YOUNGSTERS sailed from Maldon to Mistley on a replica of the Blue Mermaid.

A group of six children from Manningtree sailed up the east coast aboard the replica Thames barge.

The Blue Mermaid had been chartered by the Stour-based charity My Blue Pass to provide sail and life experiences for young people.

She docked at Mistley Quay at on Friday, May 31, after a five-day passage at sea.

The traditional Thames barge was the first barge to moor alongside Mistley Quay in a decade.

On board the barge the young crew learned traditional barge sailing techniques including rope and sail handling skills.

The idea to charter the barge came from the Manningtree-based My Blue Pass team who are introducing free water sports opportunities for young people on the river Stour.

Garron Baines, My Blue Pass chairman, said: “This is a great experience and a real adventure for those taking part.

“We want to provide as many opportunities as possible on the water all free of charge so that young people can explore their potential, develop self-confidence, learn new skills and have fun.

“This is one of many activities we have planned on and around the Stour this summer.”

The original Blue Mermaid was built in Mistley in 1930 but blown up by a German mine off Gunfleet Sands in the Second World War.