Tall Ship Captain
Captain BARBARA CAMPBELL, Tenacious
I have been Captain of a Tall Ship for the last 10 years and currently I am Captain of the square rigged sailing ship Tenacious. Tenacious and Lord Nelson are run and owned by the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST). Almost anyone can sail on one of their ships and they are purpose-built to take a crew of mixed physical abilities.
I began learning to sail as a child and as a reward for passing my 11 plus, my parents bought my sister and me an old clinker-built rowing boat, which we spent many happy hours doing up.
I started professional life at sea as a Deck Cadet with P&O Steam Navigation Co in 1975. After a cadetship largely spent on cargo ships, I became a Third Officer and then a Second Officer onboard P&O cruise ships. After seven years on cruise ships during which time I obtained both my Mates and Masters certificates, I went to work for P&O Scottish Ferries running to Orkney and Shetland. After a variety of seafaring positions, an opportunity arose to move to the Jubilee Sailing Trust. Most of the crew on our ships are untrained yet everyone works together.
The crew keep watches and set sails, steer the ship, keep a lookout, scrub decks and much more. Some of the crew may be blind or deaf or have had a stroke. They could be a fit youngster or an 80 year-old but any of them can, and sometimes do, turn the wheel the wrong way. You learn to check that any order such as a helm order is carried out correctly.
The sense of achievement our crew get when they realise that they have played a part in sailing the ship always fills me with pride.