About Jess

I’m Jess - one of the Seafaring Trainees of SHTP2. I’m so excited and proud to be part of the Shipshape programme. Hailing from land-locked Birmingham, seafaring may seem a bit of an odd choice of career! But I have a real love of the sea and for old wooden sailing boats; and after 10 years in the education sector, the last six of which working alone in a windowless office, it was time to turn my passion into a career.

Jess sailed on Tall Ship Morgenster and has since pursued her interest of traditional maritime vessels having volunteered and crewed Brixham sailing trawler Pilgrim, and pilot cutter Amelie Rose, providing a solid foundation of skills and knowledge to build on over the next 12 months.

Latest blogs

UPDATE MAY 2021 - I reckon one of the best ways to gauge your own skills and knowledge is to try and teach someone else and May has presented me with lots of opportunities for both teaching and learning... Read more

UPDATE APRIL 2021 - I get a real buzz from packing the van ahead of another adventure. I often plan weeks in advance with to-do lists and little piles of items I've spotted around the house and thought “ah, I’ll take that with me”. But it always ends up being a frantic, last minute affair... Read more

UPDATE MARCH 2021 - Unbelievably it’s been nearly 6 months since I last wrote a Shipshape blog. While there has been no great seafaring adventures to share or yarns to spin, it has been a very busy and productive time... Read more

UPDATE OCTOBER 2020 - After an incredible month aboard Bessie Ellen, it was time to prepare for the end of the Shipshape Heritage Training Partnership. Well, sort of... Read more

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2020 - At the end of August I spotted an advert online looking for Deckhands to finish off Bessie Ellen’s sailing season and to help with maintenance...Read more

UPDATE AUGUST 2020 - This was one of several short trips out on Pellew in August, all of which had been used for promotion - magazine photoshoots and gathering drone footage for her feature video...Read more

UPDATE JULY 2020 - The monotony and isolation of full lockdown seems like a strange and distant dream now, especially with the variety of projects and fun July had in store for me...Read more

UPDATE JUNE 2020 - June has been a month of (quite literally) tying up loose ends to make Pellew look as good inside as she does out

UPDATE MAY 2020 - It was great to be back on the water and a really fun and interesting day - and another adventure to add to the list!

UPDATE APRIL 2020 - I’m not quite sure where April went. I had settled into the lockdown routine and pottered about with little projects such as sewing a ditty bag made of sailcloth and continued to work hard on Day Skipper....

UPDATE MARCH 2020 - After the pandemonium of the lead-up and eventual launch of Pellew at the end of February, work carried on as normal at the Working Sail yard...READ HERE

UPDATE FEBRUARY 2020 - A friend of mine has a mantra they get new sail trainees to repeat when the going gets tough on the water and the fear sets in: “I’m not scared, I am excited! I’m not scared, I am excited!...” READ HERE

UPDATE JANUARY 2020 - It has been an incredibly busy month, completing many short courses at IBTC from spar making and planking to lofting and pattern making...READ HERE

UPDATE DECEMBER 2019 - As our time  continued, we learned many useful joinery methods including Thalvings, mortise and tenons, dovetails and scarf joints. Some were easier than others, but we all had something to show by the end of our time there....READ HERE 

UPDATE NOVEMBER 2019 Everything here was new to me, from using a hand plane and a marking gauge to sharpening chisels on a stone wheel....READ HERE 

OCTOBER BLOG - One of the biggest highlights of our time in Falmouth for me was visiting Working Sail - Luke Powell’s boat yard.

Jess Clay