Tall ships crew turns all hands to puppets

WHAT TO DO with a resting sailor? Captain Bligh would never have stood for it, but that doesn't deter Captain Julia Fearnside. Rather than letting the devil make work for idle hands she has them making puppets with their socks.

The only woman skipper taking part in the Grand Regatta Columbus tall ships race says her hardest task is keeping her crew happy during breaks in shifts which have them working three hours on, six hours off.

'At first everyone is so tired they sleep all the time, but then you need a lot of social skills to keep everybody happy. We've done everything, even made puppets out of our socks,' she said.

The 72ft Ocean Youth club ketch Francis Drake was one of 120 tall ships which raced from Lisbon to Puerto Rico via the Canary Islands and then on to New York and Boston before crossing back over the Atlantic to Liverpool.

It took the 12-member crew, aged between 16 and 24, 23 days to complete the last leg crossing from Boston to Liverpool.

The purpose-built boat is one of 10 vessels run by the Gosport- based Ocean Youth Club.

(Photographs omitted)