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Wattonm cadet gets her sea legs

PUBLISHED: 10:08 21 August 2009 | UPDATED: 21:39 07 July 2010

CADET Warrant Officer Rachel Fincham from 864 (Watton) Squadron has just found her sea legs having completed an exciting 10-day voyage around the Scottish Islands and Northern Ireland.

CADET Warrant Officer Rachel Fincham from 864 (Watton) Squadron has just found her sea legs having completed an exciting 10-day voyage around the Scottish Islands and Northern Ireland.

She was one of only 11 lucky air cadets selected from across the country to sail on the 72” Scottish Ocean Youth Trust Ketch, Alba Venturer.

Having had no previous sailing experience, Rachel had to learn to sail from scratch with the rest of the crew, but by the end of the voyage, her sailing skills had improved to the Royal Yachting Association competent crew level and she was awarded her certificate.

Rachel said: “The whole voyage was fantastic, we sailed 455 miles in very mixed sailing conditions from calm seas to five metre swells and a force eight gale. Night sailing was incredible and our longest sail was 26 hours from Mallaig to Port Rush in Northern Ireland. With no showers on board it was a real treat to arrive in a port where we could have a shower!”

The air cadets visited a number of Scottish Isles including Rhum and they experienced all the trials and emotions that sailing has to offer.

However, the rewards of sailing soon outweighed the tiredness, storms and cramped conditions, with the cadets taking the helm and sailing the yacht themselves through the fantastic scenery. There was also plenty of wildlife to see from basking sharks to seals and dolphins.

The cadets had plenty of time for more relaxed fun, away from the regimes of watches and food preparation for a hungry crew, with dinghy races and visits ashore.

Rachel added: “The expedition was amazing and would not have been possible without the generous financial support of the Norfolk Boat Charity and the Civilian Committee at our Squadron.

“I would like to thank them for their sponsorship. As this will certainly benefit all Watton cadets in the future as the expedition took me out of my comfort zone into an area I knew nothing about. I can know empathise with every junior cadet who joins our Squadron and I will be even more sensitive to their needs in the future.”


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