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Port Edgar / HMS CALEDONIA

Port Edgar / HMS CALEDONIA

Venue: Port Edgar Marina, Edinburgh with accommodation at HMS CALEDONIA, Rosyth.

Dates: Sunday 26th to Thursday 30th June 2016.

Cadets (7): Richard Bragg-Sharpe, Callim Murphy, David Abernethy, Jack Adams, Jordan Walker, Jonathan Astley.

Staff: Lt. Peter Jago CCF RN, Sub Lt. Paul Poddington CCF RN.

Seven cadets travelled up with Sub Lt. Poddington to HMS CALEDONIA on the northern side of the Firth of Forth. They stayed on the naval base in Sea Cadet accommodation and under the gaze of the new aircraft carrier being built at the dockyard. Each morning after a march to and from breakfast in the junior rates mess, they gathered their kit and were driven over the impressive Forth road bridge to Port Edgar marina where the Sea Cadets have a national sailing centre. The venue is impressive, lying between three Forth bridges, including the partially completed new road bridge.

The course mainly consisted of Energy Coast UTC CCF cadets, many of whom had just returned from a non-tidal dinghy course run at Southport. Here though, they had to learn to sail on strong tidal water in both single handers (Laser Picos) and crew boats (RS Quest - the Sea Cadet's new two person dinghy). Lt. Jago joined with two Sea Cadet instructors to deliver the course. On the first day, it was quite breezy with wind strengths of 18 knots (gusts building to 26). So, reefing and controlled sailing was required until the wind got too strong to sail. The next two days saw much lighter winds and the cadets were able to develop all the skills needed to sail around a triangular course:
tacking, gybing, up wind and downwind sailing. There was a good wind on the final day. The experienced sailors practised man-over-board and coming alongside drills while the beginners perfected sailing around a triangle and started racing. Those cadets with a RYA Level 2 qualification were able to gain a tidal endorsement which means that they can now sail at all RN venues on the sea and enter national regattas. Cadets who had not sailed before, or had done very little, gained RYA Level 1 qualifications. Congratulations to all the cadets and Sub Lt. Poddington for gaining qualifications and for their cheerful spirit and team work throughout the course. We all had a great time.

Lt.P.Jago CCF RN
RYA Dinghy Instructor

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