Ocean Youth Club

The acid fuel fumes from the Diesel engine filled the cockpit of the yacht, despite it being the largest yacht in Northern Ireland, the Ocean Youth Club 68 Foot Schooner - Lord Rank.

We were motoring across the Lough at Belfast at three knots, the fastest speed the engine could go. Jobs on board included cleaning the cockpit, floor, stripping bunks and cleaning them, furling the sails, curling up ropes and hosing the deck.

There were seventeen people on board Lord Rank when I was there. The ages ranged from 13-17. I was the youngest (one of the youngest) there. There were five full time crew and twelve passengers. In the whole week we sailed through gale force seven winds, 225 nautical miles.

We set out from Carrickfergus on Monday, 24 March and came back to harbour on Friday, 28 March. We sailed from Carrickfergus to Ballyholme Bay, from there to Donaghadee and then on to the Isle of Man. Returning from the Isle of Man, via Bangor to Carrickfergus. All you need to do to get a whole week's fun, is select the voyage of your choice from the programme and contact your local office to book direct. "Have you ever tried balancing on a two foot bed, with a "sick" bucket balanced precariously by your side in stormy seas"?

Why not have a go. It's worth it, honest!!

Dominic Linford