East Sussex 1 visits Littlehampton
The MVS is committed to changing lives of our volunteers and communities around the UK.
One of our newest volunteers, Elaine Bowdery, tells of life on board our national training vessel, East Sussex 1, from Eastbourne to Littlehampton and back.
“This was my first time out of the harbour with the MVS and I was a bit nervous in advance.
After an hour of safety checks and briefings alongside, for the passage we were split into two watches, working two hour turns acting as helm, lookout and watch officer under supervision.
It was good to be able to put my classroom theory into practice in plotting positions but the rolling of the vessel in quite lively seas added a new and strange dimension.
Leaving in the dark was exciting and for someone new it felt a bit nerve wracking with the fast-flowing tide at Littlehampton up our stern.
The trip home was slightly turbulent to say the least.
The off-watch crew had wonderful views of the starry skies but it was very cold.
We needed our heavy wool sweaters and coats.
As we passed Beachy Head home-bound, I realised how tired I was but after we’d tied up we reflected on how much we’d experienced and how much we’d learned in just two days.
It makes you appreciate the skills of the more experienced MVS members who are giving up their time to help others go to sea.
My husband and I were so tired that we fell asleep almost as soon as we got home but if you ask me now whether I’d do another trip, of course I’d sign up.
However, I’d prefer it if it was sunny and warm and the sea was calm.”