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XF171009 Challenger 4 the american school in london

Mon 9 – Fri 13 October

Entry One 

We started the day on the boat learning the basics of sailing, and learning the terms such so ‘jiving’ and ‘tacking’. We were then split into two groups taking the port and starboard sides and bonding as a team. We each were given different opportunities to lead in jobs on the boat and skipper. At first we couldn’t help but be cold, but once we were in a rhythm with each jive and tack we were more confident and convinced we would make the rest of the journey. In the boat we were given hammocks with little cubby holes and lifejackets. Many of us expected a larger living area. Another concern among our group was food, which ended up exceeding expectations. At the end of the day our group got to cook for everyone in a smaller than usual kitchen, regardless it was delicious.

Another thing we were surprised by was the amount of work we had to do throughout the day. By the time we ate dinner lights out could not have come sooner. The amount of energy that each task takes is so draining that by the end of the day we were exhausted. Because we were constantly pulling on the ropes and steering the boat our energy was drained fast. We look forward to how a full day of sailing will plan out for all of us.

Didi, Marlie, Anya, Mia and Claire

Entry Two

Today we sailed from Cowes to Poole. Many of us were pushed out of our comfort zones, as we encountered strong winds and rough water conditions.

At the start of the day, everyone was quite tired from a rather uncomfortable night, but we were all excited for the day ahead. People were working hard and our sailing day started strong (despite the small engine problem that delayed our start). Sails were put up much quicker than the day before and people were getting used to the procedures and positions on the boat. Also, the border force were practicing driving alongside, then embarking and disembarking our boat. Watching them practice was pretty cool and added something a little different to our day. However as time went on, more people began to feel seasick and sailing became harder. The waves got bigger as the wind sped up causing many people to be sick, even throw up! After that rough spot, we were all knackered and looking forward to a warm drink and dinner. For tomorrow, we hope to learn from our experience today, be better prepared and continue having fun.

Sophia, Lea, Liz, Uma, and Michaela

Entry Three 

The day began with some bacon and egg sandwiches, and a tour of the last tall boat this company owned. We realized how much man power was needed to sail a large, complicated boat. Without help from the watch leaders, we were able to set up the boat by ourselves, and soon we were on our way sailing down-wind. This was different because the boat was rocking side to side instead of up and down. The cold water soaked us as it sprayed over the deck. There was much less work today, and we enjoyed tea and biscuits as well as delicious pasta. We filled the boat’s camera with some great photos, and we docked the boat at Yarmouth by four. A few of us had the opportunity to climb the mast and look at the impressive view from above – Clare put us all to shame as she climbed up with no help. The Starboard struggled to cook as they were first time ‘’pork-choppers’’ (they have the burns to prove it!), yet the meal turned out fairly edible… As it was our last night, laughter filled the room whilst people shared stories and joked around about finally departing tomorrow. All in all, it was a successful day, and this was a very memorable experience.

Liz, Sophia, Lea, Uma and Michaela