Monday 9 – Sunday 15 July
We arrived at Gunwarth Quays at around 3 o’clock and from there we boarded the two challengers and put our bags in the surprisingly small sleeping cabins. After a quick chat around the kitchen table we were split up into two groups. We were given a tour of the cabins and then a tour of the deck where we were shown the ropes. We set sail for the Isle of Wight at 5:30 and after four of us had cooked supper we enjoyed a supper of fajitas at 8:00. With bed time approaching the looming fear of attempting to sleep in the hammocks dawns upon us but after a tiring first day I think we should be ok.
A rough and early start to the day, menacing waves slapped into the sides of the tranquil boat, so disturbing the peace on board. Moans echoed throughout the cabin as boys were rudely awakened at 6 am by the turbulent sea.
After a quick breakfast it was all hands on deck to get moving whilst we had wind. This is of course discounting the early victims of the infamous sea sickness that had been spoken about so much. Guttural sounds came from green heads in buckets and screeches came from the winches.
By lunch, most had recovered and colour began to return to faces. The weather was thankfully holding. The crisp sun provided some warmth and the cool breeze provided a calming escape.
Later, the spinnaker poles were pulled out and some horizontal rope climbing commenced. Arms frantically scurried as boys pulled themselves to the zenith of the obstacle, the vicious waters awaiting below.
Once anchored, the group scampered ashore, to their relief, to watch France beat Belgium at a local bar. Overall, it was a diverse and eventful first day of many.
Alistair and Aarshan
A rude awakening in the morning
Brought about by Alastair’s snoring.
The best way to start a new day
Was to get up on deck and catch a sun ray.
Whilst the dormant three remained in bed
The rest of the crew had all been fed.
Loud we shouted and up they got
All hands on deck to manage the yacht.
Change the sails we liked to do
A sense of comradery began to brew.
Land on the horizon saw we did
Seems as if behind the clouds it had hid.
We went ashore for a BBQ
Thinking that we would score ‘more goals than you’.
Cold we grew as we waited for the tow
Fearing the night as the sun had lost its glow.
Tom, Freddy, Arshaan, Laurence and William
Damn it fredwick
Wo wo wo wo Woke up bare early, munched on cereal, won the sail race, smoked challenger 2. Went the wrong way for hours, we had some peng wraps, climbed the pole and William went overboard to save Bob the fender, we had to do like three circles to get him allie, watt a fredwick ting to do. We put the sails away, it was bare effort used up bare energy. Went on shore had a good time walking around. Went the wrong way again, what a joke ting. Alfie flopped the Bulgaria ting, almost smoked the boyfriend. Alex got lost, found him sleeping on the boat when we got back, no one knew he was deya. Freddy left early coz he thought he was late, what a Freddy thing to do my guy. Keep it sho my dawgggg. Raaaaaaaaaaaahhhh. Ya dun kno.
Freddy & Aswan
The start of day 5 was plain sailing, with a leisurely wake up followed by a breakfast of French toast that really pushed the boat out. However, after a chat from skipper Lindsey we were shown the ropes of nautical navigation. After this we were tasked with climbing the mast. Initially the prospect of the climb did rock the boat a bit, and one could say that we were all at sea. Nevertheless, after catching wind of the simple climbing technique people began to volunteer themselves by the boatload. Unfortunately, when some weren’t lowered straight away after reaching the top of the mast they couldn’t help thinking that they had been left high and dry. Indeed, when they got to the bottom they were so exhausted that they did feel the wind had been taken out of their sails. Following this, Challenger 2 took on Challenger 3 in a dinghy race. George (Harry Potter), being the loose cannon that he is, boarded Challenger 3’s dinghy after being left between a rock and a hard place after beaching his own boat. After an eventful afternoon (c.f Alfie got it on with gyaldem in Guernsey) and evening it was all hands on deck to batten down the hatches in preparation for tomorrow’s long haul.
Tom and William
Back to Portsmouth from Guernsey.
We woke up at 8 in the morning and set off and got the boat ready before eating breakfast. We were making good time across the channel and had a comfortable ride. Fortunately there was no wind so we were using the motor. This meant that we covered the distance needed in a shorter time. We took a detour round the north side of the island to see the Needles and do some night sailing. We smoked challenger 2 to the Needles. Again, this was nothing special as we were doing this regularly. Being the kind people we are we turned off our engine to let Challenger 2 pass. Later that evening we had what was supposed to be a talk, but then we had a prize thing. Everyone was given a certificate and was thanked for their efforts for the week. Let’s not forget that Hassan got the Most Improved Sailor of the Week. He was very happy. We are leaving tomorrow, it was a fantastic experience. It was a pleasure working with everyone.
Freddy & Hassan