Cumbria Crack

The Pelican tall ship to make Whitehaven its permanent home

The Pelican

[A] MAGNIFICENT tall ship is to make Whitehaven her new permanent home.

The Pelican will dock in the town’s harbour on Thursday, March 29, and will host an open weekend to offer members of the public the free chance to climb aboard and take a tour of its facilities.

As well as becoming a permanent harbourside tourist attraction, The Pelican will offer six-week placements to support the development of young people through sail training.

The arrival of The Pelican to town has been co-organised by urban disrupters Disruptieve, the ship’s owners Adventure Under Sail and Copeland Borough Council.

Mike Starkie, Copeland Mayor, said: “The permanent arrival of The Pelican is a major coup for Whitehaven, and I know it will be a popular addition to our tourist offer.

“But in addition to being a tourist attraction, The Pelican and Adventure Under Sail will offer unique training experiences for local young people, who will spend time aboard and on land learning key life skills in a fun and encouraging environment.”

Built in France in 1948, The Pelican worked as a fishing trawler in the Arctic for 20  years, before being sold to a Norwegian owner who converted her into a coaster. She remained in Norway until 1995, when she was purchased by Retired Commander Graham Neilson for restoration and reconstruction, which was completed in Dorset over a 12-year period.

The new Pelican commenced her maiden voyage in September 2007 and came under the ownership of charity Adventure Under Sail in 2011.

Since then, the charity has hosted training for more than 300 young people. There are several options for training on board the Pelican –  six-week NVQ programmes (four weeks at sea and two on land) to get ready for work or training; five-day sailings for individuals or groups; longer-term adventures to take part in tall ship races around the world – all promoting life skills, such as decision-making, teamwork and communication.

Adrian Ragbourne, from Adventure Under Sail, said: “Sail training must not be confused with ‘learning to sail’. Our training covers all aspects of sailing but its purpose goes far beyond.

“Sail training uses the experience of being at sea to help people learn about themselves, discover hidden strengths and talents and understand the value of working as a team.

“By the end of their sail training voyage, young people feel a sense of belonging, have gained experience and newly-found confidence in their own ability.”

Mr Starkie added: “It’s been a pleasure working with Disruptieve on this project, and we’re sure this will be the first of many major benefits our collaboration will bring to Whitehaven.”

The Pelican’s welcome weekend runs from Easter Saturday (March 31) to Bank Holiday Monday (April 2), daily from 11am until 3pm. During the open weekend, visits aboard The Pelican to have a look around are free, but the Adventure Under Sail charity will welcome any donations. Further details about the open weekend will appear in The Whitehaven News next week.

For more information on the tall ship’s training, corporate or tourist offer, contact Disruptieve via email:  [email protected]