Rod Prince
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Rod Prince - Aberdovey, Wales, 1954

I attended a course in May 1954 at the Outward Bound Sea School in Aberdovey. I was an apprentice to an engineering firm who sponsored two of us. The school was run by Merchant Navy officers under the leadership of a Captain Fuller.

The intake was also made up from cadets who were training for a career at sea; in fact at this time of our course there was a sail training ship called the Prince Louis berthed at Aberdovey. I often wonder what became of her.

A film was being made during the period of our course entitled the "Blue Peter"�. Most of the intake were employed as actors for this - unpaid of course!
The regime was very strict - cold showers in the morning, followed by a run before breakfast. Hill-walking or seamanship, depending on the weather, made up the routine of the day. The last walk of the course started at Barmouth and ended in Aberdovey via a climb over Cader Idris, 35 miles on jam sandwiches and spring water!

The experiences gained on the course have influenced my life in many ways. My love of Wales, hill walking and later as a teacher, I had the chance to become a instructor of dinghy sailing with the National Schools Sailing Association.

My wife and I love Aberdovey and are frequent visitors. The old sail sheds where I learned to tie a "bowline on a bight"� are gone, and we now watch the present young people paddling their canoes in the Dovey estuary and wonder if they will have gained as much benefit from the Outward Bound as we did in the 1950's.