On board TS Royalist
A/C Alex goes offshore on our flagship TS Royalist
On board TS Royalist
"It's another world on board" - a cadet talks about his offshore adventure
Submitted by CURRENT

For 15-year-old Able Cadet Alex, just getting to TS Royalist in time for his six-day offshore voyage in September was a journey in itself, before he even left the shore!

It took him two days to travel from the Orkney Islands, where he lives and is a member of TS Thorfinn (the UK’s most Northerly Sea Cadet Unit). For the first time in his life, he flew south to England.

Alex tells us about his offshore adventure:

"Our trip started off in Dartmouth, then we sailed to Torquay, on to Brixham, and then back to Dartmouth again. We covered 87 nautical miles in total, and experienced max wind speeds of force four – nothing compared to what I’m used to in Scotland!"

Making friends

"Some cadets were there with others from their unit, but I was on my own, so I had to make friends! I was the only Scottish person, and it was the first time I’d left Scotland as well."

New challenges

"I wasn’t prepared for how close you are to everyone that you’re working with on board – people you’ve never even met before. It’s like a different world on board a ship. It's very different compared with normal life, and you have to be much closer to everyone than you usually would."


"Going up the rigging to stow the sails was really fun. We went right out to the very edge of the yards. That was definitely my favourite part of the trip and something I’d never done before. It was kind of scary, but I was more anxious than anything. I felt great afterwards."

Our flagship at the Royalist Regatta this summer

Sea legs

"Sleeping on board was new for me. We slept in the mess deck, with bunks that come down, with a sleeping bag and pillow, and we had to stow them every morning. You get really used to being at sea and it was really weird when we went ashore because I still felt like I was on a boat!"

All hands

"Except for basic knot tying, everything I did on board was a new experience for me, including scrubbing the decks! I really enjoyed learning about all the different parts of a tall ship, like the yards, and what all the different sails are. The whole thing was really good fun."

Southern climes

"A lot of my friends were curious because they didn’t know what I would be doing while I was away. On one of the days we decided that we would go swimming in Torquay Bay. Everyone was being a wuss, so I had to jump in first – to them it was cold, but I’m used to Scottish sea temperatures so for me it was fine! I’d rather be on the water than it. I try not to capsize, but I’ve been in the sea quite a bit – it’s much colder up there!"  

Have you been offshore aboard TS Royalist? We'd love to hear about your experiences in the comments section below...