By 9.00am on a Sunday morning (as it happens it is Mother’s Day), when most people would probably be snuggled up in a warm bed, the Challenge Wales sail training yacht has 18 volunteer crew onboard.
It’s March, it’s not as cold and icy as it was in January when we were volunteer crew training, the weather forecast looks like it will be raining by this afternoon but no matter, everyone is looking forward to a day on the water and volunteer training.
Today’s crew come from a wide range of backgrounds and from different parts of Wales. They all started off not knowing anyone onboard but today they are all part of one team.
Experience, experience, experience cannot be emphasised enough. Having a piece of paper saying you are qualified to sail big boats doesn’t mean much if the practical experience isn’t running alongside and ‘sailors’ soon realise that when they step onboard Challenge Wales.
Putting that aside, some of our volunteers don’t come from sailing backgrounds and it is completely new, and alien, to them so we invest time working with these guys to ensure they have the confidence and gain the experience that is required.
Working in groups based on their experience and knowledge of the boat, volunteers will be learning which sail bag is which, reefing for the sake of reefing…and putting in another reef, customer care while sailing and how they are part of the client experience, emergency procedures, learning how the fresh water system works and a whole lot more. Volunteer training takes place predominantly through the winter and periodically the rest of the year.
If the unexpected or the unusual happens then our volunteers will know how to deal with that.
See you on the water.