One day in October we sailed on the tall ship “Tenacious”. The day sail on Tenacious was from Williamstown, Melbourne, around the Port Philip Bay and back. Find out what makes this tall ship special and enjoy the photographs from the voyage.
1. Tall Ship Tenacious In Melbourne
Do you remember the romantic stories where a big ship with gorgeous huge white sails enters a harbour? Or those adventure stories about brave captains and the crew sailing to explore new lands? Those ships with big sales are called tall ships. They are gorgeous and, as turned out, they are such a pleasure to be a part of the crew who help make the sailing happen!
(For the video – scroll to the very bottom.)
“Tenacious” is a special tall ship. Built in UK by Jubilee Sailing Trust, it sailed all the way down from UK to Australia, so more people can learn and experience what it is special about.
We were lucky to get on the tall ship Tenacious and I could not wait to experience its spirit by myself.
(By the way, Tenacious was berthed in Williamstown, Melbourne, next to the Sea Shepherd’s ship “Steve Irwin”. It was fantastic to see “the old friend” again! We had a tour on the Sea Shepherd’s ship a few years ago. The guys not only told us about their sea fights, showed some equipment they use, they are also who taught us the right way of going down the stairs on a ship!)
To see a larger photo – click on the photo in the gallery:
2. On Board The Tenacious
A crew on Tenacious consists of able-bodied people and people with physical challenges. (To be honest, I feel weird saying “disabled”, as I know how “abled” those people are!) With a few simple modifications (e.g. a lift between decks, a wooden divider on the deck floor, etc), even people on wheelchairs can be an active part of the voyage crew.
It’s not only to allow people with physical challenges believe in themselves and to boost their confidence, Tenacious (and it’s “sister ship” Lord Nelson in UK) is to let everyone to see themselves that there are no limitations for a person, that simple modifications can bring all us together as one, and how we all can be one great team.
3. On The Deck Of The Tall Ship
When I got to the deck where the bridge is, I looked towards the front of the ship and beyond. We were racing through the waves. I felt like I was on a back of a live giant creature. The ship was alive. Standing there, I could feel its power and the awesomeness of sailing in the open waters.
Sailing on a tall ship feels different to sailing on other vessels. Each vessel and boat has its own feeling. Larger boats feel somehow special to me. It’s probably the sharper feeling of freedom, of flying, and being a part of the vast sea and nature. The first time when I got that fantastic feeling was on the expedition ship to Antarctica. It got deeply into me and I seek it ever since.
4. Inside Tenacious & Ship Emergency Drill
5. Deck Crew Work on Tenacious
When you book a voyage on the ship, you can choose to participate in the sailing crew work.
We worked with sails (trimming the sails), pulling and easing the ropes attached to the very long horizontal bars in order to turn them so the sails could catch the wind when the ship was turning (tacking). Let me tell you, it’s cool and hard at the same time. And such an amazing team spirit when you pull those ropes! When in a movie you see sailors pulling ropes on a tall ship, it takes an effort to do that and you need all free hands to help.
We coiled the ropes (so they are in order and ready for the next tack). We also climbed up the mast (which is a very long vertical bar which the sails are connected to).
6. Sailing In Port Philip Bay In High Winds
7. Climbing The Mast & Trimming The Sails
For me it was very scary to start climbing the mast, as you have to step on the ship’s side (although, it’s wide enough to stand comfortably). It was very windy, which added to the scary part :) We had a safety harness on us. (Thanks Charlie for helping adjusting it. Probably I was so nervous that my hands just could not get the right tension in the harness and to clasp the metal buckle.) Later you attach the harness to a safety rope when you climb up to the bottom of the mast’s platform.
The guys from the ship’s experienced crew were very supportive. For me it was more scary to start the climbing. Once you climb, it’s easier as you have a goal and you just have to go forward! Who knows when I will sail on a tall ship and climb its mast again? I just had to go for it.
You climb using the ropes with thin horizontal wooden planks that look like a ladder. Instinctively I almost laid on them. It was very windy and you rely only on your muscles.
It was very windy with gusts. (The wind on the next day was 40 knots, 74kph.) One of the gusts blew when I reached a zone below the platform – there the ladder and the ropes are no longer at an angle, they go straight up vertically. I just could not move any further! It was scary and my leg muscles got tired as they are not used to that kind of climbs (I think the wind and the “first time” played the role!).
Did I say that you also need to attach yourself to the safety rope using just one hand? Ha, it was easy when I practiced that on the deck far down below, but quite challenging while “hanging” in the middle of somewhere pushed by wind gusts. For a few moments I just let myself keep hugging the ropes I was leaning on, before I could let one hand off the rope and on to attaching the harness to the safety rope.
Finally, I had to push myself mentally and physically, to make the last few steps vertically, and squeezed myself to the platform.
Was the climbing worth it? Oh, boy! It was worth it the hundred of times! I attached myself to the platform bars just in case. With the wind gusts, the mast and the platform were flying in the air. The red rope, the harness, and my hands were the only things that I had as a safety gear.
I looked in front of me. Loads of ropes, the deck far below, the captain’s bridge, the enormously huge white sail, the wind, and the vast blue sea around me. With me standing at the top. Oh boy, that feeling! I felt like I was flying. The last time I felt the same is when I was on the bridge of the expedition ship M/V Ushuaia in Antarctica. The feeling of flying over the water. It was amazing to experience it again!
I was standing there, enjoying it, until the last person climbed down and it was my turn to go back. Peter (the host crew) asked if I didn’t want to go down and intended to stay until the last person. I said, “Enjoy while it lasts!” The life taught me to enjoy every little moment of happiness, as it will never be the same, it will never come back, that very one moment. Enjoy in full while it lasts!
(One day I’d love to get on a bridge of a huge ship. (A bridge is a place from which a captain and “mates”, or officers, operate the ship.) Huge container ships, oil tankers, nuclear power ships that go to the North Pole, have something like a building, with a bridge at the very top deck. I’d love to find out whether standing there will evoke the feeling of “flying”.)
8. Tall Ship Sailors, Ahoy!
At last, the sun came out, opening the blue skies. That added to the romantic feeling of the voyage.
We were sailing back to Melbourne. Soon, the open sea would get replaced with the hassle of the everyday life and the time will come to say goodbyes to the people we met. I knew that I would miss them, but I was mentally prepared for that as I had a similar, but even deeper experience, when sailed to Antarctica. The time I board, I board a ship; the time I disembark, I leave almost a family behind, a very lovely bunch of people and crew mates. May be it’s only me feeling that way?
Peter said that in UK most people book for a longer voyage. You can sail on Tenacious for a day or several days. I read reviews and found that many people sail on Tenacious not once, but periodically. Would I love to sail on Tenacious for longer? You bet!
Video – Sailing on Tall Ship Tenacious
Book your voyage on Tenacious here and help spread the word. It’s totally worth it!