The accessibility-focused ship set off from Portsmouth for its round trip on Thursday evening and spent the night anchored off of the Isle of Wight and then headed towards the French coastline, aiming for Port Winston and Gold Beach.
‘As always on a JST Magical Mystery Tour, plans change just as the wind does, and although we started the day aiming for France, when those of us lucky enough to get to sleep at night got up in the morning, and we were heading for Alderney. What a wonderful surprise,’ the crew aboard SV Tenacious wrote in a blog post.
SV Tenacious is the only tall ship in the world which has been specifically designed and built for a mixed ability crew, including people with a large range of impairments and health conditions, and the JST attempts to break down barriers, build friendship and make differences disappear.
Once anchored in Alderney, the crew made the most of their time in the island: ‘Lots of adventures were had, including the successful search for a blonde hedgehog (both in pub and animal format), exploring the castles and bunkers, sampling the local ice cream and a refreshing swim for three keen sailors,’ they said.
‘Although we can’t report the water was warm, it was pleasant enough for a proper swim, with the backdrop of Tenacious resting at anchor just outside the beautiful sandy beach.’
Alderney has strong links to the Jubilee Sailing Trust thanks largely to the late resident Russell Greenstock, who crewed both vessels many times and encouraged other islanders to get on-board too.
Mr Greenstock raised £70,000 for the trust, which granted him a MBE for services to the disabled in 2001.
Similar generosity for the JST is required again, as the pandemic forced it into a severe cash-flow crisis, with crew and staff working without funds to keep the programme up and running.
n Donations to the #savetheJST campaign can be made at https://jst.org.uk/crc-donation/.