Prince William Tall Ship

Canary Islands Travel Blog

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prince william tall ship at sea

Welcome to Tall Ship Adventures and the excitement and adventure of the Tall Ship Experience!

The Tall Ship youth trust, incorporating the sail training association, is a registered charity founded in 1956 and dedicated to the personal development of young people. This mission is delivered through two magnificient 60 metre square-rigged sail training vessels Prince William and Stavros Niarchos. Nearly 50 years on, the tall ships youth trust remains a world leader in the field of personal development.

The ships carry some 5,000 people a year. Although the charity's central mission is focused on young people, they also run a number of  adult voyages during the year when young people are less available!

The Ship's Crew:

Each ship is run by 6 permanent salaried crew - the Captain, Chief Officer, Second Officer, Bosun, Engineer and Cook.

back view of PW
  There are also 11 experienced volunteers: Third Officer, 3 Watch Leaders, Assistant Engineer, First Aid-Purser, Second Cook's Assistant, " Deckhands and a youth mentor on youth voyages, or an additional Deckhand or Liaison Officer on Adult Voyages. Then there are the 48 voyage crew (including myself). Two supernumary/training berths make up the registered complement of 67 .

Day 1   -   The flight was hours journey from Gatwick airport to Sta. Cruz Tenerife and a short bus journey to the port. After a reasonably concisive journey we arrived at the ship. We were met by our Watch Leader , and we were split into one of 3 watches (Red, Blue and White), and then work with this group of people to sail the ship and we were assigned to the Blue Watch Team, Ed our Watch Leader.

front view of PW
Given our Watch Number and I am Blue Watch 7 and shown to our Watch Cabin. Each cabin houses eight pipe-cots, one of which is our berth. Our berth also has a storage box and a locker for our belongings.

Day 2  -  We arose on the first morning to a delicious breakfast of porridge, eggs and beans!

We then got given our harnesses and set to practising climbing up and over the first platform. Several hours are spent learning safety routines, issuing oilskins, and harnesses and getting used to the idea of climbing the rigging, learning the appropriate knots. Once we'd grasped the idea, off we went for the 'up and over' which involved a climb of about 40 feet to the first platform on the main mast and the same descent on the other side.

everyone gets to work out in the yards.
With the ends stowed, we braced yards hard to port, then to starboard, and then square, then hard back to port for a final time. With the sounds of '2-6 Heave'.  After a mighty luncheon we continued on to learning to set the sails in it's gear, we stowed it again and untying the ship from the port. We spent time getting all the bow lines in and carefully stowed down the hatch to make the ship tidier and safer when at sea.

Day 3 -  On day 3 my watch ( blue ) had our first 'graveyard' (12 -4a.m.) and despite the fact we were not due to get much sleep in the following 24 hours, the mood was quite high. Before rapidly responding to the much loved breakfast call. As usual the cook and his cheerful assistants put on a superb english breakfast providing all the much needed energy for the mornings 'happy hour'.

time-out @ port mogan

'Happy Hour', or general cleaning of the brig (for the not so seasoned tall ships sail), for us blue watch team today consisted of the cleaning, rust off an engine, cleaned the upper deck with sea water and detergent. from scrubbing the floors to polishing the door handles. We spotted some dolphins later on, about five of them swam at the front of the ship for quite a while.  It's great to see them, but i didn't manage to get any photos :(  With the rest of the afternoon came a couple of free hours for all, spare the watch crew, and whilst some chose to catch up on missed sleep.

Day 4 -  The fourth day at the sea for blue watch began at early morning with superb breakfast. Following this we started our four and a half hour watch.

climbing the main mast
  We spent most of our hours on the bridge watching for passing ships and steering Prince William. We carried out a number of bracings in an attempt to find the wind, all of which failed. We therefore  needed to climb the rigging , onto the lower top sail to put away the sails. A few hours relaxing followed our watch before coming into port in the afternoon and going ashore for some well deserved rest. Our first stop Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. We were given shore leave later  and asked to buy tacky presents, for a maximum cost of 3 euros, for the inter-watch competition. We bought lots of tacky souvenirs, some went to explore las palmas, walked along the beach, viewed sand sculptures and a long day later we all went to bed - shattered!!!

Day 5 -  First up this morning was a tour of Las Palmas  again- quite interesting and nice to walk a bit.

captain @ the helm :)
Best of all our watch leader  guides us to the hot spots, restaurants, pubs, shopping places . After the tour everyone did their own thing, most went shopping (including us) whilst others went out for lunch . We all had to be back on the ship by 1700 hours, so there was plenty of time to chill! Before we left Las Palmas there was an inter-watch tug-of-war and blue and red watches had the greatest 'pulling - power',  After the tug-of-war, we had a hauling line throwing competition. Some people couldn't coil ropes, which affected their efforts. Our blue watch team  tossed the hauling line the furthest.

Day 6 -  The next early morning we set off at sunrise for sailing again. Then just as we're taking down the sails, we spot something to starboard  in the glinting swell a group of dolphins, frolicking and cavorting in the surf, welcoming us back :) We anchored up in another sparkling bay  a few miles off  Port Mogan .

aloft
  The whole crew jumped off the side of the ship to swim in the chilly cold Atlantic Ocean,  i didn't stay much in the water, as i started shivering...cooold! Later....we had the flotillas final evening cocktail  party...local red wine are flowing and seafoods and more tapas!

Superb Tall Ships sailing heaven. See whales and dolphins, enjoy runs ashore in local tavernas and discover local hospitality and cuisine. That's the sweetiest of sights to end the niciest of sailing holidays. For us inexperienced sailors it is a taste of the power and exhilaration. All the great fun :)))

rotorhead85 says:
Wow, what an adventure! Great blog and pics!
Posted on: Jan 13, 2009
mpmurph133 says:
This is awesome! Wish I could have done it! :)
Posted on: Jan 22, 2008
ted332 says:
Aye, capitan! :)nice blog & nice navy blue great photos. :)
Posted on: Jan 22, 2008
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prince william tall ship at sea
prince william tall ship at sea
back view of PW
back view of PW
front view of PW
front view of PW
everyone gets to work out in the y…
everyone gets to work out in the …
time-out @ port mogan
time-out @ port mogan
climbing the main mast
climbing the main mast
captain @ the helm :)
captain @ the helm :)
aloft
aloft
watch cabin
watch cabin
bowsprit
bowsprit
rigging up-close
rigging up-close
the sails
the sails
prince william @ the port
prince william @ the port
the ropes
the ropes
bow wave
bow wave
climbing the rigging
climbing the rigging
reach the top
reach the top
end of voyage team photo
end of voyage team photo
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photo by: sweetet