Academy Tall Ship crew back in port

The crew from Bede Academy, Blyth, after their Tall Ships Youth Trust adventure.
The crew from Bede Academy, Blyth, after their Tall Ships Youth Trust adventure.

Students sailed into Blyth in spectacular style and fine voice after a ten-day voyage on a tall ship.

The young people from Bede Academy in Blyth, and Emmanuel College in Gateshead, waved from 20m up on the course and lower top sail yards as they returned home to family members waiting on shore. 

The voyage is an annual expedition by the Emmanuel Schools Foundation with the Tall Ships Youth Trust and offers students the chance of a lifetime to be a crew member aboard Stavros S Niarchos.  

The 22 students set sail from Southampton, calling at Boulogne, in France, for an afternoon on the beach before heading north up the east coast of England.

One of those waiting at the Port of Blyth was Kate Arthur, 16, whose sister Fiona, 14, was on board.

Kate, who goes to Bede Academy, said: “I did the tall ship expedition two years ago and I told Fiona how good it was. We didn’t hear from her for the first few days then got a text to say she was tired but enjoying it.”

Once the ship was berthed and the gangplank lowered, Fiona was allowed ashore.

“It was brilliant. I’m really glad I did it,” she said.

The voyage was the seventh for Emmanuel teacher James Ward, who filmed the arrival into Blyth from 35m up on the t’gallant.

He said: “It’s been another amazing trip. During the first few days we had calm seas and good sailing winds but we had to leave Boulogne in a hurry because of bad weather coming in.”

Emmanuel biology teacher and first time tall ship sailor Jessica Teasdale added: “It’s a challenge for the students and it’s great to see them all gaining in confidence as the voyage progresses. They get a huge amount from an experience like this.”