Thursday 5th February 1998
fter meal times,usual ingredientsand make it pink.
I had seconds of the trifle beforewe went to sea for the first time.It was good but I should haveknown better. Still, I got rid of the meal over the side and feltOK. It took a couple of days toget my ‘sea legs’ and then eventhe biggest swell didn’t bothermy stomach, just made me fallover a bit.I was a crew member on the SailTraining Association tall ship‘Sir Winston Churchill’ in theCanary Islands this January. I,among about forty others sailedthis three-hundred tonneschooner around the Canaries forten days, visiting five of theseven islands and covering overfive-hundred miles at sea.Voyages of this sort are bestdescribed as ‘character build-ing’. Indeed, Prince Philip, thepatron of the STA (a registeredcharity) described them as, “Ataste of fright, discomfort andadventure in an age where it ispossible to live comfortably,securely and borringly.” Theaccommodation was basic witheveryone, male and female,young and old, sharing the con-fined living space. This alsodoubled as the dining quarters.There were three ‘watches’working theoretically four hourson eight hours off. But the wayit worked out was not quite likethat. In order to rotate thewatches there was a two hour‘dog watch’ in the afternoon andeveryone had to be involved in‘happy hour’, 9 till 10am, wheneverything was made clean andship-shape from the brasses tothe toilets. Although it seemedlike as soon as I put my headdown for a few hours sleep,someone was shaking me to getup for the next watch, there wasenough time to chill out and justenjoy the sailing while the otherwatches were heaving on hal-yards, handing the mizzen oroverhauling the mainstay widowmaker (and other silly com-mands.)The rewards for the hard work were plentiful and in that sense itwas more rewarding than out-right fun for me. There weresome beautiful sights of sun-sets, star-scapes, the islands thatwe explored and of course lotsand lots of water. There was thethrill of taking the helm andsteering the ship, climbing therigging, manning the yard armsand the tense moments of dock-ing. There was living in primi-tive conditions with strangersand making new friends. It wasno ‘holiday’ but it kicked thearse of staying at home.
For information about futurevoyages, contact:Sail Training Association2A The HardPortsmouthPO1 3PTTel:01705 832055
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ell, almost. OK - so it’snot. At all. But, remem-ber when you were kneehigh to a grass hopper and slept inthe camp you’d made with blan-kets and a clothes horse - it was allsnuggly and warm and secret…Well, it’s Sunday night and this ismy first duty of my second year of being a Nightliner. I’m lying in bedall snuggled up in the Nightlinephone room at the bottom of Surrey Court. I’ve eaten too manychocolate biscuits and watched toomuch naff Sunday night drama andI just know the minute I shut myeyes the phone will ring. Still,that’s what we’re here for.I’ve already had two calls tonight.One wanting to know whetherChancellors was open and theother just for a chat. You seeNightline is listening and informa-tion service for the students, by thestudents. Some calls are from peo-ple who are perhaps a long wayfrom home and feeling a bit lonely,some as simple as requesting thePizza + number, others are drop incallers. Fancy a cup of tea and ayap, just pulled but have no con-doms, need to know the next traintime to home? We’re always there.I’m not here on my own either!There’s usually a male and femaleNightliner on duty and the office isopen Monday to Thursdays from8pm to 8am. We’re always recruit-ing new people and desperatelyneed more men (but hey, whodoesn’t?!). Basically, if you fancya warm bed on campus 3 nights asemester, as much tea, coffee andchoccie biccies as you can standand want something on your CVshowing your commitment, com-munication and listening skillsthen get in touch! Pop a note in ourpigeon hole in the union, under thedoor of our office (betweenWandle and Wey) or leave a mes-sage on our answer phone - inter-nal ext 4949 or externally 532710.