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Tall ship prepares to sail away to warmer climes

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 21, 2012

Deck hand Scotty Bruce and watch leader John Hummel roll up the sail of the tall ship Stavros S Niarchos at Trinity Pier, Millbay pictures: Lucy Blake

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The 200ft brig Stavros S Niarchos has sailed into Plymouth after a six-day "Sea Shanty voyage".

The 48-crew were entertained on the voyage from Southampton by the Cornish group Stamp & Go.

Paying crew learned how to set the sails, climb the rigging and helm the ship – as well as helping with more domestic tasks like cooking and cleaning.

A new crew will discover the realities of life before the mast today as the ship leaves Plymouth on her way to Tenerife where she will spend the winter in the Canaries mostly doing adult voyages. Over the Christmas holidays she will offer voyages for young people aged 16-25.

She moves on to the Azores in March before heading back to Plymouth in the spring.

The Stavros S Niarchos is owned and operated by the charity the Tall Ships Youth Trust, formerly the Sail Training Association,

The main aim of the trust is to offer young people the opportunity to sail and gain life-changing experiences and skills.

The trust takes more than 3,000 people to sea a year and three-quarters of the young people are disadvantaged and disabled. So far 100,000 trainees have sailed 1.8 million nautical miles on the trust's fleet: the Stavros S Niarchos, four 22-metre ocean-going Challenger yachts, a 19-metre catamaran and, before them, the Prince William brig and two schooners Malcolm Miller and Sir Winston Churchill.

Its work includes special needs voyages for young people with physical and mental special needs to help prepare them for adult life, and rehabilitation voyages for young offenders.

To find out more visit www.tallships.org

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