, Tom and Abbie).
Later on Tuesday we sailed over to Torbay. Because it was taking so long to get there we decided to do a night shift because we all wanted to get there. We started on the first shift and it went onto 2 in the morning, however when the second group came up for their shift the original group had to stay up on deck with them to help sort out sails because we were going just too slow to sail so we decided to use the motor. Everyone was getting tired by the minute but then Tom gave us a story about Tiddy and his great adventures across the seas and even to the moon. As everyone was up putting away the sails we were treated to seeing the dolphins again; they were beautiful and because it was dark we were able to see their water trails after them, which is something I doubt any of us will ever forget. Unfortunately, when we were up the engine cut out so we had to stay up until 4:30 in the morning until the engine was working and we were safety anchored in at Torbay. Everyone woke up at 8:30 and we were exceptionally tired, however we still had enough energy to slowly go into the town of Dartmouth. When we were there Poppy, Nyah, Ellie and I got a crabbing line and Ellie caught crabs over the edge of the ledge,;we all had exceptional fun.
After that, we sailed over to Hope Cove and put down the anchor in the evening, all of the boats met up and went to a beach right next to Hope Cove that was only accessible by boat: we had a BBQ and went rock climbing. Tom figured out a way of creating mud which he plastered over everyone, he even got it over Talan’s hat and was chased across the beach. When we got back to the boat we played a game called the Banana Game, it got very messy but was a lot of fun; after that we played a game of Uno. That night we stayed in Hope Cove to get a well needed sleep. The next morning we went into the little sea side village. It was incredibly busy with lots of tourists, but we all found our way around and got some amazing photos. After going into Hope Cove, we all came back to the ship and all went into the water, however the difference was that it was amazing weather and we didn’t find it that cold. Another thing that made it memorable was that we pulled in the main sheet and put up a massive rope swing that was so fun to use. We also put the plank out so anyone that misbehaved was made to walk the plank.
After our brilliant time in Hope Cove we slowly sailed back to Plymouth but the wind was very poor so we went back incredibly slowly. We got to Cawsand and stayed there for a bit before sailing into Plymouth at night. We all had to work as a team and look out for buoys so that we didn’t crash into things because once again the fog came and it was very hard to see where we were going. The buoys varied in colours from green, red to blue; luckily, we were able to work out which buoy meant and were able to successfully come into harbour in Plymouth. In the morning, we all got up and cleaned the decks for the last time and gave the boat a full polish making it look good as new. Then we meet our families in the harbour.
Overall this trip has been one to remember, we have had such an amazing opportunity that anyone of us would do again in a heartbeat. We all loved it, also making friendships that we hope that will carry on into the future. Many of us are hoping to do this trip again and would recommend it to anyone who wanted to do it.
Evie Asman 9RRS