Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 - 1 Comment »
Skipper: Mike aka Monkey
First Mate: John aka Princess
Watch Leader: Amy
Port Watch includes: Starboard watch includes:
Day 1 – let the briefings begin
Ahoy there! Tested our cooking skills this evening – will be interesting when rocking! A mass of purple hoodies assembled for a ‘swift’ photo shoot, au naturel of course. Being issued with waterproofs was really useful once we’d got wet learning about shackles and “leading” ourselves around the deck…
Writing from on board Challenger 3, Sarah
Day 2 & 3– and we’re off! Guides go Dutch
We left Hartlepool Marina, just behind Challenger 4, in glorious sunshine, although we were prepared for the worst with our wet weather gear on. After our practice in saving Bob and racing against each other with the runners (Starboard side being victorious), we hoisted the yankee and sailed along the coast and were kept fed with toasted sarnies for lunch and bangers and mash for tea. Our first 4 hour watch is now over at 7pm, so we are off to bed now to get a bit of shut eye, before being woken at 11pm for our next watch…
Starboard Crew – Sarah /Iggy/Alice
We began our first watch watching the sun set as we headed towards lightning in the distance, feeling a bit worried, but managed to avoid it and sail calmly under a double rainbow! Had a nice peaceful sleep as the waves rocked us but woke up and practically fell out of bed onto the next watch. The next watch started off with very rough seas as we were thrown from our cabins on deck trying to drink soup while leaning at a 40degree angle, safe to say our balance is improving slowly (for certain people). Forces joined together as we approached the docks, getting the sails down and preparing to jump straight off onto solid land.
Port crew- Lucy/Siobhan/Charlotte
The rest of day 3 – Arrival at Bresken
Day 3 started off with lovely warm showers for most of us (Lucy and Iggy had onboard showers the night before), which prepared us perfectly for the day ahead. We ‘borrowed’ Challenger 2’s dingy and got splashed by the ores of challenger 4! Which started the “war” against the fleet of challenger yachts. We thought that our best kind of ammo was to steal the drying towels of challenger 4 which were casually hanging over the side of the yacht (they were not too pleased).
As Lorraine, Alice and Charlotte helped to put challenger 2’s dingy away, they discovered one of the dwarfs aboard challenger 2 (Steve aka Grumpy). After a lunch of hot dogs and onions we set off for the town of Breskens just in time for some ice-cream. Although the ice-cream was not what we expected! A large serving could feed 12 (as we found out) after Iggy taking a sneak snap shot through the oranges of a man before us ordering the large cone. After finally finding the only tourist shop around (which Lucy raided) and taking interesting photos around the fountains we headed back to the docks slowly with camera at the ready after seeing many photo opportunities along the way there. Siobhan finally found her penguin, which the crew commonly teased her about (no luck with the flying fish though!) Alice managed to fall off a crab and Emily was hoisted up into a fish!
After slowly wandering back to the yachts and eating dinner, Steve (aka Grumpy) came aboard challenger 3, where John grassed up Alice by telling Steve his new nickname, all hell set loose and the cheese jokes began! Hannah ended up in tears laughing as Iggy and Lucy were almost paralytic with laughter and Jane almost spat her apple pie across the table.
After freshening up, we came across a glow in the water which turned out to be some phosphorous algae, which we thought were florescent jellyfish (tried to take pictures but wasn’t successful), we then headed back to the yachts where we began the task of baking princess and toy story cupcakes. The princess cakes were bought especially for John which is how we have come up with his new nickname, after complaining that he’s never had one (Princess). All cakes were decorated carefully with the finest detail (everyone’s names on each cake), and John particularly had a special cake with “Princess John” written on it. A perfect end to a lovely day!
Written from on board Challenger 3, Lucy and Charlotte
Day 4/5 – Off to Cowes
At 8am this morning we left a lovely sunny marina in Breskins ready to set sail for Cowes. Despite the very calm conditions we managed to sail without the engine which was nice and quiet. Mike started us off with a general knowledge quiz about the yacht where only one question stumped us; “what is a spur lash?” We thought about it hard and the only clue we were given was the fact that you cannot anchor without it (still no clue). Jane searched long and hard through the sailing glossary but still no clue! Finally Mike announced that a “spur lash” is none other than a SPLASH! (Duh).
Need to write something about leaving Bresken up until the Port started their watch….3pm – 7pm
The Starboard watch awoke at 7pm to start their watch just in time for Hannah’s amazing sideways cooking of pasta, sauce and garlic bread – VERY yummy, although managed to decorate the walls of the galley with our artistic tomato splat! With full stomachs the Port watch proceeded to their cabin for a bit of shut eye, whilst the Starboard watch enjoyed some singing, whilst trying to catch up with Challenger 1, which meant dangling legs over the Starboard side of the yacht, whilst attempting to do some sit-ups with the back drop of a beautiful sunset.
Port watch began their night watch at 11pm where we were greeted by Iggy and her fish dance and a nice warm drink to keep us going. Apparently the rain was being saved up for this particular watch so now we are all soaked through but we managed to take down the yankee 1 sail and replace it for the yankee 2 sail….. not so easy in the dark but we still managed to get the job done quickly and efficiently!!
3am and the boat is rocking, making getting out of bed and up for watch even more challenging. The Michelin men assemble on deck once more, although with high spirits. As the warm drinks flowed, we sang songs about a Princess (aka John) whilst admiring the lights of Brighton. A moment of peaceful silence that was short lived by a noticeable tear in the main sail. We sprang into action under the monkeys command to reef the damage. Panic over, the Starboard crew settled back down for the last hour watch whilst munching on soggy biscuits, until there was a bit of confusion about what direction we were heading which then led to us having to do a 360 degrees heave to.
Challenger 3’s version of
(To the tune of the Princess Pat)
Oh, Princess John,
Lived in a boat
He sailed across,
A little moat
He sailed across,
The sea so blue,
And he took with him,
A monkey too,
A monkey too,
Now who is that?
He’s a cheeky chap,
With a woolly hat,
His whit and charm,
And awesome crew,
That’s why he is,
A skipper too.
Oh, the Challenger 3,
She’s a mighty yacht
With a watch leader,
Who taught us knots.
On a constant slant,
Hard to go to the loo,
We were glad to have,
Our Amy too.
Our Amy too,
Now who is that?
She’s a volunteer,
With a stripy hat,
Her strength of…navigation,
Made it all worthwhile,
Keeping spirits high,
With her sunny smile.
We’re near the end,
We’ve sailed so far,
It might be quicker,
In a rusty car.
We’ve had a laugh
Some sickness too,
But we still make,
The very best crew!
Day 6 Arrival at Portsmouth
Setting off from Cowes in the sun, we began the final leg of the trip, sailing in convoy with the other 3 Challengers a lot. We jibed and tacked; always keeping the Spinnaker tower in view. Once in port and parked in a small space we all had a go at climbing the mast, which was hard work but worth it for the view!
After presentations from the Chief Guide, her deputy, the South West Regional Commissioner and County Commissioners from NEE and Hampshire East a great feast was had by all onboard.
We have all had a fantastic time making new friends whilst being introduced to sailing.