Big Issue vendor James Heaton has hit the high seas on a four-day voyage across the English Channel – and it was such plain sailing that he wants to chart a course to do more.
The 43-year-old Bath seller was offered the chance to join Tall Ships Youth Trust (TSYT) in a bid to boost his confidence and teamwork skills, setting sail from Portsmouth harbour on May 18.
Long-time vendor James joined an adult crew as they travelled across to Cherbourg on the French coast before navigating the Channel Islands and stopping off at Alderney to explore.
From there, course was set for the Isle of Wight before returning to Portsmouth on May 21.
Throughout the journey, James was tasked, alongside his crewmates, to take keep watch in four-hour shifts as well as cooking and washing up in the kitchen and learning the ropes with the sails.
“I learned how much more complicated a yacht is to sail than I thought,” said James, who sells the magazine outside the Ivy Brasserie in Bath. “It’s not just about the sailing, it’s the washing up, the cooking dinner, it’s all about mucking together and working as a team to keep everything running efficiently.