Entry One 

We started our residential this year in Gloucester with the plan to travel to Portsmouth to learn how to sail a yacht for a week with Tall Ships Adventures. The aim of our trip was a team building exercise and we hope, at the end of our first day, that it will strengthen our team relationships. Unfortunately, not all our team members were able to come, which shows just how much of a challenge the residential process can be.

We started off by meeting at the minibus at 8 AM. This all went smoothly bar a few missing sleeping bags and toothbrushes! We travelled down to Portsmouth on bus- not much happened during this as everyone was asleep, so not too much to report.

After arriving in Portsmouth, we met the crew members and had a look around the boat. This was really useful, as we learnt how everything worked and where everything was, including safety jackets!        We also learnt how to tie different knots (e.g. a cross knot) and putting ropes on the deck (including elephant ears). Following a trial run, we sailed out of the port and into the English Channel, navigating to the Isle of Wight.

Sailing was really fun. We also learnt how to skipper the boat. With good conditions we managed to cross relatively quickly without many problems. Although we didn’t see any dolphins this was made up by our dinner, which was made when we arrived. We are currently in Cowes Harbour and looking forward to seeing what tomorrow will bring!

Lots of love,

Harry and Lucifer (greetings from the devil)

Entry Two 

It was an early start, 7 am to be exact, we made our way to the showers and had a quick wash to start day 2 residential. Unfortunately the morning took a little turn as we had one of our team actually pass out and bang her head, while we were showering some of us had to make their way to a nearby hospital and have stiches in their head. We did not let that ruin our adventure and got to work right away! We prepared to set sail missing two of us to test the waters and put to practise our knowledge from day 1. Each of us had a job to do listening to the commands of our skipper we needed to raise the sails and steer the boat ropes here and everywhere but mostly in the snake pit. The waters were a little nippy but nothing to scary, the wind was chilly but it was a wonderful sensation and the boat was picking up a nice speed.

After a few hours we returned to the port to collect our injured team mate they were all better but still in shock. Finally it was time to leave isle of white and head on our journey to Yarmouth.

Although we were told it would be a good 5 hours before we arrived and tidied away the sails and ropes time flew by I guess it does when you’re having fun! Arriving in Yarmouth we worked together to do the jobs that were asked of us to do while others cooks sausages and mash, it was the biggest reward chomping away on sticky sausages after all that hard work ! Currently it is 8.00 pm and already some of us are so tired they have gone to bed without pudding, they really must be so tired from working on the boat to enjoy sailing the seas.

Others have gathered around the table to enjoy some chocolate and treats, what an amazing adventure for all of us to share together, it’s such a brilliant experience and we will all cherish the memories that come with it but that doesn’t mean it’s easy because its not it takes team effort and day 2 Cowes to  Yarmouth has been full of both ups and downs but we have all tried our hardest and will get some much needed rest so that we are even more alert tomorrow. Aye aye captain!

Entry Three 

So this morning we went ashore to make use of Yarmouth port’s excellent hygienic facilities, upon finishing our adequate breakfast we returned to the shore to partake in some browsing of shops and a café in Yarmouth. The occasional doggo served as an obstacle in the way of continuing our offshore expedition. We nearly missed the allocated time due to discovering the healing arts of crystals, which has proved most beneficial to the morale, health and wellbeing of all who purchased them.

Our first attempt to leave Yarmouth to head to the mainland, we couldn’t safely leave because of strong tides and a prevailing wind pinning us to the pontoon and restricting our ability to exit the harbour. We had to wait an hour and a half before we attempted to leave, unfortunately our luck seemed to have failed (probably due to the crystals being satanic) and we were unable to leave for a second time. Our third and thankfully final attempt took place at 5pm where we successfully able to leave, with the help of dinghy’s.

For many of us in our team the dusk lit journey across The Solent was a highlight of our time on the tall ships. The relaxing breeze, low work load and pleasantly lit shore banks encouraged us to have lovely conversations and not so lovely Mamma Mia re-enactments. As the sun set we learnt about night sailing and the cans to mark a ships way. Narrowly missing a warship in pitch black we began our approach to our berth. Using the skills we developed over the week we solemnly took our positions, knowing that our journey with the Challenger 2 was coming to a close.

Whilst half of us were cooking below the others were packing away the sails and tucking the baby boat to bed. We were treated to an excellent curry where I certainly didn’t consume most of the Naan bread. We all enjoyed our last meal and joked with the crew about our journey. As of writing this we are relaxed in the Saloon, talking about street credentials and the poshness of a certain chocolate frog.

The end.

Captain Tish Sparrow & Skipper Rodriguez