The tall ship Tenacious, the biggest wooden ship in the world, arrives at Sydney, Australia around 10 AM on July 27. Tall ships James Craig and Southern Swan meet the 65-meter-long ship as it enters the Sydney Harbour after sailing for nine months.
The Tenacious was built using 200-year-old Siberian larch trees in 2000 by 1,500 volunteers, including many participants with disabilities, and was completed over four years. Overall, the ship has three masts as tall as 47 meters above deck and weighs up to 586 tonnes.
It was made for the UK-Australian charity the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) so people with disabilities can experience what it is like sailing on a ship. Its body is accessible by wheelchair apart from having aids for the blind such as speaking compasses. Tenacious also has a joystick for those people with limited mobility but want to know how it feels to steer it.
The ship is crewed by 40 people. According to spokesman Harry Cator, half of the crew has disability, including sailors in a wheelchair, amputees, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, deafness, blindness and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“The opportunity for me to come on a boat where I can be in my wheelchair the whole time but still have everything accessible is incredible,” says Anna Wall, one of the ships sailors. “Watching people’s faces when I tell them that I’ve sailed the Atlantic or South Pacific is amazing.”
Everyone has their own set of daily tasks they need to do. Captain Simon Catterson adds that they mix the able-bodied in with those with disabilities. This makes them work the ship together, which is an experience that has been life changing for some.
ABC News states that Tenacious will stay at the National Maritime Museum until August. It’s headed to Melbourne, Geelong, Hobart and Adelaide afterward.