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The Lord Nelson sets sail.
Life on a Tall Ship
On August 30, 2008, two years before the Tall Ships race was due to arrive at Hartlepool, The Lord Nelson arrived in Hartlepool to give us a taste of what to expect. BBC Tees' Martin Forster took to sea with her.
Early morning and The Lord Nelson is redefining the skyline at Hartlepool's Victoria Dock, sitting silent and proud in the wafer thin, silver dawn, among the vulgar cranes and containers.
Few by few, and looking slightly unsure of what to expect, the guests who will be crewing her begin to turn up on the dockside.
Since her maiden voyage in 1986, the Lord Nelson has taken around 23,000 people to sea. Today she has come to take around 40 people from Hartlepool for a day on the salty brine.
But if anyone is planning on having an easy day, they've got another thing coming. First mate Steve Higgs says, "A lot of people are not entirely sure what they are letting themselves into. They understand they are going to go sailing. It could be somebody who expects to go on a cruise, but then gets a rude awakening when they find themselves pulling on a wet rope at three o'clock in the morning."
Michelle Daurat 'aloft'.
One of those on board ias Hartlepool's 2010 Tall Ships Co-Ordinator, Michelle Daurat. Despite clinging to a mast, high above the sea, with the wind happily setting up home in her hair, she is endlessly, though not effortlessly, enthusiastic. "I'm new to this and I must say, it's just been amazing, a really great experience and I would just encourage anybody to just give it a go."
It will be nearly two years before the Tall Ships Race itself arrives in Hartlepool, the finishing line for the year's event. In the meantime, the Lord Nelson has left its visitors with plenty of memories to take home.
last updated: 02/12/2008 at 17:45