Challenger 4 — South Coast Explorer Day 1 – (Monday 23rd) - by Ella, Sarah and Mark We started the day by meeting the crew and introducing ourselves. Although it was awkward at first, we have now made friends and we are enjoying ourselves while working together. We split into our two watches and were shown around the boat. There was a lot of information, but it was all really interesting and we are now starting to get to grips with the boat. Excited and slightly sea sick, we set off. We enjoyed relaxing and experiencing the view whilst getting to know each other with light-hearted games and conversation. In our watches we began to learn practical skills like using the winches. We arrived in front of the Isle of Wight (Alum Bay) and anchored. In watches we separated, being either below deck preparing food or above deck putting the boat to bed – stowing the sails etc. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset before eating spaghetti bolognaise. After dinner, we observed the stars and settled down for the evening. Day 2 - The Long Way to Weymouth (Tuesday 24th) - by Sonny and Harvey We started the day with a breakfast of Bagels and cereals, which Starboard watch kindly made. Port watch then cleaned up the ship, from cleaning the heads to scrubbing the table. We all then went into the cockpit to chill out for a while, and after that we then had to pull the main sail up and catch the wind. After that, we had to pull the Yankee sail up, followed by the stay sail, which was the exact same method as putting out the main sail and the Yankee but easier. Port watch made lunch for the ship, which was Cornish Pasties and beans (and the vegan version for the vegans), we then had a knot tying lesson and a sailing session. We then had to put away both the sails as we neared Weymouth, but we had to wait an hour for the bridge to open up so we could pass through and moor. We then put the boat to bed, and had some free time which we used to swim and splash in the sea. After Starboard watch made fish, chips and peas. We then set our course for the next day, which would be a long and rough journey. We then settled down for the night and got some rest. Day 3 - Closehauled back to Lymington (Wednesday 25th) - by Keira We woke up at 6:25AM and got dressed and had breakfast (Port made it). Starboard cleaned the boat and checked the engine while Port got the boat ready to leave to Lymington. We left Weymouth at 8:00AM then chilled out for a bit before putting the sails up (we sailed upwind). Then we had a knot lesson before attempting a tack we all thought it would be difficult, but it wasn’t really. Then we chilled out some more before taking the sails down and chilling again. We came into the harbour at 4:15PM after putting the fenders on the side of the boat. We tidied the boat up before going shopping, we split into two groups and went to Lymington. When we came back, Port made dinner while Starboard chilled then we ate dinner. Afterwards, Starboard cleaned up while Port showered and I wrote the entry for this blog. Day 4 – (Thursday 26th) Today was our last full day onboard, and thanks to low tide, we finally got a lie-in because we couldn’t leave Lymington until 12PM. After a quick breakfast at the much more sensible time of 8:30AM, we all helped to clean up before heading out on deck to tidy things up and prepare the deck for mast-climbing. Despite the fact it suddenly looked a lot higher than usual, most of us managed to climb all the way to the top, and almost everyone at least had attempted it. The view from the top was amazing, and I’m so glad I got a chance to see it! After all of us that wanted to had finished mast climbing, we prepared the deck for setting sail again and finally left Lymington. By this time it was almost lunchtime, so Port prepared a delicious lunch of fishfinger wraps, and Starboard did an excellent job of cleaning up. After lunch there wasn’t much left to do but sit on deck and bond as a crew. Although we may have been a little annoying for those at the helm trying to drive the ship, we managed to have a great time talking and laughing, and we even moved to the snake pit to make sure everyone, even the reluctant, were included. During a great game of Truth or Truth (we weren’t sure we could be trusted to do dares) we got to know each other a lot better, and I’m so thankful to the Eddie Dunhill Fund for allowing us to all meet and get to know each other, regardless of our backgrounds. In the afternoon we dropped anchor in a bay on the Isle of Wight, in sight of the lights of Portsmouth, and Starboard began to prepare dinner while Port started planning our route for the night navigation. After a very stressful hour or two, the stir-fry was finally ready and proved to be a lot nicer than we had feared. After Starboard had a chance to do their navigation while Port cleaned up, we all went up onto deck in the dark and started our night navigation. Despite the fact we could already see the lights of Gunwharf Quays, we headed in the complete opposite direction and very successfully steered a big loop around to finally come into harbour around 1AM.