Earth (mud is earth!) acts oppositely to water, reflecting infra red ( the warm end!) and absorbing ultra violet. Thus in strong sun you may get burnt (and I MEAN burnt!) in the country whereas you would get tanned by the sea. Muddy water looks
brown because it reflects and absorbs like the earth. Rivers are major
transporters of soil run-off, canals have puddle clay on the floor churned
up by the first boat through in the morning and that mud remains
suspended all day. Canals fed by muddy rover waters remain muddy H24; you can
see this above and below weirs. This little gem may help knowing boaters where best to to
harvest water for cleaning and hygiene without having to worry where
the next water point is.
"Kenya Jacaranda" sailed the waters of the Thames Gateway, between Tower Bridge and Canvey, down-river to Southend and Whitstable. She navigated the Medway from Sheerness to Rochester on weekend cruises with longer voyages down the Channel to Brixham and up the East Coast to Lowestoft.
Her CENTRAL role was to carry 'disadvantaged' young people, primarily but not exclusively from the area known as the Thames Gateway, as supplementary crew; learning seamanship and team-work under the guidance of the CoreCrew of "Kenya Jacaranda" who 'advantaged' them as they sailed.
An AUXILIARY role was to provide a platform for hardier sailors (or those who would be) to log hours sailing a real sailing ship the real way. Training on a Brixham Trawler makes REAL sailors. out of plastic-tub-skiffers.
Candidates came on board to learn a centuries-old tradition that was rapidly vanishing midst today's plastic and metal. "Kenya Jacaranda' didn't carry passengers. It took 18 hardy annuals to move this floating Porsche Carrera at its optimum. The North Sea in Force 7 is no place for the faint-hearted. At one time, KJ could handle Force 10! What Force can you handle?
KJ had a GENTLER role of sail-training for the less hardy on 'overnight' trips between Tilbury and Tower Bridge. Trainees learned about wind and tide, lights and marks and the ways of the river. All this is (for the moment at least) gone west but a small team of dedicated volunteers still hold the fort. Shaun Wall. Dec.15th 2011
83 years in three small paragraphs
Between 1923 and 1937, "Torbay Lass" was a Brixham trawler. In 1937 she was 'retired' and was purchased by an Essex house builder named Bradshaw who converted her at Rainham for pleasure yachting. He took her on a voyage in 1938 just before Hitler invaded Poland. She was ordered off the water while cruising along the East coast and is believed to have spent the war years inland behind Lowestoft (as did many tall-masted boats) acting as a deterrent to Huns landing gliders there. Her war years are lost to us, but being well-fettled and fitted she may have been used by officers-on-leave for R+R.
She is mentioned in [Lady Claude Hamilton's] memoirs "A Stone's Throw" as having been purchased by said lady in 1945 at the end of hostilities. Torbay Lass was further developed (including being renamed "Kenya Jacaranda") by, among other things, being copper clad to the waterline. Other changes appropriate for activity in warm tropical waters were made. Lady Hamilton's memoirs do not mention the subsequent fate of the ship, but her owner inherited her mother's substantial estate in Surrey in 1946 and the boat is never again mentioned.
What we know for certain is that, in 1949, still copper clad and still owned by Lady Hamilton, she was wallowing in a muddy creek near Southampton. KJ was rescued from the Hamble and went into service on the Thames, training Sea Cadets out of The Lower Pool, in 1951. KJ is said to have taken some 4000 young people to sea between 1951 and 1979 when she was squeezed out of her London berths by Docklands developments. At the same time the Bermondsey Sea Cadets were finding it almost impossible to maintain her.The ship was moved 'temporarily' to Tilbury Dock in 1980 retaining mostly the original people, who re-grouped as the "Mayflower Sail Training Society". She carried on more or less as before, enabling youngsters from deprived areas of Greater London to sail a traditional sailing vessel at an affordable price (free to the actual kids in most cases!). Between 1980 and 2006, Kenya Jacaranda 'enabled' some 3000 young people (and an unknown number of adults). She competed in the Brixham Trawler Race at least twice, with MSTS crew and on one famous occasion (2005?) was baulked by weather trying to get out of the Thames estuary and then, some time later, had her propellor fouled off Eastbourne while trying vainly to make up lost time..
She was still berthed in Tilbury over 30 years later, although she had been seen now and then in her old haunts as late as 2005. In that year, on a night run up-river she was driven onto Purfleet Pier at 5kts and damaged irreparably. In 2014 it was rumoured she had been moved to hard-standing at Maldon but this is not currently verified. (2015/11/24)
The Mayflower Sail Training Society was disbanded in 2007, allegedly for reasons stated on the official website www.msts.uk.net and the boat was still in Tilbury in September 2011 as various interests haggled over what best to do with her. (Shaun Wall 15th Dec 2011)
Practice (safe) voyages for 'rookies'
KJ can do 'overnight' trips up-river for training. Learn to sleep on board. Learn to cook on board. Learn to keep watch by night. Learn to read the lights and buoys on the river! Learn about tides! Learn about PLA and Radio Telephony! £60 per person for a supplementary crew of 12 (£600 for the boat for a 24hr detail if you want to 'charter' it ) sounds about right. Join at either end. Familiarise with the boat, MOB exercises, safety stuff, how to cast off, make to etc. Use C2C to close the loop with Travelcard provided. Safe all the year round, subject to occasional tide glitches. Nice little earner as every £50 profit made on these 'commercial' runs permitted another young and disadvantaged London youngster to get a day's sail training.
" When the net was ready for hauling, the ship was set with the wind slightly abaft the beam. The towing wires were released from the securing block. The weight of the trawl brought the ship broadside to wind and blew her away from the gear. All hands arrived at their posts while the steam-winch wound in the warps. The doors were brought up to the head of the gallows and secured with a massive chain. This allowed the net to be released to pull it on board by hand. "
" All hands lined the rail and pulled in unison with the down-roll of the ship. On the up-roll, everyone laid-on the net, over the bulwark rail. Eventually the cod-end would come into view, depending upon the size of catch. The sooner they saw the cod-end the more fish they had. With all the air inside each fish it, acted like a huge balloon. This is watched for with expectation and delight. With an average size bag the cod -end was brought alongside. "
"A stout rope becket was passed round the outside of the net. The becket was hooked onto a thick wire leading up to the fore-mast head, the wire wrapped round the winch barrel and lifted clear of the water. For a very large catch, the process of lifting might happen a number of times. "
"As each full cod end was swung on board, over the fish-ponds, the Mate reached under the bag of fish, cascading with cold salt-water, to release the special knot securing the net. The fish poured out, and if another lot had to be picked up the same routine was gone through again, til all the fish were on board. Then the cod-end was re-tied to start the whole fishing cycle again. "
Kj to Eastbourne slipped away on the midnight tide, Friday, having had to wait for Shaun and Ãsgeir. Core-Crew: Paul Ladyman, Gerry Goldner, John Young, Mac Saddington, Ãsgeir Faben, Shaun Wall. with the Crofton Crusaders, led by Andy Lake and Amy Liddl, joining ship 2100 at the Flying Angel. Victoria Barrington, Katie Dennis, Ruth Gayton, Joy Barron, Sophie White, Lucy Whittaker, Catherine Haslett, Lauren Gilbert, Joe Simpson, Jonathon Styff, supplementary crewmen. Brilliant 19 hour voyage down, snuck into Sovereign Harbour on the last foot of water Sat 1750, boom down into lock, with 200 spectators, moored up at the waterfront 1800. The Crofton crusarders left for further adventues on the IOW. The boat was left in beautiful condition, but we suspect MUCH of the work was actually done by the two leaders Andy and Amy.
Kj on vacation at Sovereign Marina! Spectacular life-saving display with RNLI! Editor visited top of top mast. Gareth James descended into the ward-room in his wheelchair via fishing takel and told us how to fit the boat for him to sail. An 87year-old lady told our Chairman that we could make a fortune hauling adrenalin-seekers to the top of the top mast at " £30 to £50 a go ". Everyone else wanted to know why we were not doing sea trips with KJ at " £20 a head ". Marina staff told us they will arrange to have punters ferried out to transfer to KJ at sea. There's a fortune waiting for MSTS at Eastbourne 2006. Every £20 made means another dis-advantaged kid gets a day's sailing on the good ship "Kenya Jacaranda" This year we took £800. next year it may be £4000.
AHOY's inaugeral sail with KJ Mike Cloy John Young, Malcolm Mac Saddington, Nick Carter Dan and Marion McGarrigle. Supplementary crew: AnneMarie Whelan, George Butler, (Sammy) Jusu, Samina Jusu, Richard Sheridan, Josh Hulks, Rachel Bermingham, Jack O'Neill, Rubin Woodin, Joslyn Brightwell, Billy Waterworth.
The following report was submitted from AHOY
Dear All, The Youth Team were away for the weekend on the Brixham sailing trawler "Kenya Jacaranda". What an amazing and fabulous experience this was for all. We arrived at Tilbury Docks on the Friday with nine very excited children and were soon acquainted with the Skipper and crew. The children were then given the guided tour of the ship and were told stories about the rats, spiders and FISH GHOSTS!
Everyone got busy organising their luggage, bedding and bunks without looking behind them for fear of finding something untoward. Once this was completed we headed to the Mission club where all the children were able to use the pool and snooker tables, play table tennis, watch TV and also use the internet. This was all free of charge and the children loved it. The evening here showed early signs of a group coming together and bonding.
6o/c start on Saturday to catch tides and get through the lock gates. Later the wind started to build an we got ready to SAIL. George and Ann-Marie watched as the team were put to the test of getting the huge sails up : a task that took almost an hour and a half. Everyone had loads of fun rigging this giant vessel. The wind died on Sunday, but didn't dampen spirits in any way
leaving the ship on Sunday, some were less disappointed than others to have not witnessed any creepy crawlies, vermin or ghouls throughout the whole trip. Some suspect they may not exist. The team spirit that came out during this event has created lasting friendships and relationships. The behaviour was impeccable. It was wonderful to have the Core Crew of Kenya Jacaranda to look after us. Below are some statements from the gang.
This was a good experience for it being the first time I've ever spent the night on a boat. I enjoyed myself and learnt more about sailing.
I thought this was trip was really good, being here meeting new people was great. I really did have a laugh and enjoyed learning how a ship works.
Thank you! I had a jolly good time Rachel Bermingham
Ruben: This was the first time I had been on a ship this size. It was a great experience. But a bit cold. Thanks Jacaranda people and AHOY.
Rich Sheridan: I enjoyed this trip because it is a different type of sailing, I enjoyed going into the estuary when we were using radar.
Jocylin:I had a great time on the trip and we had some good laughs. A fantastic trip!!
Jack ONeill: The trip was very good, a fabulous experience. a lot of teamwork. I made lots of friends
Sammy Jusu: good experience. They were all nice. Watch out for the man with the weird teeth.
Will: It was fun with lots to learn and I made new friends
Billy Waterworth: a great experience; enjoyed sleeping on the boat. lots of new friends. learned how to read charts and helm the ship.