Seventh day, as per, we awoke on the seventh hour. We all had breakfast and were ready for the competitive day of racing ahead. The soundtrack of Pirates of the Caribbean was fitting to ensure we were pumped for the three separate races today. Deck prep was completed for the quickest time yet… a sweet 45 minutes. The first race consisted of the main sail hoist which we smashed and took first place. Up next came the triangle circuit… yet another win. Our final race was the sausage circuit, which we claimed second. An awesome set of results for the day and a sweet way to end the week. We made our way into Portsmouth harbour for the last night. A victory dinner was in order and 10 large Dominos pizzas found their way into the boat. Overall this week, we came second however there is still the Tacky gift competition to be completed. Relaxation and cards are underway for the last time this week. Pun to finish the final blog? I’m a frayed knot. Sorry…..
Declan & Joey
We were woken up at 7 am which followed on from the trend of unnecessary sleep deprivation. This was followed by the strenuous activity of nothing. Whilst being up on deck, 10 minutes late as pointed out many a time by Dave (good banter as usual), Susie kept getting Lauren`s name wrong. After doing loads and loads and loads of tacking, we were challenged by challenger 1 to an impromptu race. Which we gladly accepting and wrecked (if you`ll pardon the pun) them. Out of the blue, Bob was suddenly in the sea. Everybody screamed `man overboard!!!!!!!!!`. Then Joey saved the day and got Bob out the freezing sea, although sadly by this time Bob had caught hypothermia and it was not looking goodL. The boys wanted to go swimming so Joey then became spider man and hung over the side of the boat to attach us to a floating buoy. However, after Bob`s fatal accident swimming was cancelled we all had a yummy lunch that used every kitchen utensil available. Thanks Starboard!!!! We then made our way slowly and cautiously to the next harbour, in the pricey River Hamble, except there are no bathrooms. We are about to take part in a knot competition, the tension is knot fun. Yeah buoy.
Fiona, Lucy and Joey.
Today we woke up at 7am to the smell of bacon batches which were delightfully being cooked by the master chefs of starboard watch. Due to a miscalculation on the bacon front, some missed out on the bacon (the chefs paid their price). We then got ready to race the other boats. In our minds we won; when we actually came third! The race was a fun, and in the words of Dave (the ships Mate) ‘its not the winning that makes the race but the tactics and skills involved along the way’. After our departure in Poole we hastily made our way through the Solent to the picturesque Isle of White. As the crew got a little thirsty, Len went below deck to brew up a nice fine cuppa. To sally’s good eye she noticed that the oven containing our jacket potatoes was turned off by the one and only Len, which Sally called sabotage! If washing up isn’t your thing you’d have cringed at the volume left after tea had been cooked, there were pans of all shapes and sizes, cutlery of all varieties, and even the odd carrot peeler left all over the Galley; after all the key to a successful meal is to use every utensil available! Cleaning up actually took longer than the preparation and consumption of the meal.
Hopefully another food filled day tomorrow.
Meg and Matt
After a pleasant evening, morrow did dawn. The smell of sweat and egg was heavy in the air. The hearty breakfast was followed by a study in meteorology; the Beaufort scale and the shipping forecast. It was arranged, by a higher power, that we would present our finest cake in contest with the other boats. Alas, our challenger cake enterprise encountered a disaster as our creative talents were not on par. After a narrow loss to the ‘fluffy sheep’ cake, we were eager to set sail. We were found third in points, an inadequate location. After a pleasant hour, all thoughts of the previous vomit comet experience were forgotten. With the wind and sun in full force, we made it to Poole. Some call it the land of the successful. I suppose that’s why we found ourselves in this port; for we are a team destined for glory and power. The voyage had its moments of exhilaration as we fought our way through the potent wave of St Albans. They were merely feeble obstacles for the Challenger. Upon arrival, we were pleasantly welcomed to the soothing sounds of a solitary bagpiper (whom happened to be our skipper’s mother… a highly talented family!) An evening of restoring our health will be had this night. An exploration of this town will occur and with that, we will prepare for our race tomorrow. This is where the true sailors will be found.
George, Rafe & Declan
The gift we awaited this morrow was not kind. It was apparent that the wind blew such a gale that sailing would be impossible. Nevertheless, a kind feast was presented to us. Today would be a day of competition. A day where we could become immortals amongst mortals; warriors amongst the common man. We were informed that we would aim to become one with a dingy boat and race against fellow ships and their crew. How often these tools are mocked for their feebleness yet we would learn that they would become an instrument to ensure we were made greats. Our efforts, however, were bettered. We found ourselves taking second place to a fellow Challenger boat. We earned three points in this fight and it may be noted that Challenger 4 have found an enemy and rival for the week.
Returning to ship merely satisfied, we assessed the performance and prepared for our forthcoming race in the tall ships. We studied the theory of our sails and how we could allow our performance to prosper exponentially throughout the week. Success is our only option. This studying was deemed sufficient and in the afternoon we went onto shore and appreciated Weymouth to come back and replenish our hunger. The meat and pasta was deemed a culinary masterpiece, for we are required to prepare for our voyage to Poole at 7:00 tomorrow.
Declan & Max
We arose early at 4 am, enjoying a fruitful breakfast from the gods. As we hurled ourselves outside in full wet weather gear, it could only be described as a scene from middle earth. The rain did plummet that day, yet still the crew was not phased. With fire in our bellies, we struggled on determined to make the most of the dreadful conditions. It was not a day of beauty but rather one of anguish and torment. A true test of one’s mental fortitude. Were we taken back? Perhaps but is at sea that the true men and women are singled out. A wise man once spoke – ‘the best sailors are those that fear the sea’. A truer word was not spoken. There was bare chunder. Harmonised chundering was witnessed by many. A time arose when three stood, whilst nine fell victim to sea sickness. Our greatest foe. However, will power and a lesson in flares allowed the group to re-establish, thus ensuring we arrived at the destination: a team. Upon that evening, dinner was served from the furthest quarters of our land. Fresh fish accompanied by chips ensured team morale flourished. We ate hearty this night, for tomorrow… well tomorrow… only the Gods behold that truth.
Declan, Will, Joey & Wheeler
Today began with fond farewells to our families in Plymouth, and of course with them hanging around to look at the boat for a lot longer than we wanted. We became acquainted with each other straight away – an easy task when living in such close quarters! Choosing a bunk was a lot more difficult than expected, as each one has both good and bad sides, the worst was being potentially drenched in the night.
Learning to put on lifejackets was difficult, especially for those of us that were rather small, and required a lot of team work. Starboard watch was on dinner duty tonight, and made fajitas with nachos, while port watch cleaned up after (there was nothing left of course!). Our lesson in how to winch a rope in preparation for tomorrow, went well, until I got the winch handle stuck, which bodes well for the rest for the trip…
We set sail tomorrow morning at five A.M. so it should be an early night tonight!
Over and out from,
Aisling, Megs, Mhairi