Jenna studied physics at university, then had a few jobs as a web developer, before running away to sea in December 2017 and discovering a love for sailing and everything traditional boat-related. Jenna joined Excelsior as a volunteer deckhand in 2018 and sailed with Polish sail training ship Frederyk Chopin on a voyage in the North Sea.
I am especially excited to have the opportunity to do woodwork, wirework, metalwork, engine maintenance, sailmaking, and more traditional rigging, and to be able to use these skills on a working vessel. I’m looking forward to learning much more about the history and operation of the Thames sailing barges where I’ll be for my placement, spending more time working with young people at sea, and I’m hoping to complete my RYA Day Skipper sometime this year.
What attracted you to the project?
The SHTP2 Traineeship got my attention because it was the perfect stepping stone to move from volunteering on boats to a career in the sector, and an amazing opportunity to learn new skills and meet interesting people. The traineeship was the perfect answer, all the training and experience I'd need to make that step up from volunteer to paid crew.
Life at Sea-Change Sailing Trust
The Sea-Change Sailing Trust has recently launched its own vessel Blue Mermaid, a replica of an original steel barge of the same name. She is an engineless Thames sailing barge with the ability to carry cargo within the lower Thames Estuary. Built for group sails, she maintains the traditional rigging and decking of a sea-going Thames barge to preserve traditional seamanship skills. Trainees have the opportunity to sail aboard Blue Mermaid, hosting parties of young people as part of youth development programmes, and chartered cruises
To find out more about the SHTP2 project and how to apply for the traineeships see our Project Pages
Latest Blog Posts
Keep up to date with Jenna and read more about her time as an SHTP2 trainee.
UPDATE - AUGUST 2019 - We managed to be around for an old gaffer’s race, nothing better than sailing through a whole host of old boats, and anchored by the beach at Bradwell for a treasure hunt
UPDATE - JULY 2019 - I spent this last week on the Polish square rigger Fryderyk Chopin! It was such a fantastic week I don’t even know where to start...
UPDATE - JUNE 2019 -This weekend was the Blackwater Match, both mine and Blue Mermaid’s first ever barge match! We came second in our class. It was a really fun race, and a very different experience of barge sailing...
UPDATE - May 2019 - It was my first time sailing on a boat without an engine, if you’re used to sailing with one it’s a very odd feeling. You have no backup, your main tools for problem solving are sails and an anchor. I think I’m going to learn a lot here
UPDATE - April 2019 - Just finished Day Skipper practical and my theory exams. Day Skipper went well, I passed, and managed to go the whole week without crashing into anything or running aground so a definite win!
UPDATE March 2019 - .....I’ve been doing whippings wherever needed, greasing blocks, lots of varnishing, made some boathooks, almost finished knitting a jumper in my spare time, and started a Day Skipper theory course.
UPDATE February 2019 - At the end of this week, we went on a family outing to the Historic Dockyard Chatham, where we spent one day focusing on historic vessel conservation methods, visiting HMS Gannet, HMS Cavalier, and HM Submarine Ocelot. It was great to see the museum people again and have the whole group back together.