The Wettest Classroom on Earth - 2019
Follow the shipmates exciting journey and stay up to date with the ship's news and photos across all eight legs / 62 days at sea!
Daily blog posts:
Leg 4 - Day 3 - Lowestoft to Scarborough overnight sail
Day 3 - 17th June
(Lowestoft to Scarborough sailing overnight)
News from the ship: "Shipmates have been taking advantage of the fresh water in Lowestoft marina and spraying down the ropes.
They also fuelled the ship up to it's capacity which is 2420 litres!
The shipmates plan their sail north, with Scarborough as the next expected point of call.
Pictured: Lunch team prepare lunch for the shipmates.
Cheese and tomato pasta with vegetables and the infamous chocolate brownies are being prepared by the lunch team.
..and the're off! Sailing north!
Leg 4 - Day 2 - Shotley Gate to Lowestoft
Day 2 - 16th June
(Shotley Point to Lowestoft)
News from the ship: "Most people have slept ok onboard the ship for their first night. Shipmates have planned a 9 hour sail up to Lowestoft for today. The day has started calm, with the sun out and the wind and waves behind the ship.
Plenty of new deck skills are being learnt - rope coiling, teamwork to pull up different sails throughout the boat and finding their sea legs as they move around the ship.
Pictured: The route of the ship on Day 2.
Pictured: Lowestoft by night.
Leg 4 - Day 1 - Ipswich to Shotley Gate
Shipmates from Venturers' Academy travelled over from Bristol on Friday 14th June and spent their first night away from home camping at Tomcat Farm. It was a great way to start the student's adventure, with a group meal out in the evening and excellent team work to get everyone's tents up ready for their first night away from home.
Day 1 - 15th June
(Ipswich to Shotley Gate)
News from the ship:
"Everyone found their bunk beds and learnt which team they would be in for the voyage, with the initial lunch crew setting straight on to lunch prep after their welcome briefing.
To ease the shipmates into sailing and living onboard the Queen Galadriel, Day 1 was a short journey down the river Orwell from Ipswich marina and into a mooring location on the mouth of the river Stour.
Shipmates were all hands on deck helping take off the docking lines, untie the fenders and then recoil all the lines to ensure the deck was kept safe and tidy.
An excellent start to Leg 4 of the #wettestClassroomonEarth as the sun in shining, which can make all the difference to the student's apprehension about the exciting adventure ahead.
Venturers' Academy staff shipmate
Smiles all round - All the students are enjoying life on the water!
No fear from Poppy on Day 1 - as she ventures out on to the bowsprit netting to untie a sail ready.
Everyone's spirits were high, as the ship sailed down the river - with the shipmates singing 'We are sailing'.
The ship spent the first night at Shotley Gate just at the mouth of the river Stour, just before open sea, which they will venture out into tomorrow morning.
Leg 3 - Day 7 - Ipswich
Day 7 - 14th June
News from the ship: "Shipmates wake up early to do a final 'happy hour cleaning session' of the ship ready for the next group of shipmates to join in the morning and begin Leg 4."
The shipmates thank the crew and wave goodbye to the ship, as they set foot back on dry land for the final time.
A massive well done to the young shipmates on their achievements this last week. Congratulations to Oliver, Riva, Cora, Ruby, Billy, Reece and Oliver.
Leg 3 - Poole to Ipswich = DONE!
Leg 3 - Day 6 - Activity day near Ipswich
Day 6 - 13th June
(Activity Day at Shotley Gate)
pancakes are being cooked this morning for breakfast in preparation for our last full day on board the Queen Galadriel.
Knowle dge shipmates
News from the ship: "Today the shipmates have been learning how to drive the tender, row the tender and climb the rigging!"
On the final sail the shipmates placed the homemade trawl in the sea and dragged it behind the ship to see how much surface plastic was in the sea near Ipswich.
An eventful evening yesterday. After a slip on board for one shipmate. They went ashore to be checked over medically and Thankfully are all ok & have rejoined the ship.
Leg 3 - Day 5 - Sailing north from Ramsgate
Day 5 - 12th June
(Sailing from Ramsgate towards Ipswich)
News from the ship: "After breakfast the ship sets sail - with another full day of sailing lying ahead for the shipmates!"
Pictured: Today really has been the Wettest Classroom on Earth! As the ship completes the final main sail up towards Ipswich, in the pouring rain. It was great to see today's spirits managing to stay so high!
Sailing into the mouth of the river Orwell.
Leg 3 - Day 4 - Ramsgate
Day Four - 11th June
News from the ship: "Shipmates talk of their "epic sail" through the night as they wake up in Ramsgate.
During the night watch each team took it in turns to complete a three hour watch. This involved steering the ship, ensuring they avoided large ferries and container ships and taking a regular log to include the ship's position and checking they remain on course to their destination."
We made it to Ramsgate after 135 nautical miles and are now busy cooking bacon for all the crew.
We hope to go swimming today and recovery from the long night!
Knowle DGE shipmates
Pictured: Shipmates are set to work after breakfast - scrubbing the sides of the ship while it's docked in the marina at Ramsgate.
After the cleaning chores, shipmates relax and visit the beach for a swim.
We have had a lovely day at Ramsgate playing beach games, paddling in the sea and having more fish and chips!
It has been nice to recover after sailing for 24 hours!
Passmores Academy shipmates
Leg 3 - Day 3 - Cowes to Ramsgate
Day Three - 10th June
(Sailing from Cowes overnight to Ramsgate)
News from the ship: "Shipmates have left the Isle of Wight and continue their journey through the Solent and towards Ipswich.
The shipmates learn about navigation onboard the ship, setting the ship's course to sail to Ramsgate!
Everyone is excited about a sail through the night, which will involve people taking it in turns to be on lookout on top deck, looking out for other vessels, bouys, etc."
Pictured: Shipmates filling in the log book, ensuring they stay on course.
Leg 3 - Day 2 - Poole to Cowes
Day Two - 9th June
(Poole to Cowes, Isle of Wight)
News from the ship: "Shipmates rise early to prepare the boat for their first sail, learning how to scrub the deck. They learn about how this is a daily requirement - scrubbing salt water over the wooden timber, to keep the wooden deck from shrinking, which would increase the risk of leaks occurring below deck.
Now it's time to leave the crowds behind as the Wettest Classroom on Earth departs for Cowes, on the Isle of Wight!
Pictured: Shipmates going up on the front bowsprit to pull in a sail.
First day of sailing to Cowes complete! The students have learnt valuable skills today!
Lunch today was sausage rolls with beans and homemade peanut butter cookies for all. The shipmates are getting more independent at preparing meals for each other, with less help from the staff needed.
This evening the shipmates were lucky to go on land and have a shower, potentially the last opportunity for a while!
Leg 3 - Day 1 - Poole
Day One - 8th June
(Poole Boat Show Day 2)
News from the ship: "Shipmates from the Cambian Group (UK group of schools), Passmores Academy (based in Harlow, Essex) and Knowle DGE (part of Learn@ MAT and based in Bristol) have come together in Poole and have joined the ship in the middle of Poole Boat Show.
Highlights from day one include eating fish and chips, ice cream and some team building football skills on dry land.
Night one - Team Knowle DGE shipmates are on dinner duty and have made a three course dinner for 17. Everyone has enjoyed getting to know all the crew and are lucky to be in town the evening of the huge fireworks display to celebrate the Poole Boat Show.
Everyone is looking forward to their first day of sailing tomorrow!"
Leg 2 - Day 7 - Poole
Day Seven - 7th June
(Poole Harbour Festival Day 1)
News from the ship: "Shipmates spent the night docked at Poole, which was a wise choice as during the night the heavens opened and storm Miguel made an appearance with strong wind gusts and plenty of rain to add to the Wettest Classroom!
Shipmates completed final clean up duties to prepare the ship for Leg 3. Then the Skipper debriefed the shipmates on the voyage and handed out certificates to the students congratulating them on their achievements, including awarding their internationally recognised RYA yachting certificates. Well done to them all!”
The shipmates thank the crew and wave goodbye to the ship, as they set foot back on dry land for the final time.
A massive well done to the young shipmates on their achievements this last week. Congratulations to Jacob, Ainsley, Lakhile, Raf and Freddie.
Leg 2 - Fowey to Poole = DONE!
Leg 2 - Day 6 - Portland to Poole
Day Six - 6th June
(Portland to Poole)
News from the ship: “Leg 2 of the Wettest Classroom on Earth is nearly complete with the shipmates sailing from Fowey to Poole in time to exhibit the boat at the annual Poole Boat Show at the weekend.
Everyone enjoyed a full sail all the way from Portland to Poole. With the ship not taking down the sails until they sailed past Old Harry’s Rocks and into the entrance to Poole harbour.
- 3 sails at the front of the ship, 3 sails in the middle and 1 sail at the back.
During the sail the students also placed the homemade trawl into the sea to see what surface debris was in the water. They analysed their findings and discovered that during the 2 hour surface water trawl they had collected numerous baby fish, 3 different coloured invertebrates, a tiny jellyfish and only a few pieces of plastic pollution.
During the sail shipmates also learnt about safety at sea, how to attract attention if they are in danger and different pieces of apparatus available to them on the ship in an emergency - First Mate Sam’s yellow bag of fun!
The healthy eating meal plans continue to be well received by all the shipmates and many have been taking photos of the recipes and are looking forward to showing off their culinary skills once back on dry land.
On entering the bay the students spotted enormous barrel jelly fish and a fascinating parachute display from the Special Boat Service out in the bay on a training exercise.
Once docked in Poole the students brainstormed all their highlights together and each drew a picture of their favourite activities and sightings from the voyage.
The shipmates finished all deck cleaning and tidying away duties before dinner. After dinner they were able to visit the shower block for a well deserved shower in time for going home tomorrow.”
Leg 2 - Day 5 - Isle of Portland
Day Five - 5th June
(Isle of Portland)
News from the ship: “Shipmates have woken to a pleasant morning in Portland harbour and their Skipper is planning a day full of activities off the Isle of Portland.
They also learnt how to drive the ship’s tender, row the tender in case of engine failure and throw ropes to achieve the greatest distance.”
Everyone showed bravery, climbing right to the top of the ship's riggings - 20m up!
Everyone was ready for lunch - alfresco on the deck. Sweet potato and Spanish sausage soup, delicious. Jacob and Ainsley were adamant they would not like the soup, and both found it very tasty!
A visit to Chesil beach was in order after lunch! Here Ainsley took it upon himself to do a beach clean up - searching for plastic pollution.
Leg 2 - Day 4 - Start Point to Isle of Portland
Day Four - 4th June
(Start Point to Portland Harbour)
News from the ship: "The shipmates rise early, prepare breakfast and get on their way - sailing towards Weymouth.
Shipmates are excited by the arrival of a pod of dolphins, that dance around the hull of the ship and jump out of the water by the bowsprit (check out the videos on @VenturersAc Twitter page).
Current location of the ship at 3:30pm today!
Pictured: The ship is sailing towards Portland harbour, Isle of Portland.
The ship arrived into Portland, steered into port by Miss!
Ainsley spotted a jellyfish floating at the surface as the ship dropped anchor in Portland harbour.
Leg 2 - Day 3 - Plymouth to Start Point
Day Three - 3rd June
(Plymouth to Start Point)
News from the ship: "Shipmates are very proud of their home from home, keeping it clean from all the salt spray."
The route is decided, another day of sailing lies ahead.
The shipmates enjoy a glorious afternoon sailing (snoozing) in the sunshine. Winds have changed slightly resulting in the motion of the ocean beginning to pick up again. well done to Lakhile who is keeping everyone's spirits up with a sing-a-long.
The shipmates sleep the night at Start Point, near Kingsbridge.
Leg 2 - Day 2 - Fowey to Plymouth
Day Two - 2nd June
(Fowey to Plymouth)
News from the ship: "Shipmates enjoyed their first sail, some more than others (sea sickness strikes again)!
My favourite part of the day was hoisting the sails.
Jacob, age 12
My best part of the day was working as a team with my friends.
Ainsley, age 10.
I love just watching the water!
Raf, age 12
The ship sailed into Plymouth with a beautiful backdrop - a lovely end to day 2 onboard the Queen Galadriel."
Leg 2 - Day 1 - Fowey
Lakhile gets creative on the mini bus journey down to the ship!
Day One - 31st June
News from the ship: New shipmates have joined the Queen Galadriel! The change over happened in Fowey harbour, where four new students from Venturers' Academy joined the ship along with some shipmates from a school in the The Cambian Group.
Students were set to work straight away, learning to scrub the deck and tidy away ropes.
The shipmates planned their journey with their Skipper Louis, learning how to read charts and look at the predicted weather forecast.
Throughout the voyage, shipmates will work in different teams, encouraging team work and enabling each team to learn different roles each day.
During his galley duties, Raf masters egg cracking after preparing scrambled eggs for everyone!
Leg 1 - Day 7 - Fowey
Day Seven - 31th May
News from the ship: Shipmates have been looking back on their last six days at sea, the challenges they have faced and the personal experiences that they feel have helped them learn more about themselves.
I have Learnt how to believe in myself and that has boosted my self-esteem.
and now I can build resilience towards my peers.
now I can enhance my social skills even further, increase my confidence and be more braver than i ever was before.
On the last morning on the ship, the shipmates pack their bags ready for departure. There are just a few hours left aboard the Queen Galadriel to complete some final fun activities with the crew from Cirdan Trust - crabbing, rib driving, climbing the rigging and updating the charts to name a few.
The shipmates thank the crew and wave goodbye to the ship, as they set foot back on dry land for the final time.
A massive well done to the young shipmates on their achievements this last week. Congratulations to Jamie, Luke, Leon, Jack, Tacari, Tallulah, Fern, Esme and Ciara.
Leg 1 - Bristol to Fowey = DONE!
Leg 1 - Day 6 - Falmouth to Fowey
Day Six - 30th May
(Falmouth to Fowey)
News from the ship: "Shipmates had a misty sail around Lizard point as they sail towards Helford Estuary.
Shipmates enjoy the calmer seas and sitting up on deck hunting for the Cornish coast through the mist."
Students have experienced mixed emotions the last few days on the ship, from extreme seas and sea sickness around Lands End point to a quote from one shipmate saying;
I am happy onboard for a week. I wish it could be longer!
Leon, age 14
To research surface level plastic in the seas, the ship has been dragging a home-made filter that will collect rubbish and micro-plastics on the surface of the water. Students will keep a chart of their findings.
The collection sparked conversation onboard the ship, giving students the opportunity to discuss the problems of water pollution, single-use plastic issues and micro-plastic in the sea.
Students have also been making the most of the calmer seas, sitting up on deck and learning how to tie knots.
Others have been on look out and taking a climb up the rigging!
Land ahoy! - The shipmates spot Fowey!
Day 6 complete, the shipmates drop anchor at their final port of call - Fowey.
Leg 1 - Day 5 - Newlyn Bay to Falmouth
Day Five - 29th May
(Newlyn Bay to Falmouth)
"Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think"
News from the ship: "Shipmates have been learning about how to keep safe in a life raft with a ‘Grab ‘n’ Go Bag’."
The ship's ETA at 3pm:
7pm: Anchored off Falmouth - End of Day 5.
The evening was spent studying the charts with their Skipper Louis, planning their route and being prepared for the morning sail around Lizard point.
Everyone enjoyed the Dolphin student's homemade curry and brownies for dinner. Full bellies all round!
Leg 1 - Day 4 - Newlyn Bay
Day Four - 28th May
News from the ship: "Shipmates enjoy a more relaxed 'rest & activity' day in Newlyn Bay, after a tiring day sailing around Lands End yesterday."
"Students enjoy playing battleships (ironary aside) whilst they wait for their fellow shipmates to make homemade lunch of Mediterranean Vegetable Pastries."
All the students are so brilliant and brave.
well done to The Dolphin School students for being so supportive and kind, so everyone can all achieve, overcome barriers and succeed together
Pictured: Students analyse tide times and plan tomorrow’s sail to Falmouth.
"After cleaning duties the shipmates head ashore to regain some balance (and maybe a shower), after three days at sea.
The students are put to work by the crew - scrubbing the deck and the bathrooms!
Everyone enjoyed exploring the beach and a nice Fish & Chips dinner."
Leg 1 - Day 3 - Sailing around Lands End to Newlyn Bay
Day Three - 27th May
(Around Lands End to a sheltered Newlyn Bay)
News from the ship: The shipmates have had their first dolphin encounter as the ship made its way south towards Lands End.
"The early watch team this morning were treated to a pod of around 10 dolphins including a couple of babies."
"The students have been busy hands on learning about gibing today. Some shipmates were very lucky as they witnessed a humpback whale breach right out of the water by the ship! Amazing!
Well done to shipmate Luke who has been a super star - cooking meals down below when many shipmates couldn't cope due to their sea sickness!"
"It’s been a tough couple of days, with 30 hours of continuous sailing, rough seas, night watches and sea sickness, but the students and staff are still in good spirits singing loudly as they sail into a sheltered port for the night."
Pictured: Great sunset during the night watch this evening, as shipmates saw day 3 come to an end.
Day 3, Leg 1 is done. Incredibly hard days work, with high swell and increasing winds and seeing dolphins.
The adults and students from Venturers Trust are totally inspirational
Cirdan Trust Crew
Photo: Spotted (and photographed) by a passing fisherman as they sail into port at Newlyn Bay.
Leg 1 - Day 2 - Oxwich Bay to Newlyn Bay
Day Two - 26th May
(Oxwich Bay to Newlyn Bay - 30 hrs continuous sailing)!
News from the ship: "The Blue Team have been busy in the galley preparing lunch for the others - homemade sausage rolls!"
"Up on deck it has been very wet today, but then again it is 'the wettest classroom on earth'!!
The shipmates have been learning how to throw ropes today. Everyone has to work hard on the ship and takes it it turns to do all the jobs."
Pictured: On the Green Team's 3-hour night watch session they were lucky to have a beautiful sunset. Teams took it in turn to sit through a night watch, as the ship sailed through the night continuously.
"It’s been a tough day but we’re in good hands with Ciara at the helm and the amazing Cirdan Trust crew."
Hot chocolate for all, to wam themselves before night watch duties throughout the night.
Leg 1 - Day 1 cont. - Sailing down the Bristol Channel to Oxwich Bay
Day One at sea - 25th May
(Bristol to Minehead to Oxwich Bay)
News from the ship: "It has been a long first day, with everyone finding their sea legs.
The shipmates have been tackling new challenges head on - including learning how to hoist the sails!
"The ship had quite a rough nine hours of sailing in the open sea, with multiple shipmates experiencing some form of sea sickness.
The students were happy to be wrapped up warm in their waterproofs!"
Pictured: Banana and custard to settle the shipmates belly's before the first night in their bunks.
Pictured: The tracked route of the ship, with a late afternoon anchor just outside Minehead. The ship then sailed through the night to Oxwich Bay near Swansea to find a sheltered spot.
Leg 1 - Day 1 - Departing Bristol & along the River Avon
25th May 2019 - Bon Voyage!
All hands on deck for Venturers Trust students as they live and learn aboard the ‘Wettest Classroom on Earth’.
At 10am on Saturday, eight adventurous Venturers Trust students (3 from Venturers' Academy and 5 from The Dolphin School along with teaching staff), set sail from Welsh Back harbour aboard a classroom like no other! With a host of family, friends, classmates, teachers and governors waving them off on their voyage and with the sound of The Dolphin School choir singing from the dockside.
Pictured: Shipmates were joined onboard with the Master of the Society of Merchant Venturers for one final wave to the crowds.
The Dolphin Choir showed great community spirit attending 'The Wettest Classroom on Earth' departure, waving off their classmates on the voyage of a lifetime. The students can't wait to hear all about the ships adventures once their friends return next week.
The Wettest Classroom on Earth departs Bristol:
Follow the Queen Galadriel, through these photos, as she departs Bristol harbour, stopping traffic as she passes through the swing bridge near Hotwells.
Then under the iconic Clifton Suspension bridge and continuing along the river Avon, until finally passing under the Avonmouth bridge and entering open sea.
25th May 2019 - TV Appearances
The Wettest Classroom on Earth appears on BBC Points West, with fantastic footage of the ship sailing under the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
To link to the segment on Points West, it can be accessed via BBC iplayer here (at 03.50) - (Available online for a limited time only).
Media interviews - Pre-departure
25th May 2019 - BBC Radio Interview
The Queen Galadriel departs today on the first of eight legs that will take a total of 96 shipmates, made up of school children and teaching staff, around the UK coast over a two-month voyage of adventure, returning back in to Bristol Harbour on 26thJuly.
Two Venturers' Academy students, who will be joining the vessel on later legs, along with Trystan Williams and Alan Chambers attended the BBC Radio studios at 7:30am for a live radio interview discussing the imminent voyage and outlining how the exciting Wettest Classroom on Earth project had began.
Re-listen to their interview on BBC Radio Bristol, play the Breakfast show with Ali Vowles and listen from 7:42am! Click here to visit website
24th May 2019 - Bristol TV filming
Bristol TV joined us dockside for some interviews with students, family members, teaching staff and Cirdan Trust crew.
View footage on their facebook page or click this link.
Pre-departure - Ship tour
24th May 2019 - Pre-departure meet up
Students from across the trust joined together aboard the Queen Galadriel for a tour of the vessel and to get to know their fellow shipmates.
Students from Merchants' Academy, The Dolphin School and Venturers' Academy met with Tony Kenny, Master of the Society of Merchant Venturers and other key sponsors of the project who each wished all the shipmates a wonderful voyage.
Pictured: Tony Kenny, Master of the Society of Merchant Venturers along with key sponsors of the Wettest Classroom on Earth Project and the Executive Lead of Venturers Trust, Trystan Williams. Along side students from Merchants' Academy, The Dolphin School and Venturers' Academy.
Pictured: The Dolphin School shipmates with their academy Principal Shelley Flanagan.
Pictured: Students practice climbing the bow sprit with their Skipper, Louis Abbott.
Pictured: Venturers' Academy shipmates with their academy Principal Trystan Williams.
Pictured: Merchants' Academy shipmates with their academy Assistant Vice Principal Bianca Ramsden.
Pictured: Executive Lead of Venturers Trust, Trystan Williams (centre), with CEO of Cirdan Trust, Leonie Back (left) and Consultant Principal of Kunskapsskolan, Andrea Atkinson (right).
Pictured: Governor of Venturers' Academy, Simon Cooper (left) with the academy's Principal / Executive Lead of Venturers Trust, Trystan Williams (right).
8th May 2019 - Countdown!
The Queen Galadriel will set sail from Bristol harbour on the 25th May between 9:30-10:30am (tide dependant).
The ship will be docked outside the Arnolfini on Welsh back (find us at BS1 4QA).
Come wave off the ship and wish the students 'Bon voyage!'