Throughout the year we are proud to say that Boleh has been involved in supporting the Armed Services and their families. This year we have also sailed Army Cadet Force members and, for the first time, teenagers from the local Military Mentors Training Academy who have set their sights on joining the Forces. Picture shows soldiers on course at the Army Inshore Sail Training Centre enjoying a breezy day on board Boleh.
‘Two fantastic days sailing’ put a smile on the faces of pupils from St Jude’s School. They were among the last children from Service families to enjoy the unique experience of a day out in Boleh this Season. We are very grateful to our local schools who, in difficult circumstances, have persevered with Covid protocols to enable these children to, in the words of their supervisor: ‘learn new skills, work as a team, make memories with their peers and enjoy a day of fresh air.’
Picture shows volunteer Skipper and Mate, David and Chris, with a group of happy young sailors. We look forward to renewing our relationship with our Gosport, Fareham and Portsmouth friends next year.
We’re delighted to report that 2 cohorts of Service children from schools in the Gosport & Fareham Multi Academy Trust (GFM) have already benefitted from the Boleh experience. Referring to the GFM’s excitement at securing ‘a wonderful relationship with the Boleh Trust’, their spokesperson said the children had worked so well together as a team under the brilliant instruction of Skipper Glenn and Mate Jonathan.
GFM consider the range of skills learned while sailing Boleh to be very important for their children and to be ‘heavily focused on GFM’s Gosport Futures Framework’. Picture shows one happy student onboard Boleh with his eyes fixed firmly on a bright future.
After almost 60 years Boleh has been officially reunited with the Royal Engineers – commonly known as the ‘Sappers’ – at their annual Yacht Club rally in Lymington. Boleh, at one time sail training vessel for the Junior Leaders Regiment, was skippered by William Barker-Wyatt, son of the late Brigadier ‘Spike’ Barker-Wyatt. Brigadier ‘Spike’ introduced Boleh to the Sappers and ran her from Dover for 3 years in the 1960s.
Boleh spent late September cruising the Solent with Sapper and Honourable Artillery Company crews, before finally joining the Sapper yachts in Lymington. Picture shows Boleh and volunteer Skipper William ready to entertain Sapper race crews returning from their annual contest with the Royal Lymington Yacht Club.
Boleh starts a new partnership with Schools on the Gosport peninsula this month. The Children and Families Team from the Gosport and Fareham Multi Academy Trust were given a taste of what Boleh has to offer for Service children. Picture shows the Team getting ready to board Boleh with skipper Glenn and mate Jonathan. Highlighting the opportunities, team leader Lesley Ure said it was ‘an absolutely fabulous day’.
We’re very proud to have at last brought Boleh back to her historic Salcombe home for the first time since Portsmouth apprentices completed her restoration in 2015. Young people have also been involved in this latest voyage – 2 Devon Army Cadet Force teams crewed Boleh from Gosport down to Salcombe and then back to her Gosport base.
Starting with the ASTO Mayflower 401 Rally in Southampton, Cadets took Boleh on to Cowes, Studland, Lulworth Cove and Weymouth where teams changed. Team 2 – pictured on arrival Salcombe – took Boleh back to the Solent having also visited Portland, Dartmouth, and Yarmouth. All Cadets were presented with Certificates by Skipper Richard Metcalfe on completion of their tour.
Happy to say we had lots of visitors to Boleh during the Gosport Marine Festival. As well as regular friends and a VIP delegation of former First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Jonathon Band and the Mayor of Gosport, Councillor Mark Hook, we were particularly pleased to welcome Boleh’s local MP, Caroline Dinenage.
Caroline takes a keen interest in Boleh’s work with local schoolchildren and we hope to get her to sea with us next year. Picture shows Caroline beside Boleh with Chris Austin, our host for the Festival and Trustee responsible for the Portsmouth and Gosport Schools programme.
We’re thrilled to report that, despite Covid restrictions and adverse weather, Boleh has at last been able to celebrate the postponed anniversary of her arrival in Salcombe from Singapore on 1 September 1950. Skippered by volunteer Richard Metcalfe and with a Devon Army Cadet Force crew, Boleh was escorted in to Salcombe harbour before mooring off the town centre where she attracted much attention.
A reception was later held in the Salcombe Yacht Club to mark the occasion, with a display provided by the Salcombe Maritime Museum of the press and photographic coverage of Boleh’s arrival 71 years ago. Guests at the reception included direct descendants of 3 of the original crew, Skipper Robin Kilroy (from Salcombe), John Rusher and Peter Aplin. We hope to post more coverage of Boleh’s historic return to Salcombe shortly.
Boleh will again be open to the public at the ‘Gosport Marine Festival 2021’ on Saturday 4 September. Come and see us alongside at Haslar Marina, Gosport and learn about Boleh’s unique design, her historic voyage from Singapore, and the charitable work of the Boleh Trust. We will be open from 11 to 4 and look forward to welcoming you onboard. The Marine Festival provides a great day out for the family – find out more by clicking here.
“Aggies”, the sailors’ charity, links military school children in the Portsmouth area to sailing days onboard Boleh and we are delighted to report that Alex and Nikki from the charity recently sailed in Boleh.
Hosted by Trustee Chris, Skipper Glenn and Mate Jonathan, they were able to learn at first hand the benefits a day on the water brings to these children.
We are grateful to “Aggies” and to our major funder, the RN&RM Charity, for enabling Boleh to continue offering Pompey Military Kids this popular sailing programme.