OK, some people haven't time to sail an actual yacht round the world - but you can still help! Each pound donated pushes our virtual yacht another mile on its journey.
The crew are setting sail from Southampton and heading out to open seas.
In 1971, Scotsman Sir Chay Blyth, perhaps the coolest man on the planet, sailed around the world 'the wrong way round' a.k.a. the hard way on a trusty yacht named British Steel.
As we progress on our virtual journey, Chay will recount his personal experience leg-by-leg right here, from his days of running the Global Challenge and what a journey it was!
The start is frantic because the yachts are surrounded by thousands of boats carrying spectators. There is a lot of tension but once out of the Needles they can start to relax. Nobody gets much sleep for the first 24 hours because they are all hyped up with adrenalin. Then the yachts will have to beat down the English Channel and head on their way to America. The arrival in Boston will be euphoric. They will be sailing right up the harbour and they won’t have seen anything else for 3,000 miles, other than ships.
They will be punching the route, against the Gulf Stream. Eventually the temperature starts getting warmer as you get nearer the Equator. Finally you get near the Doldrums, where light winds are abbreviated by heavy squalls and rain and sudden gusts of wind. Once over the Equator and the Doldrums you pick up the South East Trade Winds, which is fabulous sailing. The sun beats down and there are flying fish, dolphins and porpoises.
The yachts will have to watch out for icebergs on this leg. Last time we had an iceberg north of the Falkland Islands that was the size of the Isle of Wight. When the boats get to Cape Horn they turn right into shallows. The waves become very steep, very sharp and very powerful. The crews will find out what it is like to crash through huge waves, with the boats suddenly being left in mid-air as they emerge the other side of a wave. You get 40 tonnes of yacht dropping down into the trough. There is this almighty bang and the first time it happens, you can't believe the boat can take it... but of course the boat does take it.
A quick sprint but it should not be disregarded as some sort of easy leg. The yachts all finish in really close proximity. We had three crossing the finishing line within a minute and a half, the last time. Very close racing. Very exciting stuff. The view as you enter Sydney Harbour Bay and see the opera house and the bridge is outstanding.
It is a tough leg and a long leg. Crews will have to be vigilant for icebergs. After five weeks of fighting against ferocious weather the approach to Table Mountain can be quite frustrating as there is a wind shadow and you can find yourself 'parked'. You'll have tackled all these gales and you can suddenly find yourself going at quite low speeds. Cape Town is a beautiful port, one of my favourites in the world.
There are some quite big swells as you come out of Cape Town, then you pick up the South East Trade Winds. Wonderful sailing, the crews will be in their bathing costumes enjoying the azure sea. Some of the crews will stay close to the African coast, which is a shorter route but there is a greater danger of getting stuck in the Doldrums. Others may strike out to the West where the Doldrums are narrower but the route is longer.
The final stretch will be nailbiting stuff because all the boats will be in really close proximity. Every skipper will want to be the first over the home finishing line. It will be an emotional time for their families and friends waiting in the port. A lot of people find it very hard to say goodbye to the boats. We get them coming back just to spend the odd night on board. Sailing is a bit like a cold. Once you've got it, it's very hard to get rid of.
The Tall Ships Youth Trust is dedicated to helping young people realise their full potential through sail-training adventures. Sailing as part of the Tall Ships crew makes for a participative and empowering experience, providing a unique, physically and mentally challenging residential setting in which young people can explore their true potential.
After a week at sea with us, their self-worth and life chances have literally been transformed. The purpose of this campaign is to ensure that even more young people in need will receive this life-changing opportunity in the future.
On board activities are physically and mentally challenging and cover all aspects of working and living together in a small community at sea. The young people take part in everything from setting and stowing the sails to preparing meals and cleaning. Our voyages not only teach young people how to sail, they also them teach life skills, boost their self-esteem, equip them with emotional coping skills, and encourage them to see themselves as young people with a huge amount to offer society.
of voyagers expressed an increase in self-confidence and self-esteem
Our voyages fully involve young people – everyone on board is encouraged to focus on what they can do as opposed to what they can’t do which creates opportunities for success, builds self-esteem and confidence and helps them to realise their full potential. Preparing the yacht for changes in conditions can be physically and mentally challenging, yet with team work, the young people are able to support each other and overcome individual difficulties, making the experience rewarding for all involved. Young people say they return home feeling healthier with a much more positive approach to life and a drive to stay as healthy as they can.
Tall Ships Youth Trust believe in the bringing together of young people from all walks of life, nationalities, cultures and abilities. Encouraging individuals to challenge any pre-conceptions they might have and showcase a level of respect and compassionate as being part of a team. We feel this is the most natural and most rewarding part of an individual’s experience leaving them with a true sense of belonging.
The crew made the experience that extra bit better and I have most definitely made new friends for life. Absolutely undeniably the best week of my life…”
We’re proud to take people on these amazing adventures, yet for a lot of what we do, we rely on the generous work of volunteers and kind donations from our wonderful community and the general public. If like us, you believe in what we do please do donate and help us sail our virtual yacht around the world… even if it is “the wrong way round.”