Trip for Sea cadets on Greta

As members know, one of the remits of the Association is to get youngsters afloat. Though we are best known for staging the annual Swale Match an important objective of the Association, however, is to ‘introduce and encourage youngsters in the handling of traditional sail’, and to that end the KSA chartered the sailing barge Greta in October and invited a group from Faversham Sea Cadets to experience a day sailing on a traditional Thames barge.

The forecast warned of strong winds but the cadets were keen to get sailing and in agreement with the skipper, Steve Norris, it was decided to head out of Whitstable Harbour on the understanding that if the wind blew up too much he would turn and run back in.

So Greta left Whitstable with the group of young cadets and two officers and enjoyed a wonderful morning on the water. Steve – a perfect skipper and teacher – explained every task and got the boys involved; they were all very interested and helped to set the huge sails, with even the smallest boys heaving on the heavy ropes. They also took turns at the wheel, learned to steer a course and, being of the computer generation, were fascinated by the satellite chart plotter.

The Kentish Sail Association certainly fulfilled its objective this year and maybe one of those young cadets will skipper a Thames barge in a future Swale Match.

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