A crew of four companions and our House Clearance Manager enjoyed the trip of a lifetime recently after sailing with the UKSA (United Kingdom Sailing Academy).

Companions, Callum, Lee, Matt and Sam, and manager Andy, earned their sea legs after a week sailing a yacht across the Solent from the Isle of Wight to the south coast of England, all under the expert tuition of a UKSA captain.

The team, who got to sail the boat themselves, as well as operating the rigging and navigating, set sail from Cowes in the Isle of Wight, stopping off at Yarmouth on the same island, before heading across the Solent to Poole and Portsmouth.

Companion Sam said: “I’ve never sailed before, but I wasn’t nervous at all, I was really looking forward to it. It was a trip which I couldn’t say no to as it was an experience I’d never had before.

“We arrived at the Isle of Wight on the Saturday and set sail the day after, sailing around to Yarmouth on the island. We were being taught things like taking the cover off the main sail, putting it up and putting up the front sail. We were also taught how to put the sails down by the captain. All in all, it was a great experience.

“The weather for the first two days wasn’t great as it was rainy and windy and a bit choppy, but for the last few days the weather was really hot. I was lying on the boat and enjoying the sun, because once we’d got everything done, we were allowed to chill out.

“I would 100 per cent do it again, it was really enjoyable, an experience and a half.”

His fellow companion and shipmate, Callum said: “It was a great week, I learnt lots of new skills and we all took turns at cooking our meals which was a challenging environment to work in as there isn’t much room below deck.

“The highlights were getting to sail the boat and learning about the navigation system and how many knots we were travelling at. One morning the weather was a bit rough and the boat was tipping sideways a bit, but most of the time the weather was calm.

“It was a fantastic week and I would definitely do it again – it was more like a holiday than anything.”

Gemma Beckett, our Business Development Manager said: “A massive thank you to UKSA for providing our companions and manager Andy with this unforgettable and life-enhancing experience.

“The trip was fully funded by UKSA and the Neighbourly Charitable Trust and gave our companions the chance to sail and crew the boat themselves, providing them with a new set of skills, increased confidence and lifelong memories.”

UKSA CEO, Ben Willows, said: “We are delighted to work in partnership with charities such as Emmaus, allowing us to create meaningful, life-enhancing opportunities, through incredible sailing experiences.

“This trip not only gave the participants a chance to learn valuable maritime skills but also significantly boosted their confidence and teamwork abilities. and we are grateful to the Neighbourly Charitable Trust for their generous support in making this adventure possible.”