Tall Ships Adventures are pleased to announce that we now automatically include travel insurance within your booking costs.

We have arranged this specialist travel insurance for all crew members taking part on all Voyages aboard any vessel owned or managed by Tall Ships Ltd.

Full Policy terms and conditions can be found on our website www.tallships.org

This can be downloaded or if required please contact us and we will send you a full copy in the post.

Please read through this documentation carefully to ensure it meets with your requirements.

A brief Summary of this cover is set out below.

Main Sections of Cover:

Cancellation or CurtailmentUp to £5,000

Replacement & Re-joining Expenses Up to £3,000

Medical, Repatriation and Additional Expenses Up to £1,000,000

Personal Baggage & Money Up to £1,500

Personal Accident £25,000

Journey Continuation Up to £500

Travel Delay Up to £500

Hospital Benefit £50 per day up to a maximum £2,500

Personal Liability Up to £2,000,000 (excluding whilst involved in sailing activities)

Legal Expenses Up to £25,000

Delayed Baggage Up to £250

Political and Natural Disaster Evacuation Expenses Up to £15,000

An Excess of £50 applies to some Sections - see Policy for details.

General Exclusions that apply to all Sections

It is important to be aware that Trips booked or commenced contrary to Medical Advice, contrary to health and safety regulations of airlines, to obtain medical treatment or after a terminal prognosis has been made are excluded.

This insurance also excludes certain types of claim arising from any of the following conditions in respect of an insured person

    (a) who is waiting for an operation or post operative check-up, any investigation or results, or any other hospital treatment or consultation (other than regular hospital check-ups for a stable condition where the medication and dosage has not changed in the last 12 months.)

    (b) who has received treatment for any of the following during the 24 months prior to date of booking a trip:

a stroke, any form of cancer; leukaemia or tumour; a transplant; any heart problem; hypertension; dialysis; diabetes (not including diabetes II); any blood disorder; any breathing or respiratory problem (not including asthma, unless requiring inpatient treatment); any psychiatric illness or dementia; any gastro intestinal condition e.g. colitis, stomach ulcer; any neurological system related condition

    (c) who has been seen by a specialist in the last three months (other than regular hospital check-ups for a stable condition where the medication and dosage remains unchanged).

You are advised to read the full policy terms and conditions (www.tallships.org or on request) which set out the full details of all exclusions and limitations

Maximum age 80 at date of travel

This Policy is underwritten by Sagicor at Lloyd's Limited (FSA reference 204947) for Lloyd's Syndicate 1206 and is administered by Sagicor Underwriting Limited.

Click the button below when you have read the above in order to continue...

Click to close
Home » Blog


Atantic Circuit – AC 006

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 - No Comments »


Less than 24 hours after arriving in The Bahamas Lisa, Rob and Colin plus sea staff Steve, Darren, Haley and James set sail for Bermuda. After a bouncy first 24 hours we have all found our sea legs, thanks goodness. Sailing under a full moon at night has been a great help to pass the night watch. Last night we were visited by some flying fish with one landing next to Lisa and giving her quite the surprise. Baked bread and cakes as the sun rose this morning and anticipating a brief stopover on Friday in Bermuda if the current weather forecast holds good.


CF327 – Grenada to Azores – Challenger 4

Thursday, February 26th, 2015 - No Comments »

Blog 6

March 1st 2015

6 days in, and last night when the best of all watches were on their night watch (the night riders), an unusual thing happened. Let me set the scene… John was on the helm singing away, while Michael (Michelle) and I were in the cockpit trying to scare one another with the best ghost stories we had, which Michael was refusing to believe. This was shortly interrupted by the skipper in the gangway asking us if we could see some lights on the horizon. Sure enough we could, two faint lights at about 9 o’clock. As we looked closer, we could work out that the vessel was heading straight for us, so Paul rushed down to the Nav table to have a looked on AIS. Nothing. At this point everything went dark, the lights we sore on the horizon just disappeared, as if they weren’t there, or someone had just turned them out. Scanning the horizon with the binos, I managed to work out it wasn’t pirates but a Warship. Paul quickly called the warship up on the radio to ask what its intentions were and if there was a problem, which he received the reply of, “this is Warship 109, go ahead, over“. As this was going on, Michael spotted a red flashing light on the horizon, but too high to be another ship. A helicopter had been scrambled and had been watching us over the last 15mins or so, well that’s how long we thought it was up for. As Paul chatted on the radio to Warship 109, the helicopter flew right over the top of the boat and circled it, before flying back off into the distance, much to the delight of Michael, John and myself. Boiiiiiii. The warship then passed about 2 miles in front of our bow and the helicopter soon landed back on the warship. I don’t think we have anything we’re not supposed to..?

March 2nd 2015

Unfortunately the wind has totally dropped to less than 10 knots, so we have put the engine on and are motor sailing until we hope the earliest tomorrow morning. With just the main up and a pretty easy course of 060 to steer, moods on board are extremely chilled. Michael and I also had a jamming sesh earlier, which displayed a wonderful array of VERY different music… With the not so good watch on watch now (Kirstie’s watch), we are nearly at the half way point, with an estimated time of arrival of about the 10th or 11th of March. Hopefully the winds will pick up soon!! #IWMP #malmp mjmt j hpu uif fnbjm, uibol zpv tp nvdi, boe j mpwf zpv boe njtt zpv tp nvdi yy

See ya later


Blog 5

A Watch Leaders Perspective

…So Far…6 Days in


Prep…the hard bit of the voyage

We are currently 6 days in to the sailing part of the voyage. Previous to this we spent about 5 days cleaning, fixing, stocking, sorting and re-sorting the boat, as well as doing numerous safety checks. As usual there are always seemingly never ending jobs to do on a boat with limited time to do them!

We sweated our days away working hard with the ever increasing members or our crew each day, with Paul, our skipper, ensuring we were treated at the end of the day with a dip in the pool, some good food and time to relax and get to know each other.

A Vast Ocean, The Atlantic

Whilst flying from London a glimpse out of the window or a peek at the flight path revealed a vast, empty, deep blue eternity below…this is the Atlantic Ocean!

Quite suddenly the reality of our trip ahead truly sank in, mixed feelings of excitement and a bit of apprehension of the unknown challenge ahead.

“Slip the bow…Bow Clear” Casting Off

A rush of action as Paul and Lindsey (Mate) face difficult, fluky conditions leaving the marina, then its smiles all around as we practice Man Over Boards, tacking and a jibe. We begin our long voyage away from land under blue skies and fair winds.

A little Taste of a Caribbean Squall

After several watch changes (6 hours on, 6 off, 4 on, 4off, 4 on …that is 6am – midday, midday – 6pm, 6pm – 10pm, 10pm -2am, 2am – 6am) we get a taste of a Caribbean Squall. Flying Fish Watch (Lindsey and Kirstie + 2 rotating crew) take over the helm sometime during the night. We are tacking up a channel between two islands, avoiding a vessel on tow whilst a squall hits.

The moon disappears behind a huge mass of grey cloud and the world turns black. The temperature drops, rain lashes down and the wind speed accelerates, heeling the boat over and charging the boat at full speed…just as we are about to tack the boat. We ease the Main Sheet, de powering the sail and ride it out, throw in a quick tack between our 4 persons on our watch and continue onwards…there will be plenty more to come!

Out into the Big Blue

After clearing the Islands we set out on an North – Easterly tack beating into an Easterly wind, a few birds accompany us and there is a sarcastic discussion that they are “all just seagulls” when asked what they are – where’s my Dad when I need to win an argument!!!

Two dolphins briefly join us off our leeward port side, jumping high out of the water I say a promised “hello” to them from my Mum before they dart away on their own journey.

We also see shoals of flying fish, they glisten blue and white in the sunshine as they fly above the waves, escaping the whale like mass of our hull, before disappearing with a splash back into the depths, I have never seen them before and was pretty fascinated watching them…and so they became the inspiration for our watch name.

Soon land is a distant memory and we get into our shared and personal daily routines….

Baby Wipe washes and Blocked Heads

Our water maker is capput, and so we had to stock up on extra drinking water in the form of bottles, minimise our water usage and do dishes in salt water with a quick fresh water dip…this also meant that showers were strictly off the cards! Once leaving land we are totally committed to what the weather throws at us and whatever we have on board is it – we will only be getting farther from land until half way when the Azores would begin to get closer with each mile, we are currently 859 nautical miles in…with about 2000 miles left to the Azores, and then for some of us another 1300nm on to Portsmouth.

So far we are all getting through quite a lot of baby wipes and are all looking forward to a shower in about 10 – 12 days’ time, a full night’s sleep on a bed that doesn’t try and throw you out of it, a beer and a whole list of fantasy foods!

If you’ve ever sailed before you will know that the heads (or toilet’s) are a horrible place to be on the boat, located in the bow they are a challenge to navigate at the best of times. With each wave you lurch from side to side, the seat drops from below you and shifts slightly, pulling your trousers up and washing your hands you have to be careful not to fly out of the door or head-butt a wall…and it gets worse with rough weather!

Not only this but they are temperamental at the best of times and a problematic and embarrassing blockage is on everybody’s mind each time it is used…Never having had this problem my fears came true (though thankfully it was a pile up of tissue from previous usage and not me – phew), however, the problem persisted, I helped Lindsey do the pretty gruesome task of unblocking and changing parts – a truly awful smell and job I hope I don’t have to repeat too many times!

An Atlantic Squall – Fearsome Martha

If we thought the Caribbean Squall was bad, its Atlantic counterpart was determined to take first place. Luckily all was captured on yet to be seen GoPro footage.

MARTHA, as she came to be known, was a feisty one! From gorgeous blue skies she thundered into us, hitting us hard with powerful winds. Just 30 minutes before we had raised the staysail to make the most of the light winds, as Martha approached, myself and Mike leapt onto the bow and with Leo in the snake pit we dropped the staysail and scurried back to the safety of the cockpit just as the world again turned black and our reefed main heeled us right over. Lindsey expertly helmed the boat and calmly directed the rest of us, easing the main sheet and, still over powered heading on a run to stabilise Challenger 4. Skipper Paul popped his head up, to check all was OK and to be back up. He later admitted that he wanted to enjoy the excitement along with us. The boom was far out and water was being blown horizontally across the rough sea surface. As Martha passed us by, the boat slowed, seas calmed, rain abated and we were left to cruise into more blue skies. With much laughing and excitement, we heard a mighty crash in the galley and remembered that poor Sally was cooking up our meal. What a legend for managing a great meal amidst a full on squall! We ate it on a calm, sunny deck, drying out on what 10 minutes earlier had felt like a battle field!


So as I finish this blog for now (after finishing a 6 hour watch of blue skies, with and amazing sausage and mash dinner (thanks Jess and Mike) I’d like to report that as myself and Sally sat chatting, I saw, in the distance a large black…thing fly out of the ocean and crash down with a huge double splash, “what was that??!!! I think it’s a WHALE!!!!” Lindsey looked over from the helm and saw the splash and again I saw what looked like a fin or a tail and then a large pointy wedge shape rise up, bob and disappear for ever (its head?).

I ran below decks like a 4 year old waking the rest of the crew shouting whale, but unfortunately it was too late. An amazing encounter though (even if it did look like a giant slug!) hopefully it won’t be the last!

On that note I have 4 hours before the next watch, so it’s off to get a mint tea and catch some bouncy sleep!

Over and Out,

Kirstie – Watch Leader

Blogs 4


Somewhere in the Atlantic?

This is Atlantic Sally, Atlantic Sally Atlantic Sally, calling all blog receivers on Channel 16. All bloggers go to Channel 63.

Ahoy there from the good ship Challenger 4 – After taking my turn at being mother for the day (Mother Watch), I have been transferred to the other watch called Flying Fish. The Watch Leader is Kirstie and with here Stetson hat, she looks like a sailing Cowgirl and is great fun. The other members of this crew are Leo, Michael, John and Lindsey the Mate. Leo is like an Italian Ferrari, 5 cylinders under his bonnet and he just doesn’t stop. Michael is the baby of the watch and he is bound to be successful in whatever he ends up doing in the future. E is full of information and knowledge and I am sure he is a straight A student. John is the silent type who just gets on with things. Lindsey the mate, is a woman with an air of mystery about her. My best friend Lyn is just like Lyndsey and she has been my strongest supporter in my times of need and even only knowing Lindsey for a few days, she has the same qualities. She will always be there to back you up if things go wrong. A great asset to have on the boat.

Everyone on board is pleased with the progress Challenger 4 is making, as she cuts through the Atlantic. We are all keeping her going, by trimming sails and adjusting her position to the wind to get the optimum speed and direction out of her. To help with this, we also adjust the sheets and do this by grinding on winches. Challenger 4 is under full sail now, as we have taken out the reef in the main and have both the Staysail and Yankee up. Challenger 4 is a real treat to steer, as she is light on the helm. We are alert to squalls, ready to ease the main sheet down its track and if that’s not enough, we are ready to ease the main sheet. Failing all this we will drop the Staysail, or put the reef back in the main. Challenger 4 goes on, dipping her bows into the Atlantic rollers and sending flumes of spray into the air, as she goes on with the same determination as her crew to reach the Azores. The sun is setting after a glorious day, a change of watch, one to bed and the other to continue to drive Challenger 4 onto her destination. Laughter can be heard on deck and everyone is on fine form and I am feeling good. If you look at the moon tonight, I will be doing the same and thinking of you, all my friends new and old.

Over and out

Atlantic Sally

Blog 3

It’s all about Martha.

As much as I’d love to say that since our night of tacking it’s been the same but unfortunately I can’t. The nature of ocean sailing is that you can spend days or weeks on the same tack and that is what we have been doing so far for last few nights. The one difference is that now we are in the Atlantic Ocean with only flying fish for company, is that we are now on squall watch and dodge. So far both watches are doing fairly well at this. Night raiders found themselves with a large squall last Wednesday night which resulted in a wakeup call for the off watch mate and Watch leader to help get the Stay sail down as the boat was slightly over powered by the increased winds and driving rain. Once down, the wind abated and the thought of rehoisting the stay was talked about but with more squalls on the horizon, this idea was swiftly dropped. On Flying fish watch after that squall the game of eye spy kept the crew entertained for 3 hours. Quite amusing for the on watch to stay awake and try figure out if potentially that our game was the longest in history. If not Tall ships maybe??? However I am sure that given the passing days we will try and beat this current record. Guinness book entry maybe at the end???

As watches changed more squalls came and went, luckily avoiding us, just giving us a little more wind to sail by. Then came Thursday afternoon. That’s when the flying fish luck ran out!!! It started so well with clear skies and then we saw what can only be described as the evil twin sisters.  With fingers crossed we noticed that our luck was in and that they would just cross ahead of us but just behind was the cousin. Again a rather evil looking squall but she too may just pass ahead and then there was the distant relative trying to keep up. Luckily for us she was on a slightly different course to her relatives and so went behind. With skies looking clear and the wind having dropped causing the boat speed to drop, we decided to hoist the stay sail once more in full knowledge that on our watch that was near the end, the possibility that we might still have to drop it didn’t matter too much. Speed was the goal. With that Kirstie led her team and quickly hoisted the sail and all looked good. After about 30 mins you could see the sky start to turn grey. Not a small patch but the whole of our starboard side was quickly being taken over. With that the decision to drop the stay was quite easy. The crew went forward after a quick brief and began to drop as Martha was gaining on us. Just as the stay was dropped, secured and everyone back, sat ready by winches we felt the distant drop in temperature you get with squalls and then Martha got angry.  With winds up by 10 knots and driving rain trying to pull us up into her clutches, the never ending release of the main sheet to try combat this we altered course so that the wind was no longer on our bow but just behind the beam. With that the boat quickly accelerated and took off with Martha. Excitement all round. A glimpse of Atlantic squall for those never experience one before and the knowledge that the camera at the back of the boat was still recording the excitement. Within 30 minutes it was all over. Martha had left us to a distant memory, the sky was back to being blue, Sails pulled back into position and dinner was being served on deck to a slightly soaked but happy crew now trying to dry out their t-shirt and shorts before watch change and bed. The joys of Caribbean weather. The sea is still warm and the sun dries your clothes fairly quickly.

So after an uneventful night comes a new day. More squalls and even as I type the main is constantly being altered as we dodge more passing squalls but happy in the knowledge none look like Martha or the evil twin sisters.

Lindsey (Mate)


Blog 2

Somewhere in the Atlantic or the Caribbean is the question of the day?

It is lunchtime whilst writing this and despite feeling somewhat queasy and eating my sandwich, my Watch Leader announced that his watch is going to be called Nightriders – his team being myself and Jessica. Let me describe them to you. Archie is my team leader and I am sure he will feature on page 3 of a monthly sailing magazine, due to his smouldering good looks. Jessica is a the English Rose, stunning both inside and out and last but by no means least is myself Atlantic Sally – a mature Cornish lady. I was shocked when Archie said we were Nightriders – the only night riding I do is down to the local supermarket on my bike. My thoughts turned to home, but I was interrupted by Jessica talking about seaweed – where does it come from and where is it going. This reminded me of my local beach back in Cornwall. Back to sailing, the sun is shining and I am sitting on my favourite deck cushion, the No 3 Yankee sail bag and I am feeling pretty good. I love sailing and especially on the best yachts ever, the Challengers – I pat the side of Challenger 4 every morning and say thank you for keeping me safe and well. I have every faith in her and I know she will get me safely back to England – yes I am doing the next leg back to the UK from the Azores. Anyway, tonight when I look at the moon I will think of all my new and old friends and I send them all my love.

By Atlantic Sally


Blog 1

The story so far….

Welcome to the world of Challenger 4 and her motley crew sailing from Grenada to the Azores. The story began when a group of individuals decided to sign up to do the Atlantic crossing.  We have one woman who has been out in the Caribbean sailing on Challenger 4 for the last two voyages and is doing the whole trip back to Portsmouth (some are already saying that if we aren’t careful she may become part of the furniture), we also have a few who have already sailed on the Challengers or on our other vessel Stavros and want to try something new and those who are first timers on the boats. Well that’s the crew.

It all started when slowly one by one they joined and after getting to know each other over safety briefs, safety checks on the boat and helping to sort out ALL the food storage for the voyage, it was time to think about the crew meal to welcome the start of voyage officially.

The day to leave finally arrived and after finishing getting the final shopping, prepping the boat to go to sea with sails attached, everything below stowed away for whatever the wind gods throw at us, it was time to slip lines, fill up our fuel tanks and head out to start our journey with the sun coming down. With planning just perfect, we hoisted our main with 1 reef in (in case wind picks up as forecast outside the lee of the land) and our first head sail the Yankee 2. Once hoisted it was time to practice Tacks, gybes and man over board (MOB) so the crew are ready for any eventuality.

Once everyone was happy we set off into the sunset. As the sun went down and the sky was lit up by the stars, clouds started to roll in and bring with them gusts of wind and rain. Lots of rain!!! While this was well received by the staff as it cooled us down, the now sea sick crew were not quite so enthusiastic by it all. As night turned to day and mother watch began for one, it was the start of more bonding in watches. On flying fish watch led by Kirstie, conversations soon turned to food and more specifically steaks. How would you have yours, what type and what sauce? Possibly not the best conversation as our ability to eat steak is bordering on slim to none. Still with knowledge that you can get them in the Azores was a bonus. Talk did come to would you eat a dolphin when 2 came to say hello, but the unanimous verdict was no. No one could eat flipper!!!

The second night brought more drama on the boat. With the wind being in a more easterly direction. It meant that for 4 hours it was all about tacking. Unfortunately half the time the tacking had to wait for each passing squall. Nevertheless the crew did an amazing job and with smiles on their faces at the fact no one has been sick for 12 hours and they were bonding as a crew as well as becoming sailors. It was time to grab some sleep as the night riders (AKA Archie’s watch) began their watch of squall ducking and diving.

As dusk turned to day it was time to say goodbye to land and the local fishing men trying to sell us fish whilst sailing at 9 kts and head out in a North easterly direction towards our destination.

Lindsey (Mate)

Cat 135 Half Term Taster 12-15yo

Friday, February 20th, 2015 - No Comments »

Dear Blog,

On this voyage today we went to Warsash.

It took us 7 hours to get were we are it was very fun. We all put up a cruising chute and we got up to 14 knots. We also went through the waves again but they wasn’t so big this time.

we woke up at 5:30am because we had to be past the needles before 12:00. we arrived at 1pm and then we had pasta for lunch, after we went for a walk to the shops then on the way back we done a bit of crabbing but we didn’t catch anything. while we were crabbing it started raining very hard so we went in. When we went in we decided to play monopoly and Amelia won. For dinner we had Gary’s home made chicken curry which was yum.


Dear Blog,

On this voyage today we went to Weymouth.

On this journey Leah started crying because we went over some massive waves. Also leah puked because she felt sea sick and had to go inside. When we went in to the waves EVERYONE was talking but Thomas and Dec weren’t scared at all of the waves.

Today was warmer and not as cold and also did’t rain which was good. What we had for lunch was pasty and some beans and when we finished lunch we had to get the sails down and dock the catamaran.

At the end of the day we ate some fish & chips and then we went to sleep.


Dear Blog,

On this catamaran the crew are:          Declan Finch, Leah Harding, Thomas Wallis and Emiliano Paz.

Yesterday we all went to meet the Skipper the mate and the watch leader. Mean while the crew told us we were going to sail to Weymouth. I think we are all looking forward to sailing to Weymouth

Then we all had lunch which was Hot dogs.

Then set of from Gunwharf to sail to west cows it took 3 hours to get there.

The weather was not very nice and Tom enjoyed steering the the boat. Mean while the other crew set on the bow.

When we stop sailing we were all very very cold so we all wanted to get into the warm.

Then we all went to relax for a few hours.The some of us cook tea which was wraps then we all went to the shops to get some shopping.

After we all went to the shop we all went back to the boat so we can eat and drink what we had brought.

Then we all went to bed because we were all tired from what we had done.

BF122 Half term academy RYA Comp Crew CH3

Thursday, February 19th, 2015 - No Comments »

Blog 4 - River Hamble to Cowes…

On our 72ft island we were faced with numerous challenges today… such as mast climbing up the very very tall mast! As I went up the mast the wind felt stronger and the mast vibrated and I looked out across the Solent.

Next we got ready to leave the river Hamble and doing so was difficult as the tide and wind were pinning us on the pontoon. Once we had departed we put up the main sail with 2 reefs and also put up the number three Yankee.

We then sailed out the river Hamble and headed down the Eastern Solent towards the back of the Isle of Wight. After we had reached the bottom of the East Solent we decided to go a bit farther out and stuck our nose past Bembridge ledge and the conditions got a lot worst with waves coming thick and fast it was very easy to get knocked off course by a wave. Everyone had a go steering today and some were better than others!

Before we knew it we had to turn around to Cowes and despite the rain everyone was really enjoying themselves.



Blog 3 - Lymington to River Hamble

Once upon a time on a boat in a galaxy far far away there was a crew made up of 14 brave souls.

We had a luxurious extra hour sleep, waking up at 8 instead of 7. Followed by mountains of pancakes with all the toppings you could ever imagine. After having to wash up everything, we set about the laborious task of inflating the dinghy. After what seemed like hours the vessel was finally ready for its maiden voyage, possibly. It was thrown over the side rather unskilfully but managed to land the right way up. We split into pairs for the bi-annual 2000m rowing endurance sprint. Tensions were high in the starting blocks but as the teams took their positions an eerie silence fell across the marina, and possibly all of Lymington (maybe even Southern England). The race began and each team fought well, however there could only be one champion to take away the highly esteemed trophy. However there was shock when the times were released as it was revealed that it was a dead tie for first place in a rapid time of 3:42.

After the dinghy was packed away we were ready to leave and set off for the open sea otherwise known as the Solent. With little wind we rigged up the Main sail and Yankey 1 and set off with the wind behind us gybing towards Southampton. To pass some time a game of ‘Mike ties you up’ was suggested, with a reward of chocolate cake for the first team to unwind themselves from each other. After a couple of frustrated attempts Carl and Josh successfully unwound from their embrace, with much rejoice all round. We then practised a man over board drill by using a dan buoy as the casualty and our trainee mate Sam successfully led its retrieval. Unfortunately when putting the sails back up after the drill we ripped a couple of small holes in the yankey. After packing it away we gently sailed into the River Hamble and onto our berth at Warsash Harbour Master pontoon, settling down for a fantastic meal of sausages and mash. The forecast for the night indicates a gale warning for the “Wight” area, so we are hoping that the night won’t be too rough!


Blog 2 from starship – Challenger 3

Stardate……… 18/02/15

Weymouth to Alum Bay then Lymington

We started the day at 7 we were told about the grand plan to go to lymington via Alum bay just of the needles to have dinner. Following our sea sick passage to Weymouth, we were looking forward to our slightly calmer passage to Lymington.

Once we had hoisted the sails which consisted of the Full Main and the Yankee 1, we were informed by the skipper that a change to the Genoa was needed. It needed a lot of man power to get the genoa through the hatch as we had to drag it through the boat.  We hanked it on first and then following the drop of the yankee 1, we hoisted it up. The wind was northerly.

Mike cooked lunch which was pasties and beans which was yummy and really welcomed by the crew.

Before we knew it, we were approaching the needles and we had to quickly get it all down and packed away. Whilst Sam was flaking the main, Mike and Chris went about dropping the anchor.

As the sun set, the crew came on deck and watched it go down which was really nice.

Following dinner, Chris talked through how the night sail would work which was really informative. We came out of Alum Bay and when the light house sector lights went from green to white, we turned right and motored towards Hurst castle light house. There were lots of boats coming out of the channel at the same time so it was very busy.

We spotted all the red and green flashing lights off lymington and Sam did a great job of guiding us in. A ferry was coming in at the same time, and Mike was thrilled about this as the ferry was like a big torch and allowed him to check all the lines and fenders with ease.

Once we had arrived we packed everything away and then everyone ran to the showers as they had heard stories of their wonder… There was a choice between jet or rain and I sampled both!

Lord Rev Carl Taylor of the Starship Challenger 3


Blog 1 16/02/15

Today we got up at the crack of dawn to be greeted by breakfast that the starboard watch had prepared for us, PORRIDGE!! :D

After breakfast we (the port watch) washed up all breakfast material, swept down below, mopped, cleaned the heads and generally made sure everything was all tidy. At this time the starboard watch were getting the deck ready and preparing the boat for sailing.

Finally we were ready to set off for Weymouth from Poole quay. As we climbed through the hatch we were greeted by thrashing RAIN and force 5/6 winds. We left the harbour and as we progressed further, the rain became more, and more intense drenching the whole crew within minutes (except Mike of course as he took refuge under the hatch roof).

We took to the open ocean whilst singing Mr.Probz – waves, bearing the beating rain. The sea was fairly choppy because of the southerly wind that had built up, up the channel, making the waves increasingly bouncy.

CASUALTIES!! – today was the first day that we saw the first episode of the vomiting series, as soon as the first person conceded to their stomachs, the rest followed causing a chain reaction of vomiting. The unfortunate crew, went down below in the warmth and attempted to sleep. After we passed over the St Albans Head over falls which sent us in all sorts of directions, it was plain sailing, LITERALLY! – The rain cleared and the wind died down.

As we approached Weymouth harbour the remaining crew successfully completed several tacks which set our course for the harbour. Once we came close to the harbour we flaked the Stay sail, and Yankee sail as well as flaking the main sail onto the boom.

As we entered the harbour we lowered the fenders and threw ashore the mooring lines and packed away the Yankee and stay sail, as well as just tidying up all ropes and just generally checking the deck.

BTW Mike and Chris are the best!!!!

SSN 688 – Liverpool to Greenock – Half Term Youth Voyage

Monday, February 16th, 2015 - No Comments »

Day 6

It was on the sixth day that we set sail again. After being anchored in Lamlash for over 24 hours, we brought up the anchor, turned on the engines and let loose the sails. Although, we did encounter some trouble with the anchor, it got caught in someway (I’m not sure on the details) so it took quite a bit longer than usual and set us back a bit. Following this we powered up the engines, and left our anchor point at Lamlash. Once clear of nearby land and with the wind behind us we sent up some of the crew to climb the rigging of the fore and main masts to go out on the yards of the main upper-top sail, the fore upper-top sail and the fore lower-top sail to undo the clove-hitch knots holding the sails up and let them drop. Some people also went down aft to the very front of the ship to let loose the staysail and the outer jib sails. Once all sails were loose, we had many hauling teams on deck hauling halliards or loosening halliards, sheets clewlines and buntlines to get the sails ready to catch the wind and propel the ship. This was all done at around 10:30am.

At about 3:00pm we were coming in to arrive at Holy Loch, about 7 miles away from our final destination, where we anchored for the night. However, before we could enter this narrow loch through the high hills and mountains of Scotland, we had to take up the sails. This was a lot harder than usual, with down drafts from the mountains hitting about gale force 7s (maybe), it was quite a bit less stable out on the yards. The rain and hail stones being hurled at us by the strong winds didn’t help either, and they certainly didn’t warm me up. Once the upper-top sails were safely tucked away and tied up, myself and the other voyage crew on the yards were sent down to leave the volunteer crew to do the lower-top sail, much to my relief, as the hail stones and weather conditions were getting a bit too hectic to operate in. So next on the list is to set sail for Greenock, our final destination, and head home on Saturday.

Daniel Hubbard (Red Watch)


Day 5

During the previous night the ship had been at anchor which meant that none of the watches has to complete the watches, taken place on the bridge. In the morning after we had breakfast, every group had taken part in the happy hour, where we cleaned the whole of the ship. I thought that this part of the day was very amusing due to the fact that music was being played as we cleaned making the whole experience even better! After we had completed this task we were given a lecture by Richard on flares, the safety and security of them and why they are needed when at sea. I found this very interested as it taught all the voyage members on how to stay safe when sailing. He also spoke to all the voyage members on the competent crew certificate which is a qualification you can get in yachting, this I also found quite interesting as it was giving the voyage members an extra opportunity on the voyage. In the afternoon after we had our lunch, we were told that we were aloud to go ashore and explore the little island of Arran. I was particularly excited about this because I really wanted and needed some ready salted crisp!!!

I enjoyed exploring the island and as a group after we had finished shopping, we decided to play American football and have a normal kick about with both a normal football and an American football. This I thought was extremely hilarious as everyone was falling over the place and tackling each other to try and win. I enjoyed my time ashore however when it was time to come back, the tide had gone out and the rib we travelled ashore in wasn’t able to make it all the way ashore to get us. This then meant that we all had to walk through the water to get to the rib which left everyone very wet! Overall I really enjoyed my experience ashore as everyone was able to get what they wanted and do exactly what they wanted to do when off the ship.

During the lecture that was given to us by Richard, we were told when going ashore about a tacky souvenir challenge. This was where all voyage members had to take part in a challenge ashore to see who could get the tackiest souvenir, bring it back to the ship and present it in front of everyone. In our watch which is the blue watch, Vlad bought back an item and presented it in front of everyone. All the scores of the presentations were added up and blue watch won! Vlad had bought an owl saying “best granddad” which had let blue watch win the competition!! I really enjoyed the day.

Nikita-Sasha (Blue watch)


Day 4 

In the morning the ship was at anchor near Belfast. We started the day off by having breakfast and then washing the deck during the happy hour. I have never thought that cleaning could be so fun, especially watching our watch leader’s ridiculous and hilarious dance.

We lifted the anchor and set off at about 12am. All watches worked together to set sail. We opened Upper and Lower Topsail on the Main Mast and the Fore Mast. Opening the Upper Topsail was quite challenging as we needed to lift the whole yard by pulling on the Halliard. That particular job took about ten of us to do.

Our team was on watch from 6 till 8 in the evening just as the ship was coming upstream of the Clyde. There was a rota during our watch between steering and keeping a lookout. In the end everyone had a go on each. Best part was of course steering however when I was on a lookout I spotted some lighthouses and had to take bearings of each to help position the ship on a map. Once we got close to our destination all the crew were called on deck to pull the sails down. I was in a group which was put in charge of clewlines and buntlines on the Lower Topsail on the Main Mast. After we finished tightening those up someone had to climb up the Masts and Stow Away the sails (tighten them to the yard). That was the most fun part for me as weather was windy and the sun had already set. Even though it was challenging to climb up the mast in cold windy and dark conditions, I felt safe the whole time.

Vlad  (Blue Watch)


Day 3

On the third day, our plan was to go to Bangor. To do this we had to do shifts between the three watch groups. The shift was to be on lookout for 4 hours each. The first watch group was the red. They would have to be on lookout. The blue watch team also had to do it. I was in the white group and I had to steer the boat. This was challenging but I did get the hang of it. Although I had to get some help, I think it was easy once I got my way around it. I also had to look at each side of the ship. These sides were port and starboard. This wasn’t really too difficult as I only had to do some looking. I did find some interesting things such as a floating bucket. Once our time was done, we chilled and decided to get some rest for the next day. Well for me it was going to be a big day as we would have to get back onto sailing to our destination. I also had to be a messman which is a good job. Overall this was a good 3 days and I believe this was the most important as I learnt a lot of things about sailing and I am more prepared for next time.

Narinder Singh (White watch)


Day 2

After a nights sleep, where most on board were still getting used to the small bunks, and toilet cleaning session, we prepared ourselves for the ‘up and over’ drill. This involved climbing the fore mast up to a platform between the course and the lower topsail. All crew then practiced bracing the masts and needed to communicate and work together to get sufficient tension through the ropes.

As soon as lunch was eaten the ship set off, leaving Liverpool docks behind, we used the motors to get out through the docks and down the river. Once on open water a few helped to release three of the sails by climbing up and untying the knots which held the canvas in place. From the point of departure we started our watch cycle and took our turns at the helm, utilising the skills we learnt the day before. As we hit late afternoon the sails were dropped, the engines turned off and we were sailing. There were watches running for four hour time periods throughout the night, many understanding where the term ‘getting your sea legs’ originated from as we had gusts of 42 knots and large rolling waves. Not the ideal introduction to life on the sea.

Ulric (Red watch)


Day 1

We have 7 permanent crew and 7 volunteer crew who greet the voyage crew when they arrive.  People arrive from around 11 am as they have been travelling rather long distances from Invergordon in Scotland, Swansea, Birmingham and there are individuals from throughout the rest of the UK.

24 voyage crew joined and were allocated to watches of Red, White or Blue and were allocated a bunk, with a small wardrobe and box to store our things. Oil skins and harnesses were allocated.  There were a lot of briefings informing us of various aspects of the ship, safety rules and procedures, alarms such fire, man overboard were explained and what to expect.   Dinner was chillie and rice followed by apricots and ice cream and then later in the evening we introduced ourselves to other voyage crew and started to get to know each.

A number of people are using the trip to obtain their Duke of Edinburgh gold in the residential part.  We remain on board in the Liverpool Docks overnight..


Page 1 of 8512345102030...Last »