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Challenger 1 ⎻ Gloucestershire Scouts

By Kate Stewart - August 23rd, 2022 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

Gloucestershire Scouts are joining us onboard Challenger 1, 2 and 3 this week for an exciting residential adventure.

You can read the blog below to find out what the young people onboard Challenger 1 have been getting up to since they started their four-night voyage on Monday (22nd).

Day 1

Monday 22

Today has been quite eventful. First we got on a bus, driving for three hours. We arrived at the ships in Portsmouth, which were docked under the Spinnaker Tower.

We met the crew: The Skipper, First Mate and Watch Leader, who would be taking us on our adventure. They showed us around the mighty vessel. It was clear to be seen that utility was above all else, second to none.

After we were introduced to all the rooms below deck, we were then shown what was above.

We were promptly given the task of rigging the Staysail and the Yankee sail. A multitude of tasks were then given, some easy, some more difficult.

After a long day of hard work at sea, we sat around the saloon and had an extravagant curry with rice.

To end the day, we discussed our initial thoughts and feelings about sailing.

By Massey.

Day 2

Tuesday 23

Skipper Terry’s wonderful wakeup call in the form of dropping his speaker and then playing Black Beauty at 07:00 gave us a refreshing start to a day full of peaceful sailing (with the occasional nauseous outburst).

After our wakeup, we departed from Cowes, for the first time put the Mainsail up and hoisted the Yankee and Staysail, all before a lovely breakfast at 08:00 consisting of an unnecessary, but very welcome, large hoard of a variety of different cereals.

At approximately 10:00 and with no land in sight, we tacked the Challenger so that we could avoid France and head towards Weymouth. It was a very successful operation and to top it all off, nobody lost any fingers and we were now pointing in the right direction.

Several hours of blissful (and foggy) sailing later and it was time for lunch! Chicken nugget wraps was the perfect meal to keep us energised for the afternoon (apart from Barry who threw it all up a minute later and Harry who was sick downstairs).

Mid-afternoon and Isaac’s slightly dubious steering skills at the helm was the perfect attraction for a pod of dolphins – turns out dolphins love to swim alongside a 22m boat!

We arrived at Weymouth at 15:00 to the sight of Challenger 3 already docked. The cheats couldn’t be bothered to put their Mainsail up, so used diesel wind most of the journey. However, the 10 minute difference just goes to show how much better Challenger 1 really is.

Once the boat was fully packed away (which didn’t take too long and looked beautiful because we are the best Challenger), we headed ashore to explore Weymouth with a £3 budget for the Tacky Souvenir Challenge (which we will also win because we are the best).

That was the end of Day 2.

Day 3

Wednesday 24

Anchor watch blog

Anchor watch: 22:00 – 23:00 by Isaac and Massey.

Well, this has been an interesting week so far! We’ve learnt so many new skills, from climbing masts, to tying bowlines, to cooking ‘spag bowl’ on a gimbal hob, while the boat is rocking about rather violently. While these new experiences have challenged us, we think that they’ve helped us build our confidence and definitely helped in developing leadership skills, which we’ll be able to take away and apply to other adventures in life. All from a week away on a ship, sailing along the South Coast. Not bad, is it?

Anchor watch: 23:00 -24:00 by Harry.


Anchor watch: 24:00-01:00 by Otis.

So far, I’ve found a lot to enjoy on the ship and as one of my main fears setting off was that being on a ship for almost a week would get tedious and repetitive, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how different and unique each day feels. Whether it’s watching dolphins or swimming in the bay, or even just the sailing itself, there has always been something to look forward to tomorrow.

Anchor watch: 01:00-02:00 by Sam.

There’s a lot of hard work on the boat but it’s very enjoyable. It’s fun to sit on deck and watch what’s going on around you. I’ve also enjoyed watching dolphins. It was a challenge finding the right lights for the watch.

Anchor watch: 02:00 -03:00 by Alexander.

As I sit here, I think about how different life onboard this boat is to life at home. I’ve discovered that in fact one good way to keep a high morale here is to stay busy. From this trip, I’ve learnt so many new skills like how to use winches, learning to tack on a larger sailing boat, learning how to put sails up and down and learning different buoy symbols, which will be useful later in life.

Anchor watch: 03:00-04:00 by Rhys.

Slowly recording our position in the dark and silence is quite peaceful. It’s surprisingly pleasant to be alone after living in such close quarters. You can only hear the rolls of the waves and the ticking of the clock. Locating some of the lights, the channel marker has continued to flash. It appears that the other lights went out some time ago. A flashing light along with a flashing green light, the same as the channel marker, is visible. Neither of the two other lights can be seen.

Anchor watch: 04:00-05:00 by Rowan.

I’m pretty sure there will be many spelling mistakes in here because I’m not very good at spelling when I’m wide awake, never mind at 04:00, but I’ll try anyway. I came on the voyage wondering how it would be compared to dinghy sailing and some of the tasks are definitely similar, but harder to do on this boat, because everything is bigger. There are also some differences, for example, on a dinghy you have to keep the boat flat and you can do that by hiking out or adjusting the Mainsheet, However on the yacht, it’s better to be at an angle to go the fastest. Sorry if this one was a bit boring.

Anchor watch: 05:00-06:00 by James.

This is probably going to be quite short as this keyboard is quite loud compared to everything else and I don’t want to wake anyone, but the time I’ve spent on this ship has changed how I interact with people. Since meeting in the scout hut, I’ve become quite good friends with almost everyone, which shows what can happen when people are put together with a common aim.

What we do on this boat, from what I can tell, is quite different from the other two, as here on Challenger 1, we seem to all work together, because we are the best boat, obviously. All of these factors have made this trip even more enjoyable and if I ever had the chance to do this again, I would take it!

Anchor watch: 06:00-07:00 by Barry.

This is just going to be about what happened yesterday because honestly, everything has been covered in the other entries.

We started in Weymouth, where we had lovely bacon sandwiches for breakfast. Then, after pressuring Challenger 2 into leaving, by having all our crew stand on deck in kit, we departed to the ocean where we were met with calm and relaxing waves. We even anchored offshore for a while, just to let our minds ease and bodies recover from the new and laborious tasks that came with sailing.

We then shortly departed and the entire crew was suddenly put on high alert to look out for an SOS listing. We were trying to gather as information about it as possible over the Skipper’s radio and we pieced together that a kayaker had been swept out of their kayak and needed to be found. The man was found safe, but the kayak was still drifting.

We then pulled close to the shore and anchored. We then decided to pump up a dinghy and chuck it in, tied to the boat, as a sort of stepping stone between us and the water. We basically just swam and dived off the side of the boat into the water, then got some hot coco in us and went to bed. I may have written too much, but it was either that, or talk to James.

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