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James Cook Tall Ship BP Challenge Weekend June 2013

BP Challenge Weekend James CookLeaders can have a great time too! I helped on a NEE BP challenge weekend with a difference – we sailed on the James Cook tall ship! I drove up to Newcastle on the Friday evening and met another leader and 10 girls, none of whom I had met before. That’s the great thing about Guiding, you might not have met before but you know you already have something in common. We settled in on board and got to know the 5 crew members and each other.

The sleeping conditions were what you might call ‘cosy’ (just remember not to sit up quickly!) but were comfortable and adequate for a good night’s sleep. On Saturday morning we sailed up the River Tyne into Newcastle to show ourselves at a charity event before sailing back down river and going out to sea. There was a large swell and not much wind so it was a little unsettling and a few people turned a funny colour!

We headed down the coast and berthed in Hartlepool marina where we had showers, tea and free time before bed. The wind was much stronger on Sunday which made the journey back up to Newcastle much more exhilarating and quicker.

Everyone was involved in all aspects of life on ship, from cooking and cleaning to pulling up sails and taking a turn at the helm. We learnt lots of nautical terms and knots such as heaving and sweating, OXO knots and mizzen sail. The girls said that they had all enjoyed it and I certainly did.


Rebecca Norton

Leader, 130th Guides, Sheffield