XF180611A Dulwich Prep School Challenger 3

Mon 11 June – Fri 15 June

Entry One

First we arrived at school from 7:30 – 9:10 and whilst we were waiting for everyone we killed time by playing cards. At 9:30 we took two minibuses (boat 1 and boat 2) to East Croydon train station where we then took the train to Portsmouth Harbour. Once we got to Portsmouth Harbour we met our sailing instructors, they had metal trolleys for our bags. We finally got to see our boats after a short walk. After, we dropped our bags in our boats we had time to get some food and snacks for our voyage. We had to be back by 1:10. We got onto our boat to meet our instructors and find out about them. Our skipper is Gary, our first mate is Sam and our crew is Derek and Chris. Then we had a briefing of our boat. Then we set up for our journey. After we left the docks we had to use the engine to get a bit more speed as it was quite calm today. As we were sailing we found out our cooking groups. Today was chicken fajitas which was made by Samuel and Hector. At the end of the day we pulled into West Cowes and took the sail down and loosened some of the ropes. After we had loosened the ropes we ate our meal. Once that was all eaten we found out our jobs, Samuel and Hector had to clean up and Yves, Sasha and Jacob were writing the blog. Whilst we were writing everyone was showering and we are soon going to switch off lights as we have an early start.

Jacob, Yves and Sasha

Entry Two

After a good night sleep, it was a shock to be woken up at 7:30. Henry and Jacob were assigned breakfast duty: crunchy nut and Weetabix. The team started to prepare the deck for the fun day ahead while others cleaned up down below. Challenger 3 set off followed by Challenger 4 at about 10:00 as Yves livened the place up by with some tuneful hymns. After raising the Yankee, Stay and Main sail, we took to the calm Solent. After some practice, we mastered the skill of tacking and jibing, allowing us to change direction. Charlie and Luke were sent down to the gulley to cook some pesto pasta for the hungry crew. After some clanking of pans and boiling of water they managed to create a masterpiece. Already on our way towards Poole harbour we were taught how to react in the unlikely event of a man overboard situation. Challenger 4 arrived at Poole harbour 1 hour early as Robert had not been feeling well. We arrived to an onlooking Challenger 4 and we explored the picturesque town with the help of Google Maps. Fish was put in the oven and was served with chips bought locally to a glad crew. We showered and then were sent to bed at 9:45 ahead of a long day. The end was nearing to an already fantastic trip, time was flying by.

Henry and Charlie

Entry Three

In the morning we woke to a cold breeze at 7:45.  Samuel and Yves took the honour of toasting some flavoursome crumpets and took out the cereal. Port team did the solid labour of preparing the deck. Meanwhile starboard team took the messy job of cleaning the galley and the toilets. Then at 9:30 all boys gladly went into town to buy some snacks. Then when we arrived back at the boat we were given the daring opportunity to climb the 40 metre mast. Our boat (Challenger 3) hoisted ourselves up the mighty mast, whereas the puny crew on challenger 4 were winched up the mast by their crewmates.

Then we motored out of Poole towards Yarmouth.  When we out to sea we quickly raised our three sails, at this time Henry and Hector went into the galley to make jacket potatoes.  The food was extremely delicious.  The challenge was set after lunch to race Challenger 3.  It was a strong race, unfortunately we lost by a couple of millimetres.  After this we glided to Yarmouth where we enjoy a fabulous dinner cooked by Charlie and Jacob.

The end was growing nearer.

Hector and Luke

Entry Four

We woke up to rain and the coldest temperatures so far on the trip. Breakfast was bagels and cereal, prepared by a groggy Joss and Luke. After that, Derek’s squad prepared the deck, whilst Chris’s team cleaned the boat. We had a walk around Yarmouth and set off down the Solent at a cool 12 O’clock. Temperatures quickly increased and skies cleared as we sailed up and down the Solent. Cold sandwiches were on the menu for lunch, whipped up by Sasha and Sam. The afternoon was a relaxing affair as the amazing Derek and Chris controlled their squads with ease as we performed some tacks and jybes and spent some time lying towards the bow of the boat. We brought the Challenger to a stop and dropped anchor, after lowering our Yankee sail quickly. We did the same with our main sail, and Henry took the role of skipper for a while. Yves and Henry made a solid curry-with a lot of help from the skipper Gary- for dinner and we started preparing for our night time sail at 8 O’clock. We now needed to plan our final journey into Portsmouth harbour, Gunwharf Quay’s marina, which would be completed under the cover of darkness.

It would be the final trip of an incredible voyage.

Sam and Joss

Entry Five

After the wonderful curry, which was accompanied by Naany B’s, we set about preparing our course from our anchor near a buoy called Norris into Gunwharf Quays, where our journey originated. In doing so, we learned how to use bearings and scales on a sailing chart. At quarter to ten we reeled in the anchor and used the engine and the steering wheel to navigate ourselves past each flashing buoy. We each took turns on the wheel, with Sasha steering the last leg, maintaining the course set by Henry and Charlie. We arrived at 2am; extremely tired. We woke up 6 hours later and began to tidy and clean before our departure. It was a fantastic end to a fantastic trip.

Henry