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CH4 – Riverside School – XF240604

By Ellie Crowson - June 6th, 2024 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

Riverside International School join us on Challenger 3 and 4 all the way from Prague for a 4-night voyage. Follow their journey below.

Day 1

Tuesday 4 June

This morning we were talking about different jobs and activities that we would be doing and our mate, David, asked if anyone is any good at creative writing. No one else raised their hand so I did. From that moment on, I was appointed ‘Chief Blogger’. So here I am writing a blog.

As well as being assigned Chief Blogger, this morning we woke up at about 08:00 and then went to shower. Mr Maddocks made it very clear on how long we were allowed to take when we went to the showers, but I don’t think anyone followed his time limits too strictly.

After we went to the showers, we waited for the breakfast place to open. Last night the teachers went around looking for breakfast options. Ms Vail seemed to have her whole heart set on this small café called ‘The Cozy Club’. The only downside to The Cozy Club is that it only opened at 10:00. Even though we woke up at 08:00 and then showered, it still felt like we had ages to kill before the café opened. Once it had finally opened, the café proved to be a very good choice on Ms Vails part. (Well done Ms Vail) (side note: apparently, I was not meant to say that it was all Ms Vail who wanted to go to the café ‘because in truth it was Mr Maddocks’)

Once we’d finished our breakfasts, we had about an hour to kill before boarding the boat again. Once we’d got everything away and sorted, we were called onto the deck where a bunch of jackets and trousers were laid out. The bright red jackets, I must say, aren’t exactly the height of fashion, however, these jackets are so warm and cozy. Some of us did not think that there would be too much use for these jackets because ‘we have our own jackets’, but wow were we wrong. Any other jacket would’ve been soaked though, not all by rain but by getting splashed by all the salt water.

By the time we managed to set off, the weather took a turn for the worse. The wind was picking up, but we didn’t mind too much because we were happy to be helping with the sails and ropes. However, that short-lived enthusiasm lasted for a grand total of five minutes. We were all at the front of the boat, trying to lift sails and enjoying the view, when suddenly a wave managed to splash what felt like about a thousand litres on us. Ms Vail had just stood to help with something, and I was sat behind her, and as helpful as Ms Vail was in shielding me from the water, there was just so much water that I still ended up looking like I had just stepped out of a swimming pool. That was only from one splash, and it is safe to say that was not the only one. Within about half an hour of setting off, every single one of us was drenched in cold, salty sea water.

Everyone had some sort of job they could be doing, but if we weren’t doing anything, we would be looking out on the view of the sea. Other than the loud noises from the boat (and the people on it), it was overall a very peaceful feeling. The rocking of the boat was very calming, and with the addition of Judy’s amazing hot chocolate and biscuits, the boat trip was very pleasant. While we were served with the hot chocolate, David was teaching us some knots we will need over the next few days. After he had finished about half the box of biscuits, David introduced us to two different knots, the names of which I quite honestly cannot remember.

After learning some of the knots, Monkey (aka Mike) let me drive the boat. I thought I was only going to be allowed to steer the boat to the next upcoming buoy, but I ended up parking the boat. Overall, it was a very fun and successful trip. Once we’d parked and sorted the boat, the boy’s boat arrived at the harbour. After jumping onto our boat then threatening to cut of someone’s feet if they stepped onto her boat, Dox (aka Doc Martens, aka Sophie) joined our boat for a bit, and we had a bit of a surprise guest. Mrs Daish and her niece live close to where we are staying for the night so came over onto the boats for a bit. As welcome as Mrs Daish is here, the massive bag of treats was equally as welcome (thank you Mrs Daish).

Overall, today was a good day. Everyone here is so nice, and we have such a good team working here. Something else I would like to include is how funny the inside jokes are within the groups. Everyone is so lovely and supportive; people get called little nicknames by everyone else. My personal ones have been true blogger, one with a bright future.

I need to wrap this up here because I have been told to go to bed for the last 10 minutes. On the whole, great day, great people, great jokes, the ones that made sense anyway.

Day 2

Wednesday 5 June

This morning after getting rudely awakened (kindly told to wake up by Amy), it took us some time to fully wake up. Once we were finally awake, we had breakfast. We had a selection of cereals to choose from.  

After eating breakfast, we all went up onto deck. After helping, some of us went downstairs to help prepare lunch. We went around everyone asking for their preferences on sandwiches. After getting everyone to tell us what toppings they wanted in their sandwiches, we sat down in the Saloon and made the food. We wrapped all the baguettes in tin foil so that we could cook them later.  

Once all of us were back on deck, we started setting up the sails. We had just passed the boys even though they departed the harbour before us. The boys had just put up one of their sails. Everyone got lined up by the sails. Quite honestly, I don’t really know what it was that they were doing because, like yesterday, I had the chance to steer the ship. Adam taught me how to steer the boat while the sails were going up, and what directions we had to be going in in order not to mess up the sails.  

We also did a ‘man overboard’ drill. Unfortunately, the man overboard (a light) had no desire to get back onto the boat. We looped around this little light many times before Adam managed to get it into the bucket attached to a rope that could then be pulled up. Safe to say that this top-notch rescue equipment (bucket attached to a rope) would not exactly be the best thing to use if somebody did get thrown overboard.  

After retrieving the man overboard (the light), we headed towards the harbour. After earlier taking over the boys in our little unofficial race, they regained first place, so when we were nearing the harbour, we had to slow down to allow them time to get sorted out before we got there. Once we got tied up in the harbour, Mr Maddocks came aboard our ship while half of us were cooking dinner and the rest were cleaning up the boat. We were sorting out the snake pit (where all the ropes are kept). Mr Maddocks commented on the fact that our snake pit was a lot cleaner and more organised than his boat. Win for us in organisation then.  

As well as cleaning up the boat while the others were making dinner, half of us were allowed to go to the showers. The salt from the seawater made our hair feel horrible, so the showers were very relieving. When we got back to the boat, we had dinner. The bangers and mash hit the spot. After we’d eaten, Amy told us the plans for the evening. Later we’re going to play some sort of building games. We take turns on what group makes and cleans up food. Tonight is my team’s night to clean up from dinner, but I’ve gotten out of it because I’m writing the blog. (I love writing this blog now.)  

My apologies if not all of this writing makes sense. I’m trying to balance out the music in my headphones with Ivanna, Roksana and Josephines singing, while writing. I couldn’t tell you what it is the girls are singing about, because I’ve been trying my hardest to block out as much as possible of what they are saying, but from what I can gather, Mr Millar’s name has appeared in their little songs quite a lot. Don’t take my word for it, if you are interested, go to the assembly. (Apparently, they are planning to have a slide-in assembly where they perform their little songs about the teachers.)  

I don’t think that there is too much more to write now. To sum up the day though, good breakfast, good sailing, good lunch, more good sailing, good dinner.  

That’s it for tonight. Tomorrow, I think it is Aurora writing the blog, so if it is not up to the usual standard of the last two days, that’s why. (I’m joking, Aurora, don’t worry, you’ll be fine. I will always be open to take over.) 

Day 3

Thursday 6 June

Part 1 (morning)

On Thursday we woke up in Poole and had some cereal for breakfast. After that we got dressed and were met with a challenge of having to find the tackiest souvenir in the budget of two pounds, which was given to us by the crew while we were waiting for the boys (that were always behind us). I excused myself to go to the bathroom and then got left behind, so Mrs Vail had to come back and get me.

Part 2 (Poundland)

When we arrived in Poundland my friends and me set off on a mission to find the takiest souvenir. After a few minutes I had the idea of buying a pack of markers that were one pound, and a pack of wooden hearts for one pound to draw on, that we decided to make into guitar pics.

Part 3 (Sailing)

As soon as we came back, we set sail for a 6-hour journey. My friends and I took some of that time to work on our souvenir for the contest and just sit in snake pit, shielded from the wind, but in the sun. It was very nice.

Part 4 (climbing up the spinnaker)

Later on, while we were sailing, we got ready to climb the spinnaker after having delicious pasta for lunch. While I was climbing up the go pro fell into the water because it unscrewed itself (the fish are enjoining it).

Part 5 (arriving in Cowes)

After climbing up the spinnaker we arrived in Cowes, where we prepared dinner, which was chicken fajitas. After having dinner we went on a walk by the beach. The sunset was beautiful. After the walk, we went back to the boat and went to sleep

Day 4

Saturday 7 June

Back again at this blog. I said in my last blog that I wouldn’t be writing the Day 4 Blog, and that Aurora would be writing it instead. That was a slight lie. Aurora didn’t write the blog. In fact, Aurora still hasn’t written the blog because in typical Aurora fashion, she’s been putting it off for about 24 hours, so it’ll be a miracle if we do ever get that Day 4 Blog.

Anyway, enough about Aurora and her bad time keeping. Today was a fun day, and a good way to end the voyage. We were meant to do the usual ‘get up at 8:00’, but unfortunately today it was a ‘everyone get out of bed, Adma’s playing AC/DC’. Yes, today we were rudely awakened by Adam blasting Highway to Hell on Amy’s speaker. I personally love rock music, so that wasn’t much of a fuss for me, but for the other people staying on this ship, the very loud alarm clock of rock n’ roll was not overly welcome.

As well as waking up to the raging AC/DC, we were met by the most delicious smell of frying bacon. Judi was making the most amazing bacon and eggs. After tucking into that, we tried to figure out who was on cleaning duty and who was on ‘setting up the deck’ duty. After finally figuring it out, we got to work. Once we’d got the deck ready, we headed to pound land. Once we had stocked up on all sorts of fudge, sweets and chocolate, we headed back to the boat and set sail.

The trip today seemed to pass a lot faster than the other days. As short as the trip was, it does not mean that it was any less fun. With good weather, the tide was pleasant. Although it was windy, our jackets kept us warm and dry.

A while into the voyage, some of the girls came around asking for orders. We were having jacket potatoes for lunch, and we had to decide what toppings we wanted on there. I personally had a jacket potato with cheese, ham and butter. They were delicious.

After lunch, it was my group on clean up. I did a fair bit of clean up yesterday, so I managed to get out of clean up after lunch. I enjoyed (or attempted to enjoy) a nap on the seats of the saloon. I say ‘attempted to enjoy’ because Josephine, Ivanna and Roksana made sure that I didn’t get a wink of sleep, because how dare I miss one minute of their performance of reenacting the teachers’ funniest moments. I would say they were being loud but that would be way too much of an understatement.

Given as the clean up of not that much mess took about two hours, we didn’t have much more time to enjoy the view of the sea for much longer. Once we had finally got back onto deck, we were assigned jobs for docking the boat. Once the boat was docked, we had dinner. Again, the food was amazing. This time it was Amy making dinner. The Shepards Pie was just lovely. Once we’d had dinner, we discussed what we would be doing after dinner. We decided to split into two groups, one climbing the mast, and one going to Tesco. I was in the first group to go to Tesco. After again stocking up with chocolates to bring back to Prague, we went back to the boats.

Now it was our turn to go up the mast. It was fun to watch other people go up the mast, but even more fun to actually go up it. Once getting tied up to the harness, we got ready to get onto the mast. It was surprisingly easy to get up the mast. The mast is about 29 metres high. Getting to the top was an amazing experience. The view was wonderful, and it seemed too peaceful from the high height. After getting back down, the rest of the people came back from Tesco. We were told that we could go to the bathrooms on shore to brush our teeth. I stayed on the boat and had some peace and quiet to start writing this blog.

That was mostly all that happened today. This whole trip has merged in my mind, so all these great memories have connected, as if they were all put in a photo album. This is the last blog ending I will write while on this trip. This trip has been such an amazing experience and I hope that I will have the chance to relive some of these memories again one day.

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