Thomas Gunn has donated a complete set of world routing charts to enable the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) to voyage around the globe for the first time, creating an unprecedented opportunity for physically disabled people to explore the world from the decks of a square-rigged sailing ship.
“We are delighted to support this unique endeavour,” says Thomas Gunn, founder and Managing Director of Thomas Gunn Navigation Services Ltd. “During our work with the Trust we have seen it changing lives, giving people of all physical abilities and sailing experience the chance to experience the thrill and adventure of being at sea, sailing side by side as equals.”
“No other country operates a tall ship that can accommodate disabled people, including wheelchair users, to the extent of the specifically designed and purpose-built JST vessels,” explains Andy Spark, Ship Operations Manager, Jubilee Sailing Trust.
“While the concept of sailing a tall ship around the world with novices on board is not new, this circumnavigation brings new meaning to the idea that ‘everybody’ can experience crossing the oceans on a square-rigged sailing ship. The ethos of the JST is to integrate people of all physical abilities, so at any one time, around 50% of the voyage crew will be able-bodied and the other 50% will be disabled. To accommodate a range of disabilities, the JST ship features lifts for wheelchair users, an audio compass for the visually impaired and a hearing loop for the hearing impaired. Representatives from the proposed ports of call for the voyage are already expressing an interest in chartering the ship during her visit to their country as an unprecedented opportunity for their disabled nationals.”
The planning process for the 18 month voyage is well under way with the help of Thomas Gunn. The vessel will leave the UK next winter and follow the route of the old trading square-riggers, arriving in Australia in time to represent the UK during the International Fleet Review of the Royal Australian Navy, in October 2013. The JST ship will then take part in a Tall Ships Race from Sydney to Auckland. The progress of the voyage can be followed at www.jst.org.uk.