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John My Voyage on the Lord Nelson part 1

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    John My Voyage on the Lord Nelson part 1

    First i need too thank my wife jennie without her help and support would never have got on the great ship also too dreadnought for help with the photos too go with this story thanks clive he is a friend from anouther ship site

    Date 19th may 2008 southampton docks 1400hrs onto the ship that was fun but easy being in my wheelchair
    1 went below too meet the watchleader oh one thing i need too say is all apart from the main crew are all volunteers,
    now i was by the bunk when the watchleader said this is Paul john he will be your buddy for this trip The watchleaders name was Christine she was a great lady on the voyage,
    now a buddy is a person he or she that will help and look after the disabled person on the voyage
    my buddy was a great guy named Paul , now how too explane him too you all, ( we are both Nuts) and boy did he make me laugh, and i think we both made alot of people on that ship over 6 days laugh.

    Im sure we did, now this is not just a holiday, its a working holiday, too we had too do the watches work in the gally set the sails stear the ship oh yes and scrub the decks too. The Captain his name was john too, he told us the the mess what we would be doing and were we where going France as it happens and hope that we all had a great time.
    So 1700hrs we set sail from southampton docks over too France.
    There was two of us in wheelchairs

    Web report LN 692 Day One

    The day opened to blue skies and glorious sunshine as the permanent crew made the ship ready to go to sea. This afternoon the Lord Nelson welcomed new voyage crew on board for the adventure of a lifetime. Once everyone had signed on and been introduced to their watchleaders, Captain John Etheridge welcomed the crew of LN 692 and introduced Neil Duncan the Mate, Dave Bawden the 2nd Mate, Peter Rosewall the Bosun, with Radar and Alice the wonderful Bosun’s mates; Marco the Chief Engineer with Dave Curtis the engineering assistant; Rachel the Medical Purser, Gerry the Cook being ably assisted by Pat Power the Cook’s assistant.

    No sooner had the welcome briefing been given than the safety briefings followed. After a quick ‘smoko’, the voyage crew then underwent the first emergency drill which included assisting those crew members using wheelchairs from the lower deck to the upper deck by means of heaving them up manually! Once the mate was satisfied with the drill, he invited all hands to go aloft. So they donned their climbing harnesses and after a briefing by Peter and Dave, those that wished to, climbed up the rigging and out along the yards. Then it was all hands to mooring stations, as we prepared to go to sea. Dave (2nd Mate) and Aaron took the DOTI boat out whilst the ship was manoeuvred. (Thanks to our fellow crew on Tenacious for casting off the mooring lines – it was good to have them involved too!) With fenders safely stowed, mooring ropes on board, the gangway back on the deckhouse roof, we moved off. There was an almost tangible sigh as dinner was announced and the voyage crew finally got the chance to sit down together after what has been an exceptionally busy afternoon! There was a very welcome dinner of pork chops, roast potatoes, carrots, cauliflower cheese followed by plum crumble and custard – thanks Cookie! We are planning to be at anchor at Lepe off the Hampshire coast at about 2030hrs tonight and are currently letting our dinners go down and relax for a bit before the watches commence!

    MP LN
    this report will not be a day too day account as most will not be about my time on the Nelson its just that some parts are,
    part 2 coming soon
    also like too say sorry if i dont get the ., ect in right place
    Now our watch was the F.P.W forward port watch,
    myself and Paul had bunks. Paul top me bottom oh this was also right next too the engine room too so looks like not much sleep for 6 nights. So at night talking was more like shouting to each other and sorry we did keep some of the others awake too but they were good about it. Now it seemed too us that we were getting the 2.00am till 6.00am watch, but not the first night we had the till watch. So before bed we were in the bar getting too know each other and the crew, we thought that was the best way too do it. Over the next 5 nights it was our cook Gerry who had us in tears most nights, (well really every night) and no I cannot print what we were told don’t want too get sued. I must say we did learn a lot about the trust and the ships in the trust the Lord Nelson and Tenacious from other members of the crew in the bar too. Anyway after a good night in the bar and a bit of sleep we weighed anchor at 7am there was a mist out to sea but it soon turned into a hot sunny day, it was our watch that had the anchor watch We also had to fill out the anchor log and ships log just after breakfast, taking advantage of an 8 knot wind. We were called on deck to get the sails up. That was hard work but great fun got the rope caught between my legs and my chair not nice but nurse said I would be ok.
    When the sails were set a great cheer went up, now we would go to Cherbourg with sails and no engine. So after dinner we had free time my buddy Paul and his friend wanted a better few of the Nelson, so they went up the fore-mask. Now Paul is not one for heights, his friend Aaron said he would go up with him even thou he was frightened of heights himself. When they got to the top we all gave them a big cheer I can tell you all the people on this trip were really great people, and it brought a lot of things to the fore in people, things that they did not know they could do I’m looking forward too doing that myself soon, so after dinner it was hot and sunny, time for a break, sit on deck in the sun, have a smoke look out too sea.

    John My Voyage on the Lord Nelson part 2

    But not me Dave the second mate asked me if I could give a talk too some members of the crew that were on this voyage, what it was like being in a wheelchair on the Nelson. They were on the watch A.S.W i.e. aft starboard watch. I think 4 or 5 of them plus Dave on what its like being in a wheelchair on the nelson as they were doing Diversity at sea programme for HSBC anyway not too get too boring I did tell them the only real way you will know is too get in a chair and see yourselves. After a few moments and smiles from Dave, he got a wheelchair out and told them “ok follow John around the ship,” Go one at a time and see your self what’s its like. Boy going all around the Nelson 5 times takes it out of you believe me still I had the last laugh, not one could use the head without getting out the chair. Tea time then back too the bar before our watch at till 6am and we could not anchor in Cherbourg that night as it was full so we had too anchor overnight off Sainte Vaaste.
    The guy up the mask is Paul.Now we were off Sainte Vaaste .It started off a quiet night, myself and Paul were on 2.00A.M till 6.00A.M watch. So in the bar with the crew and our friends also making us laugh was Gerry again, it was getting late so we thought we would try too get some sleep, but no a storm had started up so we both decided to go up top. We went too the stern oh boy did we get wet, it was like a roller coaster up down Paul was hanging on to my chair I was holding on to the side, we were just laughing so much. But we thought if this was good then going too the very aft of the ship should be even better and yes it was. We were rolling about going up and down with the ship it was great fun. In fact we were on deck until just before our watch at 2.00AM but we had too go change, we were so wet ,
    But on our watch we did learn a lot when Neil the Mate came on, how too read the weather and the temp and charts also about the navigation of the ship. So all in all it was a good watch. Oh and also we did learn one very important thing that was how too drink a cup of tea in a storm.
    So off I went too get the next watch up and the Captain wanted too get off our anchorage at 7.00 after happy hour, cant get my head around happy hour, cleaning the ship. Anyway I did get too talk too Marco the Chief Engineer and see the engine room he said he would sort something out. Anyway after dinner Neil the mate gave a talk around the main mask in which he discussed in great detail the art of sail, setting and the names of the ropes we had been pulling for the last two days.
    As we sailed into Cherbourg we raised the French flag as a mark of respect, now it was my turn too go up the mast an assisted climb they called it.
    The crew were great Pete the Boson and Dave the 2nd mate were up top too help and the rest of the crew pulling me up and helping me back down again. After me Helen went up too .
    I can say it was one of the best experiences that I had on the trip so far on the Nelson.
    Supper was late and we were all invited up too sundowners which means a very late supper on deck) too see we hoped a very good sunset. So now we were at the side of the wharf it was my self and Paul on that 2.00am till 6am. watch again We were to keep look out to stop anyone that was not part of the Nelson coming on board.
    I think it was one of the only nights we did get a better sleep.
    A quite morning on the ship, had too have happy hour then we were on shore for the afternoon in Cherbourg nice and sunny. We went in a few bars and then some shopping was a quite place half day closing over here. Strange as we, in most parts of the UK have stopped early closing, still it was a nice place too get around with Paul’s help even a Disabled toilet .Very important with the bars around town, we had a evening meal with some of the crew at a restaurant that is in the Maritime Museum next too our berth it was originally the railway station terminal for the Great Atlantic liner survives and has been restored too its former glory. Next too this on display was the nuclear submarine Redoubtable( see photo ).After it was back too the ship some sleep for myself and Paul. We were on that watch again 2,am till 6 am same orders too stop anyone not on the Nelson coming on board. On Wednesday morning some more free time, had too be back too the ship by for the voyage photo. During the morning lots of people came too see her and take photos around midday we left Cherbourg. The main exercise of the day was too sail north-east across the channel cutting across the busy shipping lanes the Captain described it as roller skating across the motorway. This time myself and Paul had the 10am till 2am watch, so gave me time to find Marco too see about going down into the engine room. Too my surprise he said yes, so they fixed up a pulley system too help me down with Marco and Dave Curtis the assistant engineer and Dave the 2nd mate.
    They got me down into the engine room and with a few more crew members, he told us about why they needed engines on the nelson, what they do and many more things too hard too remember.
    I was on a high too as I was the first person in a wheelchair too go down the engine room on the Nelson, so was very proud of that fact.
    On the 2.till 10 watch I had a go at sailing her across the channel, boy that was great fun. Also we did not get any sleep that night our last night in the bar with the crew our friends and that man Gerry again, it was one great night just like all the days and nights on the Nelson had been.
    Maybe we did get an hour of sleep not really sure, as with packing our gear all ready too leave her at
    Poole quay. After a full night sailing we came around the eastern side of the Isle of Wight all set for a day of action. After a good breakfast some more sails were set was quick too, as we had all become quite good at it.
    Then this happy hour again Neil the mate announced that a man over board drill was going too take place for the permanent crew.
    The captain had announced that the M.O.D will take place whilst we were in the Solent passing Cowes so more sail was set, it was great fun watching the permanent crew and how well they all did a great job, made you feel very safe too sail with them. We were now on our way too our destination at Poole bay and I was going too sail her into Poole again that was a great thing too do, we had too stop and refuel just before the quay at a refuelling point and my friends saw the Nelson and came over too us.
    The captain said I could leave her here, so after saying my good byes too all of the members on the Nelson that took a few minutes( well a lot really) anyway they got me in a sling and over the side onto the quay .
    Now I have too say for the 6 days I was on the Nelson I can really say too you all that thanks too my wife and friends off the Nelson I had one of the best times I have had in a wheelchair since I have been in it
    Thank you all for that
    I would like to say to end this story and that is anyone that would like to go too the Jubilee Sailing Trust site its at and see what they do to help Disabled people have a great fun time sailing the two great tall ships Lord Nelson and Tenuous so please take a look and see thank you THE END
    PS dont know how too download photos would have like too with this story

    Regards john


      John, I haven't enjoyed a tale so much for a very long time, it was just great, really great. I felt I was with you all the way. I know Lepe and can well imagine you moored there offshore. And you had that determination to go up the mast, something I don't think I'd ever have the courage to do. To top it all you got to actually sail the Nelson - what a wonderful feeling that must have been. You must have learnt such a lot on how to sail those beautiful ships, as well as all the fun and laughter there was on board.
      I can well understand when you say that "working holiday" was one of the best times you've had since being confined to a wheelchair. Mind you, John, by the sound of it, there wasn't much confining, what with going up the mast, down into the engine-room, careering round the deck with your buddy Paul, setting sails........
      Thank you so very, very much for sharing all this wonderful trip with us. If you want to post your photos, I or anyone will help you. It is not possible to upload them direct from your computer, but it can be done via various photo hosting sites. Most of my pics. I keep on Flickr, but photopush might be easier for you, I have used it once or twice.
      Must go and get supper, but later I'll have a look at that site you mention.

      "To thine own self be true.......
      Thou canst not then be false to any man."


        Simply wonderful, John!
        I had always regretted not having time to go aboard Lord Nelson that day in Leith when I saw her, especially after I found out about the work of the trust.
        But now, reading your story, like Ivy I really feel I have been there (though I’d never have got up the mast!)

        I’d love to see your photos, so do ask for help, like Ivy said.


          Take time to think about what we discussed in our PM's, John, and then let me know if you want to go ahead with the photos.

          "To thine own self be true.......
          Thou canst not then be false to any man."


            I have decided not to post any photos on this thread as they are personal to me but i may do in a later thread just not to sure at the moment and thank you for your warm comments so far



              Thank you for sharing this story with all of us.

              I will bookmark it and go back reading it thoroughly before bedtime tonight!
              With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

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