Day 1 (Monday 13th)

We arrived into Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth, travelling all the way from Torbay. It was quite an early start and we managed to get McDonald’s on the way here for brunch, it was quite tasty and was good quality. After we had eaten, we left in a jiffy and got there as soon as we could, there were a couple of traffic issues but we managed to get there for about 13:30.

Having our best interests at heart, we all had to a Lateral Flow Test before we could board Challenger 4. After safety briefings and a boat tour, we sailed to Cowes where we moored for the night and were able to use the marina facilities. The town of Cowes was quite Victorian with a bunch of shops to match everybody’s needs and personalities.

We had our evening meeting while Jim, Skipper talked us over the plans for the next day and what we were going to be doing, with some extra rules. We had free time for an hour before bed, and settled down for lights out at 10pm. Unfortunately someone had left their alarms set for work on their mobile phone, which then all went off in the early hours, waking everybody up!

Day 2 (Tuesday 14th)

After breakfast, we left Cowes and sailed past the Needles on to Studland Bay. Unfortunately there was no wind for the sails but we got to learn how to do some knots, put up the small sail and we got to walk the spinnaker pole “Operation Heifferlaunch” there was much screaming and shouting and wooing. We had excellent bangers and mash for tea. Tonight we have dropped anchor and are sleeping at sea for the night which will be another first for us – we will let you know how it goes tomorrow.

Positive things – good tea and coffee, good team leadership and support from the Watch Leaders & the 1st Mate on how to encourage the Voyagers to come out of their comfort zone and make the most of this wonderful opportunity. It’s a good time to get away from everything (kinda), and take a little holiday and see the great outdoors!

Day 3 (Wednesday 15th) 

The day started at 06:00 as we motored out of anchorage at Studland bay. Breakfast was cereal and a good ol’ cuppa tea (or three). Around 09:00 we started to motor sail. We only used Yankee 2 along with the motor. The weather has been beautiful, just not great for sailing, blue skies and no wind. So we sailed from Studland bay to Portland arriving at 12:00 just in time for lunch. By the time the boat was packed away it was close to 13:00. What’s there to say about Portland? Nice, very minimalistic but packed with history. The facilities are nice and the café on the harbour edge is really quite nice as well. Early night tonight with tomorrow starting at 07:00 ready to set off for our final marina Brixham (the joys).

Day 4 (Thursday 16th) 

Woke up early for the second day running and while one watch set up breakfast, the other helped prepare on deck, full of hope that today would be a windy day and sailing could be done.

We left Portland heading towards our final destination of Brixham. Calm waters and no wind remained the order for the morning but after lunch, the wind picked up to allow us to actually raise the two front sails “Stay and Yankee”. After that, the whole crew took part in raising the Main sail which meant for the first time the engine could be switched off. Now we were truly sailing, and for the rest of the day we headed to Brixham arriving at 18:30. We were very lucky to have great weather for sailing this day and we all were offered the opportunity to steer us toward our destination of home. I believe we all enjoyed the activity and several hours of sail and we were all happy to arrive in Brixham for tea.