Last weekend our Pilgrim volunteer crew training got started in Dartmouth in South Devon. Pilgrim relies on our volunteer community to keep her sailing. That’s not just with operations and maintenance that’s with crewing as well. We have a professional skipper and seasonal mate but the rest of the crew comes from our volunteer team and we’ve been busy recruiting and training.
Last summer we started our campaign to find new volunteer crew and that led to a series of briefings and evaluation sailings for people who were interested. The programme culminated in 12 volunteers being selected to go into our winter training programme.
Last weekend they spent two days on board in Dartmouth getting to know Pilgrim and our sailing team. The group included students from Plymouth and Exeter Universities together with folks of all ages both from South Devon and further afield. One even came from Shropshire to join us.
This first weekend will be followed up by another session in February, again in Dartmouth, before we start more regular training sailings out of our home port of Brixham during March and April. Pilgrim has over 50 passages to sea scheduled in 2020 so we need a large group of capable volunteers to keep the vessel sailing.
Our new volunteers will be joining up with our existing Pilgrim volunteer crew who will act as ‘buddies’ to help them develop their knowledge and skills as the season progresses. All of this is under the experienced and watchful eye of our skipper Richard Smith and mate Julie Harris.