Day 1 (1/8)

Start of our trip

We eagerly awaited our journey and got on the good ship Challenger number 4. After meeting our amazing volunteers and permanent crew, they gave us a tour of the ship and showed us the ropes of the boat (ha ha ha).

We all got stuck in and set off out of Portsmouth, some of us had a go at steering the boat and taking control of the helm. We were put into watches (Team Alpha and the Belters), half of us cooked fajitas - which was a roaring success (cooked by Jack Millington). The veggie food was highly complimented. We arrived at Yarmouth, took our showers, and saw a stupendous sunset. What a day!

Evelina Gwynne, Jack Millington

Day 2 (2/8)

This morning we woke up at 7am in Yarmouth, to begin another leg of our voyage to Plymouth. Today we sailed to Weymouth. We first prepped the sails and then slipped our mooring lines being careful of the incoming ferry and not hitting the boat against the pontoon. After the harbour master assisted us from getting out of the bay and we were clear of the ferry, we hoisted the mainsail, we were both 'sweaters'.

On the journey, we practised helming, navigation, and had a staysail hoisting competition. Beth and John the Watch Leaders came first, only taking 12.63 seconds!! After we determined who the 'henchest' (strongest) was, we had a go at tacking before waiting 1hr 30mins to come into the harbour at Weymouth.

Before we came into the bay we prepped the boat by putting out the fenders, putting the mooring lines on the winch and lowering/storing the sails (Mainsail, Yankee and Staysail).

Annie and Rachel were so excited to return to Weymouth since first learning how to sail there seven years ago, only this time they sailed there on a yacht as dinghy instructors!

The day was followed by fish and chips, birthday cheer, including birthday cake and swimming on the beach. At 9.30pm we went to see the fireworks display on the beach which were good.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day because it was good.

Happy 16th Birthday Joel xxx

Rachel and Sammy.

Day 3 (3/8)

We started the day with a lovely bright clear sky full of sunshine, as Annie predicted lots of sunshine for this trip and Challenger 4; no one would believe me so I had to log it for evidence.

Anyhow, our amazing Sophie organised some fabulous dolphin watching and we even saw a shark wiggle its way with a huge jump out of the ocean catching it’s brunch, which was most definitely organised by our Sophie. 😊

We then apparently, according to Evelina saw lots of jelly fish, which I thought was sea weed ha, ha! We then had a massive sleepover with a huge blanket, Rachel rested on the bow and cloud watched for a while while laughing a lot, which nearly turned into an asthma attack for myself and Cat.

What I learnt from this mini event — as we then got kindly interrupted by our beautiful Skipper, Paul aka Mungo to practise 'MOB' (man overboard) aka 'BOB' — is that Sam can only sleep on his back as well as Cat!

Anyway so, we learnt the man overboard procedure, specifically demonstrated by our amazing crew team, John, Beth aka Emma (said specifically in an Aussie accent), Paul (Mungo) and Sophie (Alpha Boss). Our team learnt a lot as we shouted "MAN OVER BOARD" as 'Bob' fell in the ocean and stuck our arms out in the direction of where our unfortunate volunteer, Bob was floating awaiting us to save his life.

Just in case you wanted to know, Bob was JUST one of our sausage fenders, which saved us all from having to jump in 😁! So a big thank you to Bob! Can I just also mention Rachel proposed to me today for our half a lifetime anniversary of friendship and it was very cute and I nearly cried. She presented me with picture of a cute shell and palm tree on it 🥰. I thought you’d all love to know this because we are super SEPCIAL!! (Rachel is extra special tho ;0).

As we moored up, we had some amazing food and went for another dip in the ocean. It was extremely painful to walk all over the pebbles and the water was ridiculously freezing however, we stayed inspired by our iceman friend Wim Hof and breathed our way through it!! Also Jasper lost his ''John Wick-looking sunglasses and we all politely asked some professional scuba divers who randomly walked into the ocean to see if they could find them for us, and the main lady threatened if they were Gucci we wouldn’t get them back… (she ain’t nothing but a gold diggaaaa) 😁. I just asked Jasper if the glasses got saved and they were actually Jack's glasses that got lost and they were never found so RIP. Oh yeah!

The fire alarm went off while me and Evelina were in the shower and Robbie started screaming and banged on our shower doors several times shouting ‘THERE’S A FIRE AHHHHHH’ and never came back so that was eventful! It turned out to be a false alarm, as I ran out the shower in my hoodie and towel, Evelina came back into the shower room totally embarrassed in her hoodie and towel (great minds think alike), as she explained how completely embarrassing it was running out into the reception area to find all the boys explaining it’s a false alarm while staring at her like she’s an alien ha, ha!

Right, so I’ve got eight minutes left as it’s nearly bedtime so, I gotta keep this short and sweet guys, I know you’ve been thoroughly enjoying my blog but don’t worry I’ll be back again soon… if I’m allowed.

I think I’ve made a few crew members nearly faint at how long this is, I guess I’m going to have to quit my day time job to become a writer before I knacker this computer out ha, ha!

So, everyone had a fun day, we all had really great food, we saw so many gorgeous sea animals and the dolphins got super close to us, and we had lots of laughs and learnt so much! As this trip is flowing all our friendships grow stronger as we continually work as a wonderful team sailing on our terrific Challenger voyage making more funny memories to cherish by the minute. Also Robbie has started a vlog to edit and it’s going to be amazing!! Goodnight, sleep tight, see you soon.

Annie aka Anna. 😊

Day 4

Today on the boat, we sailed from Brixham to Plymouth, the final leg of this voyage. At the start of the day we woke up bright eyed and raring to achieve the very much possible but for some the impossible. We climbed the mast one at a time. Most were able to get to the top but taking part is what counts. Ice cream was then consumed by the crew. And we also saw a seal fed by hand by a local fisherman.

We then used the engine to motor out of Brixham and hoisted the main sail and began to use the wind to motor sail down to Plymouth. We saw porpoise and common dolphins. We then prepared to hoist the Yankee and the Staysail. While sailing along we looked out for lobster pots.

The 'Betas' then prepared lunch, which consisted of minestrone soup and bread rolls. The 'Alphas' washed up and both continued to look out for lobster pots.

We then sailed into Plymouth and dropped all sails and motored into the harbour. The Betas had a sing song while washing up the curry the Alphas made. We then tied up and put everything away for the last time. It is now time for bed and our last night onboard.

Bye from Joel and Nathan 👋.