XF180611A Dulwich Prep School Challenger 4

Mon 11 June – Fri 15 June

Entry One 

Today we set off from the exotic East Croydon Station to the vibrant port of Portsmouth. The train journey was long but took its toll on some people. They found it difficult. Lunch was nothing but….

Relentless. My strawberries took many casualties some more deformed than others. RIP rich. Many of us… struggled to board the yacht in time but eventually we got stuck into the Nitti gritty life of a pirate. We got loads of dough balls and I bought tons of sweets. We set sail at 17.38 am and were going strong. We had to heave heavy ropes in the sweltering heat.at 8.30 We made fajitas and they tasted nice .finally we are now commenting on the stuff we did today all the memes ,exciting activities , and then eating. # support and donate. Wyatt , rob , rayan , Jacob ,jasper since 1988.

Entry Two

When we painfully woke up in the most unusual sleeping environment, we ate unhealthily then coming up onto the deck we set sail for Poole. We raised the main sail for the first time and then later hoisted the Yankee sail and eventually the Stay sail. We practiced some tactical tacking through some choppy waters and swirly stomachs before passing Old Harry in Dorset. Afterwards we practiced the man overboard procedure with specific tasks to be undertaken. Fergal was retrieved successfully from the stormy sea using a variety of techniques including dropping the sails except for the main which was done promptly afterwards. We then docked at the Poole Harbour and started working on the meal of fish and chips for the night. Jude (me) had an excellent idea of making Burger Sauce (Link for recipe in the description) which was adored by those who tried it. Now I am being squashed by five people in a tiny space typing this so byeeeee!

From Jude (me), Tommy, Khalid, Felix and Cameron (The Port Team).

Staff Blog Entry One

Welcome to the staff blog of Challenger 4!

Today started with breakfast….you’d think that would be fairly uneventful, but add in ten 13 year old boys and 1 box of coco pops….what could possibly go wrong?!

Let’s just say, the boys learnt three valuable lessons;

  1. Coco pops (other brands are available!) do not come with milk as standard (or a person to serve said milk…)
  2. Above mentioned cereal does not come in a bowl with legs to serve hungry teenager, they come in a box… Staff coco pops remain staff coco pops!
  3. When receiving a hot drink it is perfectly acceptable to pour your own milk according to taste and not expect it served in front of you to your liking.

So, that was breakfast, now all we had to do was survive a day of sailing.

The day carried on with various entertaining activities and some very amusing jokes alongside much sailing.

Whoever knew that wearing your trousers backwards was the new trend for sailors in the Solent? And binoculars most definitely work better when the lens caps are left on – instant view of the Isle of Wight (Isle of black?!) in the dark!

Now they are all tucked up in their hammocks, we await another day of adventure and amusement tomorrow.

Entry Three

Once upon a time….today we woke up to the brisk voice of Graham saying ‘wake up gentlemen!!! It is 7:30 pm. This was followed by the prolonged shrieks of the crew as we hauled ourselves out of bed. We helped ourselves to Coco-Pops and Crumpets before we got out and readied the boat. A few of us Climbed the 90 ft mast and afterwards had a good look around Poole and bought a few sweets …… a few. We then raced the other boat and quite frankly thrashed them. Fergul would be proud. We did some tacking which wasn’t approved of by Tommy and got into Port around 7. We had a stir fry, got through the showers and finally went to bed.

Jasper, Jacob, Robert, Wyatt & Rayan

Staff Blog Entry Two

So after yesterday we kind of thought today would be educational too… How wrong we were. I am afraid to say that the boys were able to put their clothes on the right way round, eat breakfast including crumpets without any issue and alter hot drinks to individual needs. With no staff assistance. Progress is very evident on this boat.

As a reward, the boys were treated to being allowed to climb the mast and yet again this proved easy and not difficult for the crew.

Next stop sailing. Surely this would be educational for us staff once again??… well almost.

With the main sail going up, incident free and a Le Mans start race planned against the other Challenger. The crew were fantastic, they quickly and efficiently hoisted the sails with no help from staff apart from the odd verbal instruction and with their speed and determination,  an advantage was had and Challenger 4 rushed into a lead that was never lost. With their quest to win (and eat cake if successful, staff eat the cake if unsuccessful) volunteers were quickly found to empty the grey tank of any water that might be slowing us down. It was then decided that to help save more weight we should eat some biscuits and crisps much to the boys delight.

Next came the finish. By this time enthusiasm was starting to dwindle. The win was looking more likely as the finish line grew rapidly closer. A shout to say we have won went straight over the boy’s heads leaving the staff to celebrate instead. Did they not care? Did they even realise? What were the boys thinking?? We thought the flossing was a celebration dance,  however, to be honest, I’m not sure even they noticed us passing the winning flags (buoys) When they started getting nervous that we were being caught by the other boat, you had to laugh and explain that we had actually won, a good 5 minutes ago!.

Then came the French coastguard on the VHF giving weather forecasts and with a group of curious boys around, naturally we had to explain that the Isle of Wight is in fact in French waters which is why Tall Ships needed passport details beforehand otherwise they would not have been allowed off for showers. So, the boys believe that they are actually in France… Bon nuit!!

Entry Four 

What’s up guys, it’s ya boi challenger 4 back at it again with the meme blog from the Fergal team (port). This morning we woke up to some lovely soft music *cough**cough* eye of the tiger as loud as it could be turned up (#BangingTunes). We then walked around the most boring town in Europe (Yarmouth) in our full sailing waterproof gear. We then got on the boat and left the cold, miserable, depressing, pessimistic, unoptimistic, grey, wet, Rolls Royce ridden town and headed for the open seas. Then the weather brightened up to a bearable environment. The sails were then hoisted and a various amount of jibing while I was making coffee and teas for all the crew. Now I am really sad because I was told not to use a rainbow colour because the website ain’t keeping to modern standards (#SupportLGBT)

From Jude(me), Khalid, Cameron, Felix and Tommy

Staff Blog Entry Three

It was a wet, windy and miserable morning, so we livened it up with some classic tunes to educate the boys in ‘real’ music! Not entirely sure it was appreciated but it stimulated some entertaining conversation about music and bands, a good way to start the day.

After various attempts at dressing themselves in wet weather gear, yes, the zip does go to the front and yes your coat does go on the outside of your salopettes, we were ready to get going…into the foggy and  ethereal delights of Yarmouth. It took roughly 10 minutes to fully explore and return to the boat for some real fun…the After Eight game. A laughter filled 20 minutes was spent with all boys fully focussed and concentrating on the task in hand – to stop a squashed after eight chocolate from falling off their head!

We were now ready to tackle the grey skies and wind.

There were some tired boys on deck and the sails were a little slower to raise today, the toll of 4 days at sea were starting to show, but they all worked together and we got there. Their reward was some glorious blue skies and sunshine.

Sunset was spent anchored up in Osborne Bay eating a fabulous curry (thank you Port Watch) and waiting for darkness to embark on a night sail. It was a group of tired boys that set sail at 10pm, but within minutes of locating their first navigational marker they were awake, on task and actively enjoying the challenge. Despite not noticing the 50m+ tanker coming up behind them, they got us all safely to port in Portsmouth and were rewarded with a very welcome hot chocolate and homemade flapjack (flapjack Friday really does exist outside of school!)

Things we have learnt this week

  • The magic toilet paper fairy doesn’t live on boats… when it’s gone it’s gone! (the cupboard of refills is no longer a mystery cupboard)
  • Cleaning is tiring work and must be scheduled with multiple rest periods in between each task
  • The magic rubbish bin fairy can cross Challenger 3, climb a ladder, walk down a pontoon AND open the wheelie bin…all without assistance from an adult, the question is can our crew…?!!!
  • Breakfast cereal must be poured with consideration for the table (it likes an equal amount of cereal as the bowl…milk not required except on Fridays)
  • Who knew that having an extra chromosome could cause such amusement
  • That a week on a boat with ten teenage boys can be such a genuinely entertaining and fun way to spend a week – thank you gentlemen, it’s been absolute delight!

Entry Five 

Wozzup it’s Starboard Watch and It’s day 5 of the Sailing Trip. Again we woke up to the morning tradition of frankly shocking songs ( It’s a beautiful day) blaring from Lindsey’s Ipod and waking up the whole boat, not to mention the whole Port and residents of Portsmouth. Anyway, the last to drag themselves out of bed was to be punished by the means of cleaning the heads(Toilets) head to toe and side to side. But it wasn’t just Rayan that was subjected to this relentless manual labour. The whole boat had to be in pristine condition before 11:30. Its 11 now and we’ve been working for 3 hours tirelessly. Scrubbing the whole deck and wiping every white surface on the whole boat. The whole boat is white for goodness sake! Anyway, we will be leaving soon for London after a quick lunch in Portsmouth at Wagamama or Burger King or Pizza Express.

I do fancy a Katsu Curry………

Jasper