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CF717 – Adult Mile Builder Fastnet Rock – CH1

By Tall Ships - May 23rd, 2024 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

A group of individuals embarked on a 9-night voyage from Plymouth to Belfast passing the Fastnet Rock.

Day 1

Sunday 5 May

Crew Joins Challenger 1, Brief from Skipper Terry, who appears both highly knowledgeable and highly amusing. And to top it all off he is an amazing cook and bottle wash. Jury is out on the other 3. Looking forward to bonding with other crew members.

Day 1

Monday 6 May

Plymouth to Falmouth, 47nm Wind Northerly F3-5

Great to be back on a boat. Shake out day sail to check the crew’s knowledge and fitness levels on the hoists. Somewhat lacking!

Went into our watches, Dolphins came to play, a few whales, and same Dragons in Watch leader’s stories. Skipper kindly started on the tour, as we headed for Eddystone Lighthouse. Impressive, and the start of our lighthouse Tour.

Winds a bit shifty and light so a nice gentle into back into tacking and gybing on our way into Falmouth, before flaking the monster sail on the boom.

Im not sure how 72 ft translates in Cornwall but the berth they offered us in Falmouth was not Challenger 1 sized! Quickly fixed we tied up after leg 1.

Light winds meant the trips plans may need to change to save the poor old donkey. Fastnet may not be on the cards 🙁

Day 3 & 4

Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 May

Falmouth to Kinsale  – 192nm, Light winds.

An early start out of Falmouth, daily fitness test and set sail on a longer passage to Ireland and our first overnight sail. Several lighthouses were seen, including Wolf Rock and the isles of Scily up close. Crossing the TSS was slightly hairy but all safe!

Coming on watch to clear skies with the best starscape ever and bioluminescence was amazing. No shooting starts on Port watch but lots of stories and hot drinks.

An absolute treat to see Basking Sharks in the morning as we headed into Kinsale. Some just hanging out with each other and some making baby sharks. With the lovely weather, after an explore of the town,  most of the crew had a few beers and wine on the deck eating nibbles and bonding.

A very tasty meal onshore in the evening and given the good news that we will go to the Fastnet Rock as quite a few of the paying crew signed up for this specifically​

Day 5

Thursday 9 May

Kinsale to the Fastnet Rock, then onto Dun Laoghaire.

Slipped from Kinsale 0810 and made way under power to Fastnet. Passing several Irish lighthouses of interest

The rock appeared on the horizon and loomed out the haze impressively. Great photo opportunity for all crew, but especially Kirsty who joined this trip to celebrate her passion for lighthouses and her 40th birthday year. Many photos taken.

Then we broke out the Fastnet cake that the skipper had made earlier so we could enjoy tea and cake as the rock disappeared behind us.

Basking Sharks seen again but less lively today. Dolphins on the starboard bow for much of the lunch watch, playing in the bow waves.

Changed course to head back along the south coast of Ireland, towards Dublin with a long day and night ahead.

Crew practiced knots during watches and mastered tying bowlines around the mast, one handed clove hitches and rolling hitches.

Dinner of Chilli served with rice, sour cream and grated cheese.

More to follow when we pass another lighthouse on this Irish Lighthouse tour

Crew of Challenger 1​

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