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Lucies Story

The Hartlepool Masonic Benevolent Association sponsored four pupils from the Dyke House Academy School to participate in the Tall Ships race from Den Helder Holland to Hartlepool, the HMBA followed the exploits of one of the trainees ‘’Lucie Marie Wylie’’ on what has turned out to be a life changing experience.

The trainees had an early morning start to their adventure, they all meet at Hartlepool Railway Station and were transferred by private coaches to Teesside Airport for the short flight to Holland, chaperones from Hartlepool Brough Council accompanied them throughout the journey until they met their shipmates and boarded their respective ships in Den Helder.

Lucie was fortunate to be assigned to the ‘’Class B’’ 24-metre Gaff rigged Pilot cutter the ‘’Jolie Brise’’ which also happens to be the last sailing vessel to carry the Royal Mail under sail, Lucie immediately settled in made herself at home.

Lucie has a very warm and outgoing personality and immediately stuck up a bond with her new ship mates and the crew of the Jolie Brise. The first mate and other crew members said to Sarah (Lucies mam) she was outstanding, even with her sea sickness she kept morale up during the storms and was singing and dancing. She was always happy and helpful, and she took extra shifts.

Sarah; (Lucies mam) added, All good things to hear. She actually wants to look into sailing and get involved, she’s loved it that much.

Evidently the storms were very bad and some of the ships that were due to race had to retire from the race and some never left the port of Den Helder.

Before the event took place Lucie had an interview with BBC television which was aired on Look North and on their return to Hartlepool she had a second interview with the BBC, her personality shining through on both occasions.

A comment from Sarah Wylie: (Lucies mam) Lucie has just got home some I’m sure there will be plenty more news and photos when Lucies washed and slept! She’s had the most amazing time. She battled sea sickness, bad weather and a head injury. But words can’t express how grateful we are to all of you for helping give her this opportunity.

From Lucie To the Freemasons of Hartlepool :-

To start off I just wanted to say a big thank you to all of you for giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity. I truly appreciate it.

I got to go on an amazing voyage with the most incredible people and I can say hand on heart it was by far the most magnificent adventure. Yes, it may have started a bit rough but that’s the North Sea for you! It was such a whirlwind of emotions; I may have been scared to start with, but I had an unbelievable time, and I wouldn’t change one single second.

As the days went by it became more and more exciting, and as the sun came out so did our smiles. We laughed, we danced, and we sang to great beats all whilst watching the sun rise and set.

We worked so hard on the days we could, as our ship struggled through the stormy nights. I remember like it was yesterday sitting on the deck watching over the edge as the waves crashed against the ship in total amazement that I was lucky enough to be chosen! Of course, I did also claim the ships title of the Best Chunder 😂.

On the second night there was a major storm. I had stood up from the couch when an 11-metre wave crashed into the side of the ship causing me to get thrown into the oven. Unfortunately, it resulted in a slight head wound. I later found out (after returning home) I actually suffered from a concussion. I’m glad at the time it wasn’t that bad and I was able to carry on, I’m happy I did. I climbed to the top of the mast the next day and feeling that salty wind brush across my face, I felt free, unstoppable, it was such a humbling moment and one I’m sure I will never forget.

The experience has ignited a new spark in me and has enabled me to broaden my horizons. I’m keen to learn more so I have recently joined the sea cadets. My dream was to one day become a surgeon.

However, after my adventure and meeting up with Hartlepool Sea Cadets I soon realised that being a Medical Officer in the Royal Marines was what I truly want to be. It unites all my passions and hopes for myself in the future! This trip taught me a lot more than just how to sail. It’s taught me that I’m brave and that my dreams will come true if I just keep going! It’s like my auntie always says.

“Never Let Anyone Dull Your Sparkle”.

This is a quote I carry in my heart and remind myself of always! So again, I would like to express how truly grateful I am for all the support and this beautiful opportunity it truly has meant the absolute world to me! Lucie Marie Wylie Lucies ready to join in with Sea Cadet activities.

It’s obvious that this young lady has made the most of the opportunity and is credit to her family, Hartlepool and the Freemasons, even when Lucie returned home and attended hospital for her concussion she never complained and fortunately she has fully recovered. The Sea Cadets have also found a worthy member, good luck Lucie in all your endeavour’s.

Final word from Lucies mam Sarah.

😂 I’m extremely proud. She’s done amazing!

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