A 14-year-old Sea Cadet has spent a week at sea training on the 29-metre brig T.S. Royalist thanks to an annual sponsorship from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.
Ordinary Cadet James Humphrey was the last Island Cadet to sail on T.S. Royalist, as it is being decommissioned at the end of this year and replaced by another brig.
James, from Douglas, joined Sea Cadets as a Junior Cadet four years ago, and, having moved up to Full Cadet at 12, he was made Ordinary Cadet in April this year. His week on board T.S. Royalist saw the vessel visit Lowestoft, Whitby and Newcastle.
James said: ‘It was a fantastic experience, particularly the night sailing, and it was a great opportunity to meet lots of new people. The time on T.S. Royalist gave me the chance to develop my nautical knowledge and skills, and complete my Offshore Hand 1 qualification.
‘I also loved the stop in at Whitby – they do the best fish and chips there!’
The present flagship of the Sea Cadet Corps’ fleet, T.S. Royalist was launched in 1971 by HRH The Princess Anne and offers Cadets the experience of sailing a square rigger, with the emphasis on teamwork and the personal challenge of working aloft.
Mark Woodward, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive, said: ‘Each year we link with the Isle of Man unit of the Sea Cadet Corps, which operates as an Isle of Man registered charity in its own right, to sponsor a cadet place on T.S. Royalist. We are delighted to help local Cadets receive the kind of hands-on experience such trips can bring, and I’m really pleased that James has had such a wonderful time.’
The Isle of Man unit operates from the Cadet Drill Halls Complex at Tromode, where cadets meet on Monday and Thursday evenings. More information about the unit is available via its website: www.sea-cadets.org/isleofman