Saturday: My working week starts at 2pm when 24 excited sea cadets scramble on board our flagship, Training Ship Royalist, to start a six-day voyage. Royalist has been taking thousands of 13 to 18-year-olds on sailing voyages around the UK, and sometimes further afield, since 1971, but this is its final year. This week's voyage is sailing the English Channel, starting and finishing in Gosport, Hampshire. We spend the afternoon showing cadets around the vessel and meeting volunteers, then we have a safety training session.
Sunday: After some more safety sessions in the morning, we leave the berth for Solent waters. We show cadets how the sails work and then let them practise steering the ship and adjusting the sails. In the afternoon, cadets help peel and chop the vegetables for our evening roast dinner.
Tuesday: At 6.30am, we wake the cadets for a hearty breakfast and set sail for Poole in Dorset. We show cadets how to anchor the ship, change the sail settings and navigate. Some cadets jump in the water for a quick swim, but they don't stay in long because it's rather cold. Throughout the night cadets take it in turns to 'anchor watch' - monitoring any movements, watching the radar and spotting any ships approaching.
Wednesday: Today is one cadet's 16th birthday. Our volunteer cook is busy making a special birthday cake and we decorate the common area, the 'mess room', for a party this evening. We sail around the Isle of Wight and cadets take it in turns to steer the ship and practise setting the sails, depending on the wind. They are working as a team now, instructing each other for a smooth sail. They also practise knot-tying and help each other with the tricky ones.
Friday: It's the last day. We sail back to Gosport for their parents to pick them up. But there's no time to rest because we have to prepare for another 24 cadets starting tomorrow. Our volunteer cook visits the supermarket for another week's food shop, and I write an itinerary for the next voyage.
Sea Cadets is a national youth charity that aims to inspire young people through nautical adventure