Berkhamsted pensioners prepare for an ocean adventure

John Watts pictured during his voyage from Gibraltar to Cadiz.
John Watts pictured during his voyage from Gibraltar to Cadiz.

TWO pensioners – one of whom has no legs – are planning to take two weeks out of their retirement to sail halfway across the Atlantic Ocean.

Andrew Gray, who is president of the Rotary Club of Berkhamsted Bulbourne, will be on board the tall ship Tenacious with fellow Rotarian John Watts in April next year.

John Watts, left, and Andrew Gray of Berkhamsted will take a tall ship trip.

John Watts, left, and Andrew Gray of Berkhamsted will take a tall ship trip.

They will join 48 others for the voyage from the Azores and Southampton aboard a ship built in 2000 by the Jubilee Sailing Trust with disabled crew members in mind.

John, now 65, had both of his legs amputated as a teenager because of a congenital defect. He now walks using two prosthetic limbs.

Andrew, 68, will support him during the journey on which 20 of the crew will be disabled, each supported by a partner and 10 full-time crew.

John said: “It gives disabled people, who tend to have a very insular life, a much wider experience and builds their confidence to get out and do something else.”

Read their full story in the Berkhamsted & Tring Gazette, out now.