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Pre-season crew training welcomes new and experienced volunteers

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18 April 2023

The Swan Trust has recently undertaken its pre-season crew training. These days are a great way to introduce new volunteer crew to the Swan as well as refresh previous volunteers. 19 volunteers took part over the 4 training days, with a good mix of those familiarising themselves with the Swan’s procedures for the first time and those refreshing their skills.

Swan Skipper, Maggie Adamson was joined by the Trust's other qualified crew, Mate Scott Sandison and Bosun Anja Kurtz, to take the volunteer crew through their paces. Maggie said: “It was great to welcome new and familiar faces aboard, and bring the boat to life again. Everyone was happy to be aboard and totally engaged, which made the days fly by and we achieved so much. This training is really important to the safe running of the Swan and I would like to thank everyone for giving up their time and bringing their enthusiasm to every task. Scott, Anja and I look forward to sailing with you during the season.”

The training covered all aspects of crewing, from man overboard procedures, galley duties and welcoming folk board to sailing the Swan. Josh Brown, who was taking part for the first time found the training really informative: “I was interested in getting involved in crewing on a voluntary basis but was not really sure what would be expected of me. This training has been really useful, allowing me to both learn much more about the Swan and gain a good understanding of the duties a volunteer crew member would be expected to undertake. There is so much more to operating the Swan than I imagined, but the crew were incredibly knowledgeable and encouraging. They explained things really well and we all became valuable members of the team. I feel much more confident about my abilities aboard and look forward to further building my experience whilst volunteering during the season.”

The training days also give an opportunity for the Swan to get out on the water and the crew to fine tune everything before the season starts. Skipper, Maggie Adamson, explains more: “There is so much that goes on in the weeks leading up to crew training - including slipping, surveys, general and annual maintenance, rigging, reviewing paperwork and getting everything back aboard. Undertaking the first sail of the year is always a milestone! Having a boat full of crew and crewing volunteers allows us to test everything out and make sure it is all running as it should before we ever have any passengers aboard.”

Offering unique volunteering opportunities for the community is one of the Trust’s core objectives, and crewing is just one of the ways folk can get involved. Other volunteering activities include boat maintenance, marketing and promotions, fundraising and financial monitoring. Find out more about volunteering, and sign up as a volunteer here: https://www.swantrust.com/volunteer

2023 is shaping up to be the Swan’s busiest season yet, with trips available to the public around Shetland, as well as to Orkney, Anstruther and Den Helder in the Netherlands. The Swan will also be undertaking charters in Shetland, Orkney, Norway and Faroe as well as the Tall Ships Races, which this year will see them visit the Netherlands, Hartlepool, Norway and Lerwick.

Anyone can sail on Swan, for details of trips available to book check out our upcoming trips

If you would like to help support Swan follow these links to donate or volunteer with the Trust.

Volunteer

Want to get involved in maintaining and operating a traditional wooden sailing vessel? There are a number of different ways you can volunteer to safeguard, care for and sail this unique heritage asset.

Learn more

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