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Wadi's Trip on a Tall Ship, May 2013

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Wandisile Xayimpi report on the Lord Nelson Tall Ship

On the 28th of February I boarded the Lord Nelson. The ship was magnificent and it had much more than I expected.

We embarked on our journey on the 3rd of March from the port of Durban but prior to that we off loaded our items from our vehicle to the ship.We then had to check in and have our documents certified. Time of departure was at 14h00. The weather was nice and we used the motor for 3 days thereafter we got fair winds of about 15 knots. We then got winds of about 60 knots where we broke the speed record of 12 Knots. From there it was plain sailing.

On board we were spilt into 4 teams. I was on the starboard team. Instructors taught us how to climb the mast and pack our sails (Stow). I was amazed at the size of the mast as I have never seen a mast that big and it had more rope than I had ever imagined.

I have learned more about the basic life skills. One person from each team had to attend to rough weather. We had watches on the boat of about 4 hours for each team, we also had turns to helm the ship. It was much more challenging than what I thought it would be.

Our next port was Mauritius where a doctor boarded the ship. Our next stop was going to be Sri Lanka but the captain altered course to Roderick’s Island where we anchored in the bay. It is a very beautiful Island. I wish I could one day become a resident there. We spent a day there and from there we went on to Sri Lanka.

On our journey to Sri Lanka we got winds of about 40 knots and made good speed and a record of 12 knots. So this was our longest passage of the journey.

When we reached Sri Lanka we spent two days there. The day we arrived we had a braai on board which was nice. The second day we went ashore and learnt about the Tsunami that hit Sri Lanka and also saw the elephants and mosque. The mosque is one of the biggest in Sri Lanka - I found that fascinating. On arriving back at the boat I helped the chef upload food items on to the ship while some of the other crew went shopping.

We departed the next day at 07h00 so that we could be in India on the 12 of April to meet up with the sister ship but due to some delays we only met up with her on the 13 of April at 08h00.

We sailed for a mile and took some photos with them and then went back to the docks of India. We had to check in and go through customs when we got to India. I then went on a tour in India and did some shopping; I got myself some traditional clothing. It was very hot and humid in India. People are friendly and the food was good.

Thank you to Izivunguvungu MSC Foundation for Youth, the Lord Nelson and the Jubilee Sailing Trust for allowing me the opportunity to sail on such an amazing ship and for giving me an experience of a life time that I will never forget. What I learnt on the voyage will be taught to many young sailors of Izivunguvungu in the future.