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Topsail set sail on 'Prolific'

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Topsail set sail on 'Prolific'

On Sunday 17th September 2017, Operations Manager Laura and Account Executive Charlotte were invited on board the Ocean Youth Trust’s “Prolific”. Both team members had a fantastic day, which Charlotte has provided an account of below.

As Laura and myself set off early on a bright and chilly Sunday morning, we were both eagerly anticipating what our day aboard the mighty vessel Prolific with the Ocean Youth Trust South would entail.

As we arrived we were greeted by the very enthusiastic and cheery staff on board Prolific which set us in good stead for the rest of the day. 

We had a quick introduction to the vessel and every one that was on board told us a little bit about themselves and why they were on the voyage. Everyone was very chatty and there was a variety of different characters on board, ranging from Laura who was completely new to sailing, down to little 5 year old Ed, who was on board with his parents, both of whom loved being out on the water.

There was a short and informative safety briefing and before we knew it we had set sail!

The team was split in to 2 different watches and each group had their own leader. Each group was assigned different tasks throughout the day to help the running of the vessel, and we started off by hoisting the mainsail. The lines weere set and we had our watch spread out down the length of the halyard in anticipation for when the skipper gave us the go ahead to hoist!

2, 6, Heave!

2, 6, Heave!

A few more 2, 6, Heaves and the sail was up! And what a splendid sight it was.

A bit more teamwork was involved and we all chipped in to hoist the other remaining 3 sails (and yes she has a whopping 4 sails!)

Once all of the sails where hoisted we could relax a little, everyone assumed their various positions around the Vessel and got chatting. We had the pleasure of meeting one of our loyal customers whom has a travel insurance policy with us. We also met various members of the team that work so hard to make the voyages aboard the Prolific enjoyable and most of all memorable.

It was amazing to be on board such a vast Vessel, especially one that Topsail have the pleasure in Insuring! Lunch was soon served and after a quick bite to eat, we headed back on deck.

Myself and Laura had a go at helming and we started to make our way back upwind, keeping our eyes on what was happening around us. With it being a Sunday, there was lots of boats out enjoying the calm and relaxing conditions, this meant we had to do lots of tacking to make sure we avoided any other boats!

We eventually made our way back up to Southampton and started to head in. Again, we split in to our  watches and all got assigned different jobs. As we had hoisted the sails up on the way out we then had to drop them all back down on our way in. Luckily, this process was a lot quicker and required a lot less muscle- after all, being out on the water all day had worn us all out!

As we made our way back in to our berth, we all got called to the foredeck to have a chat and de-brief with Mark the skipper. We were all awarded a certificate for our work on board.

After being on board the Prolific with the Ocean Youth Trust South, it is amazing to see the opportunities they are making available for young children, the students can really get stuck in and the staff that work and volunteer on board have a passion for getting kids out sailing and making memories that will last a life time.

I can certainly say that we had a very enjoyable day on board, and we are both looking forward to the next time we can get back out on the water!

To find out more about the work of Ocean Youth Trust South, please visit the website http://www.oytsouth.org/


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