Running a ship is expensive but if all staff are unpaid it halves the overall cost.
Some expect people to volunteer after they have ‘made it’- have financial security, time on their hands, lack of commitments and a good pension. However for me this was not the case. I had lost my business, my income, my home even my pension.
In 1994 a friend asked me to take notes at a meeting he could not attend to go on a charity trip to India. At the meeting I was asked to lead a team but could not think of a reason not to go, so I did! The biggest lesson I learnt was that the love we showed was more important than the work we did!
The next year wanting to make myself useful I wrote to all those with large sailing vessels in England. The first to reply was Morning Star Trust based in Chatham Dockyard, Kent. I was amazed how lives could be changed in an incredibly short time whilst skippering sail-training trips afloat!
It was not that I had decided to work as a volunteer to help others for the rest of my life. (I was not that saintly!) As Morning Star Trust was desperate for help, I offered to work full time for a couple of months (whilst I was seeking a ‘proper’ paid job). However I think God had other ideas because I did not find paid employment, even though the market demands were the highest ever and I had the ideal qualifications and experience. So I remained with Morning Star Trust for three years and only left for disaster relief work in Kosovo after the war.
Sail-training benefits all ages when one can leave the whole world behind building teamwork aboard. When together 24/7 we get to know one another very well very quickly. Trust builds so that the team can cope with anything thrown at them creating a great sense of achievement and feeling of invincibility!
Young people benefit from personal development, overcoming fears, gaining confidence and character building.
The middle-aged can leave all life’s stresses behind. There is no more relaxing way to escape than to sail away to deserted islands aboard a Christian schooner. Unwind in God’s natural beautiful surroundings. Help sail a classic vessel, soak up the sun on the beach, snorkel in the crystal clear waters for seashells, explore caves, see dolphins, take photographs from the mast top, be towed in the sea, cliff jump, dive to keep cool, listen to daily devotions and anchor in a quiet cove for a barbecue watching the sun set. Sing around the camp fire. Sleep on the beach under the stars.
Return refreshed with God’s vision for your life.
When people on board have had the time and space to rethink their lives, often they return home having decided to make major changes in their lives. They may then ‘live the dream’ they always wanted!