Young soldier begins adventure on high seas
- Credit: Archant
A soldier from Loddon has taken to the high seas on the first leg of a gruelling round-the-world sailing expedition.
Signaller Lewis Parker has joined the crew of the Army’s HMSTY Discoverer, a 72ft steel yacht previously owned by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Clipper Ventures.
The yacht and sister yacht Adventure, crewed by the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, left Gosport at the end of July bound for Lanzarote on the first leg of a 35,000 mile journey around the world on Exercise Transglobe 15/16.
The 19-year-old, a former pupil of Hobart High School in Loddon, is a communications systems operator at 3 Signal Regiment based in Bulford on Salisbury Plain.
He joined the Army two years ago and said he was looking forward to embarking on the 1,800 mile trip.
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He said: “I have been able to take up skydiving since I joined up and when the chance came to go on this trip, I jumped at it.
“Part of the reason I joined was to have a go at all this stuff.
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“This is going to be an amazing experience. I hope I am not sea sick.”
More than 200 soldiers will be taking part in the expedition, passing through the world’s most remote oceans.
The yachts are now well on their way to Lanzarote having battled through strong winds in the English Channel.
New crews will then take over the boats before heading via Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Cape Town in South Africa, and Australasia, to Cape Horn in the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in southern Chile.
The boats will then head north through the Atlantic to the Caribbean and Eastern seaboard of the USA before returning to Gosport in August next year.