A ripped sail, clinging onto the toilet sink while your ship nearly tips on its side and filming dolphins in the middle of the sea – life aboard a Tall Ship was certainly a memorable experience for Andrew Steel.
The 21-year-old from Widdrington was one of the trainees from Northumberland who participated in the recent North Sea Tall Ships Regatta, from Blyth to Gothenburg.
Andrew, an assistant instructor at Amble’s Coquet Shorebase Trust, was aboard the Challenger 3 for the race.
Life at sea was certainly far from dull for Andrew, who had to complete a number of tasks, including climbing the spinnaker pole and carrying out night watches.
Impressively, he was awarded a competent crew certificate for his efforts and helped Challenger 3 reach Gothenburg first in its class, although due to the handicap system, it was not the race winner.
It wasn’t all plain sailing though. During the journey, one of the ship’s sails ripped in the middle of the night and the boat nearly tipped on its side.
To make matters worse, Andrew was in the toilet at the time.
He said: “I was trying to hold onto the sink with my feet on the door, while I was trying to do my business!”
It was all part of an unforgettable experience for him. He said: “I feel privileged to have had the experience of sailing on a Tall Ship. Being out at sea on a Tall Ship was really different and I enjoyed the whole experience.”
While he was in the middle of the North Sea he spotted and filmed dolphins swimming around the hull.
He said: “It was an amazing experience to see the dolphins flashing through the water alongside us – it’s something I’ll remember for ever.”
Andrew was sponsored for the trip by Druridge Bay county councillor Scott Dickinson.