Saturday 8 – Friday 14 July
Today was a glorious day. We got to lie in until 8 o’clock and until 12 o’clock we were able to enjoy the wonderful Island of Alderney. In its one town there was a multitude of cafes where we could taste Jack’s Brasserie’s famous milkshakes (coffee for Gabriel) for a relatively generous price of £5. After our short but sweet visit for Alderney we navigated our way through the most dangerous seaway in the world towards Guernsey, luckily our very adept captain James sailed us to certain safety. The reason for sailing to Guernsey was in modest terms of highest importance; to rescue Joe from the horror of warm beds and the hotel life and to return him to the normality of sleeping in a hammock and pumping in order to flush. Once we docked up next to another challenger, Ed and Maxim had finally decided to demonstrate their superior skills in the acts of ‘pulling birds’. With all their chat of having experience in said field, will they succeed? To be continued…
Today was a nice late start: 6 Am. We all had a great lie in. Setting off before all the other challengers we had bacon butties on the move having hoisted the main sail in quick time. With half the crew collapsing asleep for 4 hours we gently cruised to Les Frogs’ border, comfortably relaxing on deck in the blazing sunshine. Listening to Radio 1 which I’m sure was stuck on repeat after hearing the same crap Ke$ha (now Kesha since a midlife crisis clearly) song too many times, the sleepers began to wake. Now with a full crew we raised all our sails, switched the motor off and preceded to be caught up by the other challengers as there was no wind filling our sails. Some say this was down to the lack of skill of the helmsman Gabriel. Bringing in our sails on reaching Alderney we moored up and had a dip in sub-zero hot tub. All with large appetites we chowed down into some spag bol. With all that sleep during the day will they sleep at night?
Having got lost in the Portsmouth Harbour Shopping Centre (a nice surprise for many of the boys making their way down by train) we made our way to Challenger 3, to get acquainted and accustomed to where we would bed down for the next week. Chucking our bags, not so full of clothes, on our beds, we were given a safety briefing and tour of the ship. One last dash to the local restaurant toilets and we were motoring off to a bay on the south side of the Isle of Wight. A short time into many of our first times on a sailing boat, we were thrown into preparing the ship for its two front sails (whose technical names I have forgotten, like many of the others), but a 30 second hoist of a heavy sail proved that we might just thrive this week. The group have bonded well, especially over a chicken fajita dinner prepped and cooked by half of the group, and look like they might give the other ships a run for their money. I think that we might just prove a few people wrong by living through this week.