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An Adventure of a lifetime

Updated: Jul 10, 2023


There’s lots going on and you receive another email with a follow up call. Rev’d Paul Holley said: “Do you think we can do it?” The offer was too good to miss!


Everything was dropped to make the necessary arrangements for a funded weekend adventure. Parents of young people involved with SPY Network (bodminchurch.com/young-people) responded at record speed. We had to get ourselves to Hayling Island, Hampshire on a Friday evening in late June. At Northney Marina skippers and mates from Morning Star Trust (mst.org) gave cheery smiles as they welcomed us for our sailing experience.


The highly experienced, qualified and passionate about sailing crew explained all we needed to know to be safe on a vessel, before cooking a super supper.

Saturday 7.30am

The waters were calm in Chichester harbour as we were shown ‘OXO’ around ‘cleats’ and were made ready for ‘setting to slip’. It went without a hitch, and we were off, destined for Cowes in the Isle of Wight.


Dili quickly got used to wearing the lifejacket and helped sail the boat. “My favourite place is sitting at the bow; you can feel the strength of the water beneath you.”


Mate Leah showed us how to winch the main sail and hoist the jib. Clear communication and teamwork are essential as you must work in unison.


Docking in Cowes

Lili tried out the emergency exit from her sleeping area and hoisted herself up through the window with ease.


Izo spotted a jellyfish in the marina that the rest of us missed.

After another tasty skipper’s supper there was a trip to the beach for a warm paddle, even though it was 10 o’clock at night.


On deck, without phones and social media, we could stargaze into the clear night sky.


Sunday 7am to sail back to Northney

Skipper and mate couldn’t believe how quickly Ry winched up the jib. “That’s the fastest we’ve ever seen it done!” they said. Ry had not even exerted himself – a natural! He also steered, winched the main sail, completed the hourly log and contacted the marina on the boat’s radio.


Our two vessels, Guiding Star and Bright Star, sailed side by side. The proximity gave us the chance to sing together at the top of our voices!


Bailey, Mikaela and Chelsea enjoyed sitting at the bow with the waves wetting their feet.


On arrival and Northney, Lili-May expertly jumped onto the pontoon and instantly completed three jobs perfectly, putting a smile on skipper Martin’s face. “Well done.” he said.


Chief skipper Chris and mate Pete praised the group on how well they had done. Our amazing weekend sailing adventure with Morning Star Trust will be something we’ll never forget.



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