Skipper’s Report

Thank you for an enjoyable week. I, my staff and the young people all had a great time, I can say that without a doubt. They all said how they would do this again. As always, the trips across the Channel were a highlight. From the many dolphins that came to say hello and the glassy calm sea to the drifting through the night spotting shooting stars. For many, our time in Paimpol was special, the reception we got during our arrival leading the parade in, and just a chance for these young people to stop and explore a little bit of France was very special to them. The sail home was also cracking, averaging 8 knots and finally everyone was able to see Pegasus sailing at her best – we just wished we could have done more of that during the week!

The lack of wind couldn’t be helped, and despite that we still managed to have an enjoyable time. I think in the end it worked in our favour that sometimes we had to retire due to lack of wind and needing to use our engine. Instead of lots of long days racing, we were able to spend the time motor sailing, creating
our own wind to motor sail and teach more about sailing, making it much more hands on for our young people – sitting there drifting was not so appealing to them as they like doing stuff. It meant we also had time for things young people want to do, like swim off the boat, go to the beach and have ice creams which we would have not been able to fit in if we hadn’t retired from some races due to lack of wind. The full schedule was very tiring for our young people. I retired from our final race due to lack of wind, being aware we would not sail fast in those conditions which would have made it a long day and a good chance we would have to retire anyway. Instead we went out and had a sail where the young people were able to practice putting the boat on different points of sail themselves before heading back to the Paimpol anchorage for lunch and an afternoon nap. The fact many of them were out cold for 4 hours straight
reassured me I had made the right decision in their best interests.

They thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the blindfold dinghy race, and we continued doing more competitions ourselves that afternoon. More events like this in the future, and earlier on in the events rogramme would be beneficial. It was that day that they really started mixing with other boats, with people lending us their dinghy and borrowing some young people when they were short on crew.

It was great for me to see the development of the young people, I cannot praise them highly enough. How they went from being so quiet and shy, to being a confident cohesive team. I was so proud of them at the end, having everyone on stage singing and dancing at the dinner in Paimpol, as well as their performances all week. Many said in our end of voyage debrief how doing this was huge for them, how they would never normally do something like that and how proud they were to have done it and how much it had boosted their confidence. It was mentioned how they have more confidence to try new things and grab opportunities that come their way. They also mentioned in the debrief how they were now much more confident to meet new people, how special it was to speak with people they wouldn’t normally speak with and working well as a team together. They will cherish the new friendships made through this shared experience. For me they were a pleasure to have onboard. They got stuck in, didn’t complain, and I genuinely enjoyed working with the team we created and their attitude to just get stuck in and make the most of what we had. They certainly made my job easier!

It’s nice to hear you have had some good feedback from Josh’s (name changed) mum. I was thoroughly impressed by him, he stepped on board and just picked up where he left off which is impressive after a year and it was great to see him taking other members of crew under his wing. In future, I think having a longer trip or more varied trip would be better. Despite it being 9 days, the young people only saw Dartmouth and Paimpol. Having an extra day to get to Dartmouth, to explore another place and to do some training so we aren’t teaching them what a tack is during the start of the first race would be beneficial. However I think the opportunity to explore more places, to stop off in the Channel Islands or other places in France would also be good to give them that opportunity, it was a shame that we had to dash home.

Thank you again for organising such a fantastic opportunity, it really has had an impact on these young people. Thank you for all your support.

Feedback from Josh’s (name changed) mother:

Just a quick hello attached to an enormous thank you for all your kindness and belief in Young Carers. Josh’s granny and I are down at Plymouth for the weekend waiting for him to return on Monday from his voyage to France. He is on Pegasus and having, truly, the time of his life. 

He has just called us and I’ve never heard him so confident and excited ever. He said… Mum I’m loving in every single moment. He also asked to do the 12-4am night watch so he could see the night sky from the sea.

I know I say thank you for all you have given Josh. But truly from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for making his dreams come true. I’m crying now!!!! It’s a mother thing.. X

Josh is still attending Romsey Young Carers and also volunteer’s with the younger groups at their weekly clubs and outings. To say I’m super proud of him is an understatement. 

Further note from Pegasus’ skipper:

Since the trip, Josh came and sailed as a Third Hand with us for the Small Ships Race learning how to put his skills into practice, running a watch himself and teaching others. It’s great to see the development that has come from the two opportunities you gave him to come sailing with us for the regatta!