Pupils take to the sea

Sailing: Pictured are those who took part in the Ocean Youth Trust sailing adventure
Sailing: Pictured are those who took part in the Ocean Youth Trust sailing adventure

Pupils from Brechin High School and Montrose Academy took to the open sea thanks to a partnership with Ocean Youth Trust.

The activity, which saw third year pupils attending, was set up with the help of Angus’ Local Multi Agency Resource Team (LMART) who work with young people aged between nine and 16 years to promote their involvement in positive recreational activities.

Departing from Greenock Harbour the memorable five day adventure under sail took the pupils around the west coats of Scotland, visiting Port Tarbet, Lochranza, Arran and Bute.

On arrival at Greenock the pupils had little time to settle before they stowed their kit and got fully involved in preparing the boat to set sail the following morning.

The next morning the youngsters donned their wet weather kit and life jacket, secured the lines and let the boat off.

“On board, under the guidance of specialist sea staff, it was all down to the teens,” explained Ross Horne of LMART.

“There were no labour saving devices on board; all sails were hoisted by hand, the boat was steered by pupils, positions plotted and log books filled out.

“Many of the young people had never met with each other before, however, this was not apparent and within hours pupils were working as a team; communicating with each other, listening to ideas and sharing thoughts.

“Once the sails had been hoisted the young people were able to enjoy the spectacular scenery and wildlife of the West Coast, but, not for long before the boat had to be ‘tacked’ in order to catch another gust of wind.

“Pupils took it in turns to ensure that there was a tasty feast awaiting the hungry crew of 18.

“It proved a challenge to chop tomatoes, grate cheese, boil rice and bake potatoes when the boat was turning and everything was moving whilst on a slope.

“None of the pupils had any real experience of sailing but by the end of the voyage the Sea Staff where happy for them to take control and by the final evening the group managed to navigate themselves back to Greenock Harbour. An amazing achievement in day light made which was made all the more all the more impressive as it was pitch black.

“The young people arrived with a change of clothes, a pair of wellies, enthusiasm and a spirit of adventure. They left with the experience of a lifetime and memories that will last them forever.

“All those involved were a credit to their school, community and families.

“Without the continued support, advice and guidance of Mr Demspey and Mrs Spink from Brechin High School this trip would not have been possible – so many thanks once again.”