A diverse crew sailing the high seas

JST PnTPhoto: Harry Cator of the Jubilee Sailing Trust (2nd from left) with St Mark’s students (L-R) Henry Hole, Alex Makarowsky, Brandon Swain, Will McLachlan, Joe Cavanagh

“The Jubilee Sailing Trust provides an unparalleled insight and opportunity into how disabled and able-bodied people can live and work together side-by-side in some of the most challenging and thrilling of circumstances” said Alex Makarowsky, a second year Electrical Engineering student at the University of Adelaide, who attended a recent Port ‘n’ Talk at St Mark’s College with guest speaker Harry Cator of the Jubilee Sailing Trust.

Established nearly forty years ago, the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) has continued its vision to integrate physically disabled with able bodied people on a tall ship – an extraordinarily unique concept which today is the only organisation of its kind in the world.  A registered charity, the JST has made an incredible impact upon the lives and perceptions of many people, in particular Harry, whose grandmother overcame serious disability caused by polio and  managed to take part in normal life.

Tenacious is the world’s largest operating wooden hulled ship built by 1,500 disabled and able-bodied volunteers with special features such as talking compasses for blind crew, and joystick controls for people with limited mobility. Currently circumnavigating the world are a crew of 40 sailors, half of whom have disabilities and may have a wheelchair, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, be an amputee, blind or deaf.

The JST is providing people with disabilities the chance to experience life on the high seas, whilst providing able-bodied members a sense of what is possible with a diverse crew.  Every crew member is expected to to play their part in the day-to-day running of the ship, and the experience has been life-changing for people of all ages, backgrounds and levels of physical ability.  The voyages have helped crew members build their self-esteem, confidence, leadership and life skills in many ways.

Tenacious, is now in Australia and has commenced an action packed program of voyages between Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart and Sydney until April 2017.

Further information can be found on the JST website:http://jst.org.uk/australia/