YOUNGSTERS from the Lyme Regis area are being offered the unique opportunity to train aboard the tall ship Pelican this Easter.
The Pelican of London is a ocean-going sail training ship that is 45 metres in length, with 43 berths, a professional crew of nine and registered and equipped for off-shore, worldwide expeditionary voyages.
She has been specifically designed to give young people an “exciting, exacting and exhilarating seafaring experience”, offering the opportunity to voyage under open skies to far horizons, make friends, build confidence, work as part of a team, and use perseverance, initiative and leadership to sail a tall ship.
And now this unique opportunity is being offered to those aged between 15 and 18 from the local area for the Lyme Regis Tall Ship Challenge in April.
The challenge is being organised by Adventure Under Sail, which owns The Pelican and is now led by former LymeForward co-ordinator Adrian Ragbourne as chief executive.
It is a six-day sail training voyage aboard The Pelican, which will arrive and anchor off the Cobb in Lyme Regis before setting sail again on April 17 and returning on April 22.
The Pelican may sail to the Channel Islands or another port depending on the weather and the ship will operate from Portland Marina if necessary.
There are places for 28 young people (14 boys and 14 girls) from Lyme Regis and the surrounding areas to go aboard for the trip. The crew will also include three mentors who have a background and are qualified in development projects with young people.
Marcus Dixon, former chief executive of Lyme Regis Development Trust, now works as business development manager for Adventure Under Sail.
He commented: “Over the years I’ve worked on a number of initiatives to give people in Lyme Regis new and exciting opportunities. So I am delighted to be in a position to enable 28 youngsters the chance to join the beautiful T/S Pelican of London as trainee crew this Easter.
“Sailing ships have always been vessels for broadening horizons, sharing and trading ideas, skills and expertise. They are hard-wired into our psyches – exciting endeavours, voyages beyond borders that make new relationships and redefine what is perceived as being possible.
“Sailing a tall ship is a fantastic experience of a lifetime and I hope this is the first of what will be an annual seafaring adventure.”
The cost per person for the six-day voyage is £180, which the youngsters are asked to raise themselves.
Those interested in finding out more are invited to a meeting at The Hub in Church Street on Friday, March 8 at 6pm.