On 5th October the Uniformed Public Services students from the Isle of Wight College started an amazing sailing expedition on the Johanna Lucretia. Leader, Vykke Gill kept a diary of the voyage for us to enjoy...

Johanna Lucretia was built in 1945 at the Rhoose shipyard in Ghent, Belgium as a fishing vessel, although she was never used for this purpose and laid as a completed hull and deck for several years before being sold in 1952. She was then converted and completed in 1954 for recreational use by her new owner and sailed Dutch waters from her home port of Enkhuizen in the Netherlands. From there she has been sold for leisure purposes until being bought by the island trust. The students have been learning new skills being used for their Duke of Edinburgh awards. From stowing their kits and attending a crucial safety briefing this morning, to cooking up mouth-watering chicken fajitas, it's been a day of firsts! ⚓️ We set sail up the Solent, learning the ropes (literally!) and diving deep into maritime terminology, all while basking in the rich history of our beautiful vessel, now generously provided by the Island Trust. 🚢 This isn’t just a trip; it’s hands-on preparation for the Astro Small Ships Race this Saturday! Last night we anchor off the Isle of Wight, having had a exciting first day

An invigorating day on the Johanna Lacretia! 🚢 Our diligent trainees ensured she was shipshape - from organising breakfast to cleaning the heads, every task was tackled with enthusiasm. Rigging climbing and top sails preparation presented an adventurous challenge, but team spirit prevailed! 🌊 We hoisted the main sail, foresail, top sail, and jibs, and sailed gracefully down the Solent, passing the historic Solent forts and venturing towards the Nab Tower. 🌬️ With the wind in our sails, we enjoyed a delightful journey before returning to the anchor point at Osborne Bay, where a delicious chilli and rice meal awaited, masterfully prepared by our trainees. A truly excellent day at sea, shared with a truly excellent crew! ⚓️

Yesterday was all about sail training. We left the bay after all the ship work had been done and set sail towards the western Solent. The students getting used to handling all the sails against the wind and the tide. The students tried all the different positions on the boat from backstays to hauling sails . They did us proud. We then spent time getting boat to look neat and tidy ready for going in the cowes yacht haven . For the night to meet our competitors and preparing for race day

So... 5 days aboard the Johanna Lucretia, a majestic top sail schooner, with seven dedicated students from the Isle of Wight College. This exceptional journey, in collaboration with The Island Trust, navigated us around the Solent, where we engaged in rigorous training for the upcoming ASTO Small Ships Race. The students came third in their class which seeing as they had the most complicated boat to sail as well as the slowest, heaviest boat, was impressive to see. They also won the best dressed. The students showed sheer dedication, innate strength, and resilience. They are amazing young individuals demonstrating that with the right support and opportunities, there truly is no limit to what they can achieve. Empowering the youth and providing even a single, transformative opportunity that could pivot their future is something that fills me with immense pride. These experiences affirm the boundless capabilities that lie within our younger generation.