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Jack Hunt students experience life at sea

Students from Jack Hunt Secondary School, part of Peterborough Keys Academies Trust,

had the exciting opportunity to take part in a four-day immersive sailing experience onboard a 72ft Challenger exploring the south coast on an adventure of self-discovery last week.

The trip, which was in partnership with Cross Keys Homes, saw eight Year 8 students along with staff and two Year 12 students take part in the Tall Ships Youth Trust ‘Voyage of Exploration.’ 

Throughout the week, the students learnt new skills, including steering the yacht, sail handling, ropework as well as learning how to keep safe onboard.  The voyage helped with the students’ self-esteem and confidence, as well as increased their social and communication skills.  

Jon Hebblethwaite, Head Teacher of Jack Hunt School said: “We are so delighted to be involved in such an amazing event. We are very proud of all the students involved, and we thank all the staff who made this possible.”

Annie Whyman (Y13) one of Jack Hunt’s National Literacy Champions who supported students on the trip said: “The unique experience challenges everyone both mentally and physically. It targets skills such as teamwork, resilience and problem solving both above decks, where students learnt how to sail and below deck in the gallery where they cooked and cleaned. Working together as a team the students gain irreplaceable confidence and improvement in their communication, leadership, and independence. The trip is overall an empowering and inspiring adventure.”

She added: “This year’s voyage was an exploration of the student’s determination and strength, those brave enough climbed the mask of the ship while docked at Cowes on the second day, even students afraid of heights dared the climb, pushing themselves out of their comfort zones. Everyone also had the opportunity to helm the ship, even while where were sailing against wind causing the ship to tilt at a 40° angle, guiding us safely to our destination. The voyage further included man overboard drills and general skills needed for sailing such as raising all three sails (mainsail, Yankee, and Staysail) and knot tying, even on shore there was the ability to swim at the seaside and explore the towns we stopped at. At night responsibilities varied, while some cooked dinner the other would clean up alternating these duties fairly, alongside cleaning the ship itself, putting the boom cover on and folding the Yankee sail. There was even a beautiful experience on the 4th night to night sail, where we set of in the darkness relying on the light of buoys to guide us to Portsmouth, this was a gorgeous experience, watching the stars, and navigating the sea in darkness, it built up confidence and assurance in everyone.”

Annie said: “Overall, the tall ships voyage is a self-esteem gaining, confidence boosting, leadership building trip, in which friendships skills are created and kept. It is incredibly fun and extremely unique, there is nothing quite like it. Its physical challenges and strength required helps build exceptional talents in the students and reinforces their resilient mind set, reminding them they can do anything they set their mind to.”

Tall Ships Website Voyager Daily Student Blog