Tall Ships voyage ‘exhilarating’ - student

Shannon Molloy (centre) with fellow Tall Ships trainees Kamila Babiak and Patrick Bingham.  INCT 20-723-CON

Shannon Molloy (centre) with fellow Tall Ships trainees Kamila Babiak and Patrick Bingham. INCT 20-723-CON

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A Ballycarry student has spoken of the “exhilarating” experience of being aboard one of the Tall Ships as a trainee.

Carrick Grammar pupil Shannon Molloy spent a week on the Dutch vessel Statsraad Lehmkuhl during the maritime festival last month.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone as it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity

Shannon Molloy

She was joined by fellow Carrick trainees Caleb Clements and Kamila Babiak during the first leg of the race from Belfast to Ålesund in Norway.

Speaking to the Carrick Times, Shannon said: “The overall experience was amazing; it’s hard to describe how great it was as I met so many new people and had so many new experiences. Everyone on board was so happy and the atmosphere was exhilarating especially when we arrived in Norway. Of course it was quite difficult as we were some of the youngest onboard but being a trainee meant that the staff on board took great care of us and we were well looked after.”

During the voyage, Shannon had the opportunity to try her hand at lookout watch, fire watch, buoy watch, the helm, climbing the rigs, helping the cook in the cafeteria as well as cleaning duty and helping with the ropes and tacking.

“When we docked in the fjords we had a barbecue and people were jumping into the sea; everyone was in such high spirits and we sang and danced to all hours,” she added.

“When we got into Norway we met everyone from the other Tall Ships and went to a party on another boat called the Alexander von Hombolt II.”

The trip was not without its difficulties, with bouts of seasickness and inclement weather. “The weather got bad when we were sailing up past the north of Scotland; all hands on deck were needed especially late at night,” Shannon recalled.

“Due to the heavy wind and rain it was difficult to pull the ropes as people were slipping and falling and running around the deck trying to tack on time, but looking back it is definitely a memorable moment now.

“The celebrations in Norway were great, Ålesund is a small town but had so much to offer although it was very expensive. We were meant to just spend two days in Ålesund but instead spent three because we arrived early which was great.

“I would definitely recommend this to anyone as it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that has definitely had an impact on me and will always be the most memorable experience I’ve had. I met so many great people from around the world and made so many memories that will stay with me for life and I would encourage everyone to go for it!”