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Maritime Industry Pathway Students Tackle the High Seas

On Sunday the 5th of May a group of 16 students and 3 staff undertook a sailing voyage on the One and All training ship. After boarding this ship at 6 pm in Port Vincent we had a great dinner to then be told we would be on watch at various times during the night, 10pm to 12, 12 to 2am, 2 to 4am and then 4am to 8. The weather was not too pleasant with a strong breeze and rolling seas. We were told that the winds would strengthen overnight causing us to raise anchor and commence our voyage to Adelaide at 4am. What a shock, from being sound asleep in bed we were rocked and rolled by the movement of the seas. The motion caused most of the students and some of the crew to feel seasick, needless to say there was very little sleep to be had until breakfast at 7.30. Many sought refuge on the aft deck however the crew were adamant that the best way to fight was to get active. From 8 we were kept busy setting sails, checking rigging, coiling ropes and performing safety drills.

By mid-morning the clouds started to clear and the sun broke through to raise our spirits, most had weathered the storm (so to speak) and were feeling up for morning tea. More sails were set as we tacked our way across the gulf. It was amazing how much rope handling was involved, no sooner had you coiled a rope then had to uncoil to adjust the sail. More safety drills were done with a man overboard exercise triggered by a wayward soccer ball from the aft deck by the captain. Happy to report that the ball was saved in record time.

We finally made calm water as we sailed into Outer Harbour. The students donned harnesses and started climbing the rigging to tie the sails. Mr Herman and I managed to climb the rigging however we limited ourselves to the top of the first level, which was still a scary height for old timers.

The resilience of the students was fantastic, even though they had had little sleep and felt seasick for a good part of the morning.  They were in high spirits by the time we sailed up the river (or was this just simply joy that the trip had finally ended).

The students were commended by the Captain and crew for the way they participated in the voyage and their positive outlook. I was proud of how the students represented themselves, their families and above all their school in this adventure. I would also like to thank Thierry Herman and Karen Hemsley who kindly volunteered to assist the students to do this sail. They may have got more than they bargained for but I think they had a good time. The students are now volunteer members of the One and All and have the opportunity to do more sailing adventures.

Eddie Grzeskowiak, Maritime Program Leader.

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