China STA 2015 – Our Currency is also trainees

“Our Currency is trainees”. Not my words. I will explictedly give the copyright to Micheal Byrne of Sail Training Ireland for Youth Development. This is what Michael does as a job :  His personal mission is to complete the tasks in hand and then be “redundant”. Because his agreed tasks will be DONE. His actions will have created the planned results. Not just words, But visible results of much talk. Micheal is in his 30’s.

I am genetically old enough to be the father of Michael.  eeeer no I am not his father. But older folk must still learn from younger folk. They are the ones who know much more about the target audience of sail training. The younger ones will listen to the older ones, still. This is bleeding obvious.

Heretically, in the commercial industry of sail training, the ships are NOT important. They are just a vehicle for the mission.

The official, wild parties at the start or end of a highly publisied voyage are only entertainment for the trainees: just  like a wild , drunken disco in the Balerics. The ports who throw the parties want capitalist economic benefit. That is only a sensible use of tax payers ( and corporate sponsor’s) money. The trainees may not get that much life changing experiences from being in port.

In the background, there are many sail training voyages on sail training vessels which are not involved with mass media , economically benificial , ( drag out the city mayor) events. Heresy.

I am currently typing this Blog in the bog of a cheap hotel in Harwich. It is late at night and I dont want to keep my roomate , awake. This afternoon, we spotted the Queen Galadrial on the pontoons. We went and said Ahoy. The current voyage is for teenagers from a special needs school in Staffordshire, UK. At least 100 KM from a coast. NO Headlines. I invited the teachers to take the trainees 200 yards to see the Harwich Mayflower project :

Sean, the main man on site, hung about beyond his contractual , volunteer hours to take the trainees around the embryonic , youthful , ship.

Why? Because the trainees are the most valuable aspect of sail training.

BUT, trainees need to be funded.

Young adults find it hard to work out how to raise money, if they are not given the information about where the money is. And how to raise money. Bleeding obvious statement. Young adults require education and guidence.

What do I know about the bleeding obvious? I read about some of causes of the lack of knowledge of the unknown knowns here:, at at the nappy age of 14. The real book, and not the online wiki, of course.


A website to inform trainees how to personally raise the money is coming up soon. It will inform trainees where existing money is, the usual ideas on how to raise money (eg sell you old phone on ebay) BUT also instructions to use the dedicated crowdfunding web site.

This is not a new idea. There are a couple of crowdfunding pages already out there. We are just telling young (and old) adults how to do it

The target in Harwich is 100 young adults, off to sea, this year , on whatever ship is suitable. Which ship is not important.

The usual moans and comments, please. All is gratefully received, even if it is a stab in the front ( more honorable than the traditional stab in the back)

Finally , here is me and Master Mariner Charles Bull , who is one of the Trustees of the Harwich Mayflower Project:

The last time we meet was on the Replica Endeavour in 2003, as we sailed from Harwich to Lowestoft. He, happily, helped me peel potatoes on the fore deck. Do join the group for more info on the Harwich Mayflower 2020 crossing to America.