Entry One 

We entered the boat – Not what we expected! The sleeping quarters smaller than we expected, but the seating areas bigger. We didn’t really mind, after all we got to spend a week on sea! We were shown where everything was, the introductions, where the toilets where, how they worked and was shown a myriad of others necessary things.

With the introductions out of the way we got to the real sea going experiences! We were taught how put on our life jackets and picked overalls, again necessary safety procedures. Next we inflated the dingy it took forever! Once that was done we let the dingy onto the water and we learnt to row. It was hilarious! We spun in circles for the majority of the initial goes unfortunately nobody fell in. THE RACE, of course we came… 3rd most of the times our boat spun around we gained a few places in the last lap though, still not bad. That entire experience over and done with we were of course exhausted. But there was more work to be done.

The skipper split us into two groups (of watches in sea going language), one to cook and one to learn how to tie knots. That was over before we knew it! And we ate the food was quite good (but could have been better but I’m not complaining). Then the blog writing and washing up that’s what im doing now!

Yahya, Starboard Watch

Entry Two 

Rumman - Today morning toast with a lot of jams and a selection of cheese. We then set sail from Canary Wharf and our plan was to set free from the Thames barrier and our destination was to go to Queensbrough. We then ate our lunch and we ate soup and a range of meats such as salami and chicken slices.

Rafi – We put the sails to check who done the fastest, Rumman and Nabil done 21 seconds! Which was the most while the others got on an average of 30 seconds to 1 minute. The watchmen got 14 seconds which was the highest in challenger 2. We went past windmills and boats, I saw a dolphin! But then I realised it was a boat.

Ahona- After lunch we also saw a boat that sunk during ww2, it was a boat from America containing 14 thousand tons of bombs. You could see the must from far way, it was surrounded by orange buoys to keep clear. If it suddenly went of it could destroy the shore of Kent. Then we started to get ready to park our boat.

Fauziah-Today was great fun we learnt so much. We made our own food which was great fun and a good experience. I’m loving this trip because m meeting new people and becoming great friend with them. I’m quite surprised because I am a quite sociable awkward person.

Nabil- It all started after goodnights sleep, we woke up to cook breakfast for everyone at 7:30. Although getting up was annoying, We all eventually got into the rhythm of it and had fun playing music on the speaker. Had a short break and started the day energised.

Entry Three 

Sharmin: So I’m gonna go straight forward on the interesting part. Today I went up the mast, it was nerve-racking at first, but then when I saw other people going up (even though they didn’t go all the way up) I really wanted to go up. So I did. When I went up to the second mast, I literally screamed to everyone underneath me to put me down, but no-one listened and carried on pulling me up. At the end I was annoyed the fact that no-one listened but then at the end it was worth it as the view up there was tremendously amazing.

It was my first attempt on steering and I got 10.2 KNOTS!! Which Tom said that whoever got more than 10 was good. So I was really proud of myself and will be. Currently I am in the night watch, and I was steering maximum on 9 knots, but I wanted to beat my highest score. The knots may not be important, but it is important to me.

Entry Four 

Farjana: My highlight from the 24 hour watch was being up from midnight to early morning watching the stars above me and steering the boat. I steered a 72 foot yacht through the Dover Straits and English Channel, which is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

This made me feel very privileged as many people do not  get a chance to have such an amazing experience. It also made me feel proud of myself because I never imagined doing such a thing before.

It was so calm and peaceful to feel the full vibes of the boat on night watch. Words cannot really describe the awe I felt looking at the stars and the sea.

Entry Five 

Sharmin: Today we reached Yarmouth in Isle of Wight. The journey was amazing on the way as the ship was tilted and we all had to sit in the edge to even the boat leaving our legs hanging. We learnt how to stop the boat if needed to rescue someone, we also learnt about flares. I really enjoyed learning about the four cardinals: the north, east, south, west cardinal and how many light they flash. Including the buoys.

The best part of this trip in the past two days would maybe be when we read constellations and saw many stars as there was no light pollution I also so Mars! I also think I saw a shooting star. Throughout this trip I like doing jobs as that was the main thing but also is an experience in many things. In day two I already feel like I have accomplished in my confidence and socializing skills.

Nabil – So after the 24 hour sail to Cowes (Isle Of Wight). we hopped off the boat and was greeted with sunshine, free Wi-Fi, shops and showers. It was amazing as we haven’t had a proper shower since we got on the boat on Saturday. Took some photos then set off to the shops. After about half an hour of searching we had found a halal kebab shop. Although it was a little overpriced the food was tasty.

Before we knew It was already the evening, we prayed played some cards then chilled on the deck till it was dinner. After dinner we ate and then chilled on deck until we finally had to sleep.

Entry Six

Fauziah-When I first came here I hated it but now love it. But I feel home sick and miss my bed. I feel like the week went by way too quick as soon as our crew started getting along like a little family. I will miss our little crew, everyone loved our crew the most even the people on the other challenger boats. Everyone wanted to be on our challenger boat. It was great fun and if I ever have a chance to go again I will definitely go without a doubt because this trip gave me independence and confidence and made me less sociably awkward.

Rafi – Just like everyone I felt like getting my bags and running away, especially seeing people I did not know, now I feel like this is home like this is family, socialising with other people really helped me and I do not feel like leaving and go back to my normal life, there are many things that I will miss, the friends I made here, the beds which felt really comfy, the skippers and the watchmen, and the places which we went, cooking Italian dinner for everyone was really the best ending I could take for this trip.

Rumman – As I entered challenger 2 and I saw the beds I immediately wanted the turn around and go home, however I judged way too soon. Tom introduced us around the boat on the deck and Sue introduced us to the inside of the boat. When I saw the toilets, I regretted signing up for this trip and I really wanted to turn around but it was too late to back out. I then had the opportunity to climb the mast and I was scared however I did it and got up to the top by 1 minute and 2 seconds! As the days passed I really got used how I was living and when it came to the night shifts I really was shocked on how the stars were unified in the sky as in London you would never expect to see stars so close to each other. The marinas were such good as the Wi-Fi was amazing and the shower facilities were amazing. Now I really enjoyed the trip and I felt homesick because I missed the screaming of my little sister and the constant voice of my mum telling me to clean up my room. I will really miss the people I have met on this trip and card games which got all of us closer as a team. I will miss the tour ships and everything I have learnt which informed me on the basics of sailing. Bye Bye!

Ahona – At first I wasn’t even allowed to come to this trip, I literally took days to convince my parents and at the end they finally let me. Then another worry came to me, when Ms told us that we will be mixed with other schools, I hated the idea but I really wanted to come so I gave it a go. When I found out what boats and people I am gonna be with I wasn’t that concerned about it but I still was mehh about it. But then as the days went by and I got to know everyone I swear to god I feel like this is another home. The people here are just amazing, we got along soooo well. I nearly don’t want to go back home. I recommend to everyone and I mean everyone to come to this trip and if I had the opportunity to come again I will come again and again. This trip just didn’t give me new friends but new experiences and my power to overcome a few of my fears, eg public toilets and heights. I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!