Hull apprentice takes to the seas

Kyle Beacock – Apprentice Multi Skilled Technician

In June 2015 I joined hundreds of other apprentices from Britain, Ireland, France, the Netherlands and China for the Apprentice Ship Cup.

I had never been on a tall ship before, let alone a 35 metre one like Bessie Ellen with a top speed of over 11 knots, which apparently is quite fast for a ship of that size.  After this amazing experience I do think that I might look into working with ships as a career in the future.

As an apprentice multi skilled technician, I carry out a variety of physical tasks but I don’t think anything could have prepared me for working on a tall ship.  It was an incredible opportunity but very hard work at times.

We all worked really well as a team and everyone had to take their turns in sailing the vessel, navigating the route, operating masts and taking turns in night watches on the ship.

At one point my enthusiasm got the better of me when I was navigating the ship at the wheel and the next thing I knew I was holding the wheel in my hand!  I blame the loose screw!

The support from all of my friends and family has been unreal – they were really excited for me and I feel very lucky that I was chosen.  It’s thanks to Riverside, Brian Gates and MAST that I was able to take part.

Kyle Beacock Apprenticeship CupThe crew and apprentices didn’t know each other at the start, but by the time we finished we were really good friends.  We all worked really well together on all of the tasks we had to do.

I didn’t think that I would have been very good working under pressure and solving problems, but I actually surprised myself – when things came up that needed doing I just got on with the task in hand.  A lot of these things will be really good for my apprenticeship at Evolve and for the future.

However, it wasn’t all work and no play – we had a little bit of fun by taking part in a tug-of-war and raft race, which we won both times.    We even got to see bottle nosed dolphins and porpoises and managed a swim in the sea off the coast of Scotland.  That lasted all of about two minutes as it was so cold!

The only downside to the experience was that the week went far too quick.

Since we got back we’ve had an awards night at the Titanic Hotel in Liverpool and lunch at the Lord Mayor’s Parlour in Hull.  From start to finish it’s just been amazing and I don’t want it to end.

What would I say to anyone who has the chance to take part in the future?  I’d say jump at the chance, without hesitation.  I am definitely a different person since I’ve come back, I feel much more confident in groups and believe that I will be able to use the skills I have learnt.