By John McGregor

All my life I’ve wanted to have a go on a real sailing ship, ever since reading ‘Two Years Before The Mast’ in my schooldays. More recently in adult life when studying on the Open University I was absolutely enthralled reading about Captain Cook’s adventures on the High Seas and discovering new worlds for us to enjoy today.

My father was a Royal Naval pilot but I joined the RAF so no sailing there. I always wanted to experience the creaking sails as the ship got under way and took on the waves – but how?

Imagine my excitement when I read recently that the good ship Pascual Flores was back in its home town of Torrevieja, now rebuilt and available for a trip – wow!

Does anyone remember The Onedin Line on UK TV from 1971, well, this wonderful boat was featured in the series. The Pascual Flores was originally built in Torrevieja in 1917 and used for transporting salt and a lot more around the Med, the Africas and America, and has now been beautifully rebuilt for education, training and promoting tourism, it is based in Torrevieja until next January and available, either for sailing at weekends as I wanted to, weather permitting, or just for a fascinating look round during the week, cost €5.

My good friend Pete from the Costa Blanca Scooterists is a first-class organizer and together with our friend, another Pete he booked us aboard last Sunday – game on!

The fascinating trip was a three hour run up and down the coast from the harbour in Torrevieja and included watching the sails erected and taken down by the young friendly crew and was a great experience, I absolutely loved it.

The sea was fairly calm and the sun shone but yes, the whole feel of being onboard a fully-rigged sailing was just what I’ve always wanted to experience, I’m a lucky boy.

The cost is €25 including some snacks on board, well recommended. What a brilliant day with two of my great mates.

John McGregor