Portsmouth People Songs of Praise


Portsmouth People

Diane Louise Jordan visits the UK's only island city to meet the novice sailors on a tall-ship fit for a queen, and gets to grips with some strange sea creatures.


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This is Portsmouth.

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The only city in the UK that can call itself an island.

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You can find connections with the sea around every corner.

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And, inevitably, people's lives are touched by it.

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I'll be meeting some of the people

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who are fascinated by the sea and its inhabitants.

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And find out what it's like to have all of this on your doorstep.

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This week, we meet novice sailors on board the tall ship fit for a queen.

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I get to grips with some interesting sea creatures.

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There's magnificent hymn singing from St Mary's Church

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and songs from West End star Ramin Karimloo.

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Under Henry VIII, Portsmouth became the home of the Royal Navy

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and there's still a significant naval presence here.

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Almost every sea vessel imaginable can be seen in the harbour.

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And Portsmouth is a major ferry port to the Isle of Wight and beyond.

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All our music this week has been chosen

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to reflect the sea and the wonder of creation.

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The first hymn is one of our most popular,

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and certainly my personal favourite.

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The words were inspired by the drama of a thunderstorm.

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So, let's join the congregation of St Mary's Church,

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together with friends from across the area,

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as they sing, How Great Thou Art.

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The Solent is one of the busiest

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and most dangerous shipping channels to navigate in the UK.

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When things go wrong, the coastguard is often the first port of call.

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We co-ordinate search and rescue.

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So when a mayday comes in on Channel 16,

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or a 999 call

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comes in, with somebody in distress,

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we co-ordinate which resources,

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which coastguards, lifeboats,

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we are going to send to effect a rescue

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or give assistance to somebody in trouble.

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'I wake up in the morning, come into a job I love,

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'and I thank God that I'm going to work

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'and I'm going to make a difference'

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to somebody's life today, and...

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whatever happens during the day, we take it as it comes.

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But he's in here with me. He's sitting with me

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and he's helping me do the best job I possibly can.

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'You can sit in the Ops room and a normal routine call will ring.

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'It could be somebody asking for the weather, it could be a fisherman'

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going, "I have a little bit of a problem."

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When a fisherman says he's got a little bit of a problem, it's normally a rather large one.

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In April this year, Karen received just such a call.

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'It was a relatively quiet day and a mayday call came in

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'from a fishing boat, the Seabird,

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'saying that he was off'

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the submarine barrier in Portsmouth and he was taking on water.

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It was a rough day. About two and a half to three-metre swells.

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And as soon as we saw the boat, we saw the back, the stern of the boat,

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was almost underwater.

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It was a case of everybody off the ship.

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Because it was definitely going down.

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The skipper was a bit reluctant to get off the boat.

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It's his pride and joy, his livelihood. But once I spoke to him,

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it was very clear that the inevitable was going to happen.

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We had no choice but to leave the vessel and let it sink.

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It was one of those fantastic times when everybody got off

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and I don't even think the fishermen got their feet wet.

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When you're out at sea and the weather's really bad

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and you're on this plastic boat...

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and the elements...I mean, I've been in positions

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where waves have been coming over the boat when I've been sailing.

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And you sit there and you go, "Well, I have to have faith in the boat.

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"I have to have faith in the ability of the boat

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"and I have to have faith that someone's looking after me,

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"because the position I'm in right now

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"isn't actually a safe place to be."

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And you come out at the end of it

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and everything is beautiful and calm and you go, "I survived that.

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"Somebody was watching over me.

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"Somebody has gone, "We'll get you back to harbour.

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"You're going to be safe."

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# God on high

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# Hear my prayer

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# In my need

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# You have always been there

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# He is young

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# He's afraid

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# Let him rest

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# Heaven blessed

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# Bring him home

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# Bring him home

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# Bring him home

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# He's like the son I might have known

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# If God had granted me a son

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# The summers die, one by one

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# How soon they fly on and on

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# And I am old

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# And will be gone

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# Bring him peace

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# Bring him joy

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# He is young

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# He is only a boy

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# You can take

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# You can give

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# Let him be

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# Let him live

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# If I die

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# Let me die

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# Let him live

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# Bring him home

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# Bring him home

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# Bring him

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# Home. #

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I'm passionate about the animals and nature.

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The world is amazing. It's fantastic!

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And you have to enjoy it and see it

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and the beauty of the world!

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You have to appreciate it.

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A childhood fascination for sea creatures

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has turned into a dream job for marine biologist Jenna MacFarlane.

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I've seen the world on a microscopic level

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and I know that without the little things,

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the plankton, there would be no big things.

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The biggest shark in the world lives just by eating little plankton.

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And everything is connected. Everything is joined together.

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You take one thing out of the world and you harm everything.

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Science and faith go hand-in-hand for Jenna.

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Through my secondary school and college years,

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I was, kind of, purposeless and faithless.

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And we studied something called the Krebs Cycle.

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And every single element,

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every electron in that cycle, has a place

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and has a use and a purpose.

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And I just couldn't believe that that was chance.

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There's no way that was chance.

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When you look at the world that humans have created,

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and couldn't have created without

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that little tiny cellular cycle happening,

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you know that there's something greater,

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something more powerful involved in this.

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And that's when I started coming back to faith.

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I found the science that I'd learned was utterly backed up

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by the faith I had developed

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and it all meshed beautifully.

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And I came out of it, not many years ago,

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but I came out of it happy and satisfied

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and at peace and, and...

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It's just...a brilliant feeling!

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When it comes to beaches, some like to sunbathe, some like to paddle,

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but Carol Tolfrey takes it a step further, challenging herself,

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swimming, cycling and running in triathlons.

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We meet here at 9:00, all get in our wetsuits.

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9:30, we're in the sea.

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Anything up to an hour.

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It's the fellowship of going out with someone else and doing it,

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which is absolutely brilliant.

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I just love the sea.

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It's just pure enjoyment.

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You just get your head down and you swim a bit and then you come up.

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So you're just really having fun. You're just like a little kid again.

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There's been odd times when I've gone in there and I've thought,

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"Oh, I can't do this."

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And the tide might be against me.

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I think that's where my faith comes in.

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Because if I'm starting to think, "I don't think I can do this,"

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I ask the Lord and he does help me.

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Carol hasn't always been so sporty.

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I was 44.

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Real couch potato.

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I mean, seriously, I was about two stone heavier than what I am now.

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And I went to watch my son do the London Marathon.

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And he finished and I said, "Oh, son, I'd love to do that."

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And he said, "Oh, well, you could, Mum. You could do it."

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And the following year, I did the London Marathon,

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which was fabulous, really.

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So, I mean, I couldn't believe it myself, but I did it.

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Exercising also helped Carol through a traumatic time in her life.

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My husband got ill and he developed Alzheimer's.

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The thing is with Alzheimer's is that it's not sudden.

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You're gradually losing them,

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so I think you're grieving for two or three years before they die.

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So I think all that helps you to cope, obviously,

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you know what I mean, with when it actually happens.

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We'd been married 44 years when he died.

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And obviously, that's a huge chunk out of your life.

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I had just started triathlon leading up to him dying.

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I think because I needed to do something.

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I was visiting him every day in the hospital where he was.

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Then in my spare time, I was doing triathlon.

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That helps you, doesn't it? You know, this is the thing.

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Um...I just like to think now he'd be pleased seeing me do all this.

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I hope that I'm going to carry on for quite a few more years, really.

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The tall ship Tenacious took pride of place on the River Thames

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at this year's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

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The ship gives people of all backgrounds and abilities

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the chance to experience sailing first hand.

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We invite people to come on board, some of whom, sometimes,

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haven't stepped foot outside of their flat or their houses

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for a long time.

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Perhaps because of their disability.

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We show them here that there is a community that they can be part of,

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there's a challenging job that they can do

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and there is an amazing objective,

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which is to sail this ship across the seas.

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Everyone takes turns helming, steering, keeping lookout.

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When we set sails and we brace the yards or tack,

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everyone is involved. It actually needs everyone.

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There's actually a lot of rope to pull on and there's a lot to do.

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All together!

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I get a lot of enjoyment out of it and there's no restrictions,

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like there is in real life.

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Although I can't do a lot of things,

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I've never been made to feel that I can't.

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I always give it a go on everything.

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Everybody is equal on the boat.

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The highlight, I think, for me, was climbing the rigging.

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Because it took me out of my comfort zone. But I had to do it.

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And I was quite relieved to come back down. I was shaking.

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The hardest part is the last bit where you go...

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you're almost leaning backwards a little bit

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and you go through the hatch into the platform.

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Once you're through there, it's fantastic.

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The sea is a phenomenal place.

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It's a place to be inspired by,

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it's a place to be frightened in,

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it's a place to be challenged in

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and it's a place to achieve in.

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The sea is an amazing environment

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where you can learn the most amazing skills,

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make the most amazing friends.

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And that's what people get out of a voyage.

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Before joining the Jubilee Sailing Trust,

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Alex was a commander in the Royal Navy.

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For me to come from one career at sea

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and great big steel ships

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to come to another career being associated with the sea,

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moves me a lot more deeply than anything ever has done.

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Um... God has played a powerful part in my life

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through challenge, through loss.

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And actually, you cannot come to sea on a voyage

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and not see his hand at work

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in the faces of the people who sail with us,

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in the storms that the ships go through,

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in the welcome that we get from ports wherever we visit,

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and in the friendships that are formed. He's there in all of that.

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We thank you for the sea and the many ways we have to enjoy it.

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For leisure and holidays, for fun on the beach.

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For the variety of creatures

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that live within the oceans or surrounding it.

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May we learn to look after them and protect them.

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Watch over those who sail upon the waters and keep them safe.

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And guide all who work to bring help in times of danger.

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Amen.

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# Above all powers

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# Above all kings

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# Above all nature

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# And all created things

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# Above all wisdom

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# And all the ways of man

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# You were here before the world began

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# Above all kingdoms

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# Above all thrones

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# Above all wonders the world has ever known

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# Above all wealth

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# And treasures of the earth

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# There's no way to measure what you're worth

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# Crucified

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# Laid behind the stone

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# You lived to die

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# Rejected and alone

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# Like a rose, trampled on the ground

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# You took the fall

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# And thought of me

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# Above all

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# Crucified

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# Laid behind the stone

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# You lived to die

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# Rejected and alone

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# Like a rose, trampled on the ground

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# You took the fall

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# Thought of me

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# Above all

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# Like a rose, trampled on the ground

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# You took the fall

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# Thought of me

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# Above all. #

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Overlooking the harbour is Portsmouth's newest attraction,

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the sail-shaped Spinnaker Tower.

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From up here, there are fabulous views

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across the whole island of Portsmouth

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and over the Solent to the Isle of Wight.

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Time for one final hymn from St Mary's Church.

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It's the uplifting, Crown Him With Many Crowns.

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Next time, Eamonn explores the great outdoors in County Antrim,

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where he meets up with surfers, bikers and rugby players

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who like to pray as hard as they play.

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Great music from Keith and Kristyn Getty and the Rend Collective

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and uplifting hymn-singing

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from the congregation gathered in St Killian's College Chapel.

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

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Diane Louise Jordan visits the UK's only island city to meet the novice sailors on a tall-ship fit for a queen, gets to grips with some strange sea creatures and introduces stirring hymns from St Mary's Church, Portsea.


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