ON AUGUST Bank Holiday Sunday I had a nostalgic trip down to Barrow-in-Furness docks to see the yacht James Cook which was paying a visit while cruising in the Irish Sea.
This year the vessel celebrates 25 years of sailing while crewed by young people experiencing voyages under sail. My interest stemmed from its very beginning in a Tyneside shipyard.
Back then my employer, a training charity which had its roots in the shipbuilding industry, sought projects such as canal boat and yacht building for other charities to operate while providing experience and qualifications for both apprentices and adults seeking to advance their skills in fabrication and outfitting.
One such project was the building of the steel-hulled yacht James Cook for the Ocean Youth Club and it was a joy to see her again after 25 years. She is still offering wonderful opportunities for young people to develop their personal skills and forge friendships while working as a team.
The registered charity, Ocean Youth Trust North, fulfils a vital role in offering voyages around the UK and deserves the support of all who believe in the value of this kind of adventure training. More information can be found at their website www.sailjamescook.com.
I have included a photograph for readers to see and appreciate this fine yacht while moored in Barrow and perhaps help to support its operation and the associated training programmes.