My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed 2.5 hrs sailing on the River Mersey on-board the Guillemot yesterday [22nd August 2016].
When we arrived at the quay, the heavens opened and the rain lashed down. This gave us the opportunity to meet up with our 2 Skippers, have a coffee in the bar [Quayside], and for me to let them know that I had never sailed before! It gave them too, time to recap briefly, but most importantly, on safety rules. That done we made our way to the Guillemot, donned waterproofs, that were supplied for us, plus life jackets & we set sail.
After contact with the lock keeper on the Brunswick dock, we watched a large vessel, taking workers out to one of the wind farms, pass through the enormous gates & waving to the small children who had gathered to watch the activity, we followed onto the Mighty Mersey! Immediately we felt the power of the current. We crossed to the Birkenhead side, released the sail and headed on the incoming tide towards Eastham.
- A friendly advisor
Both Skippers, Andrew Whittingham-Jones and David Park used their skills brilliantly. They were very knowledgeable on the landmarks and history of the buildings we passed. For a bit of fun we went to have a closer look at the Rockferry buoy & circled it before moving on. It was so interesting to see areas of Liverpool & Birkenhead from the river. At this time, we enjoyed glorious sunshine & visibility was excellent. I was only sorry that I’d brought a cheap camera (just in case it went overboard!) and missed what would have been some good shots with a telephoto lens.
I felt quite confident at swapping from port to starboard & vice versa (to allow for sail adjustments) whilst my husband was quite relaxed in his spot! We headed back to the lock, just before the outgoing tide, going to investigate a floating object whilst waiting for the lock to be ready. Was it a tyre? Was it a body?! Neither, it was a car seat!! All good fun.
Both Andrew and David had a great sense of humour and I think we all enjoyed our time together. It was a wonderful experience for us both; we are so grateful to both skippers and all involved in our amazing first sail.
Returning home, we watched Team GB recapping on their success. We couldn’t help wondering how many youngsters were inspired by their achievements, especially those of the sailors. If any parents with teenagers, read this, then I cannot imagine a better way of giving them the joy and experience of sailing, under the safety & care of the Guillemot & crew. GO GUILLEMOT! …but be warned, they’ll talk about nothing else for days!
D. J. Rowe