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Challenger 1 – Madeley District Guides

By Kate Stewart - August 9th, 2022 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

Joining us onboard Challenger 1 this week, we have a group from Madeley District Guides.

You can read their voyager blog to keep up to date with what they get up to over the course of their four-night voyage. 😊

Day 1

Monday 8

Starting our day at 13:00, we boarded Challenger 1 with warm introductions from the crew (Monkey, Dave, Mel, and Bryony), playing games to get to know everyone’s names…and favorite biscuit. After checking with the harbour master, we set off in the blazing heat of the day. Luckily there was a lovely cool breeze once we picked up some speed! Once clear of the harbour walls, Emma took over the steering.

After a while, the glorious, never-mistake-making Zoe, took over the wheel. During which, half the crew prepared high tea and scones, only one missing cuppa put the crew off to a good start (poor Dave!). The other half of the crew were kept busy on deck, being tasked with hoisting the Yankee sail. Luckily there was nobody having to yell “man overboard!” as everybody remained on the boat while Holly and Mary also had a go behind the wheel.

Once the anchor was dropped, Port watch were the designated cooks of the evening. The chicken fajitas went down a treat, many crewmates shared their complements, with the highest praise of “they were bangin’!” from Mary and Libby. Even though half of the chicken ended up on the floor (thanks to an innocent slip of the fingers by Zoe), after a quick wash and a fry, they were perfectly safe to eat.

After food was served, Starboard watch had the glorious task of washing up. Despite not having finished, they still took a break to enjoy our company on deck and to watch the sun set. A quick photoshoot later, the crew listened to their music on deck and took their leave into bed for the night.

By Emma, Zoe and Bear.​

Day 2

Tuesday 9

After a struggle to fall asleep, all awoke at the very early hour of 06:30 to have breakfast at 07:30. We were surprised by how much the boat rocked to and fro considering how smooth the Solent in Osbourne Bay had been the night before, which was a very peaceful stretch of water to overlook while the moon and distant lights of mainland shone over. The warmed croissants and pain au chocolats in our stomachs, we hauled up the WHOLE MAINSAIL as a team and sweated the storm.

We had a brief run-in with a cargo ship that we learnt we have to keep 1000m away from due to its fast nature and inability to stop abruptly, then set off on our course, some going to the bow to admire the uncovered view. Soon after, the strawberry lace race began! Using our knowledge (and lack of) of knots, we used the teensy width and length of some delicious strawberry laces and pencils to prove our worth as knot-knowing sailors. Starboard watch won (of course), but everyone got to eat their own laces and pencils afterwards.

The Isle of Wight is a beautiful isle to behold, lush forests broken up by golden fields that patchwork towards bustling harbours full of houses stacked like boxes. The waters below the ship were just as pretty, the morning sun shining beams in ribbon strips to the depths below. Mary took the wheel after the turn to the cliffs, with the bearing of 270 degrees and a duration of a good hour and more, while Port watch prepped sandwiches and the rest of Starboard played musical tunes to keep the morale high, most recommendations coming from Libby and Emma.

An important thing to remember when putting down anchor is the depth of the water. If there is drastic change, make sure to compensate that in the depth you put it in, in order to not accidentally beach your ship! By now we were close to the beach, we just had to get there…

And that’s where the problems began. The motorboat was just not starting, and poor Dave was already having enough problems of clogged toilets (four in the past two days!), along with the girls getting impatient and worried that their beach day was going to be put on hold. Luckily, Sam, Skipper on the ketch this week, was nearby with his own motorboat, albeit smaller. To help out, he graciously offered to haul over both our boat and his to the beach, switching between the two until everyone who wanted to go was on the beach, with the Troubled Trio (Mary, Libby and Sophie) left behind and Bee and The Honeycombs (Alice and Poppy) ashore. Mike’s highlight of the day was Sam fixing the motorboat, while Dave’s was the toilet finally being fixed (which broke again eventually…).

A lot happened to our Starboard crew. Bee and Poppy got stuck in a forest, then got honeycomb ice creams with Alice (hence the name), Mel had her first swim of the year, while the Troubled Trio stayed with Dave on the boat, when over the radio a helicopter drill was being carried out, along with multiple rings throughout the day. One odd thing was being able to hear the French Coastguard, which was explained to be because they had a radius of 60 miles!

After getting everyone back on the boat, meal prep began, finding out that Port watch had used up all the veg for the last meal! So we had to wait until we docked to be able to cook the veg for the meal, a very difficult task to set out. In the end, it was the best meal of the trip, and everyone had showers and toilets on land (much to Dave’s amusement).

By Starboard watch (the best watch).

Day 3

Wednesday 10

Today, we had fun swimming in the sea, while Mary was putting seaweed in her hair and making moustaches out of it, to cool off with some ice creams and slushies.

After we had been in the sea most of us had a shower to rinse off all the sand and salty water. We got sunburnt and sun tanned. Jodie and Mary had an exciting time driving the boat for most of the day. Half way through the boat trip, Dave showed us how to use flares and when to use them. At this point, the weather was scorching hot and most of us had to go have a lie down in an attempt to cool down.

So far today, the toilets haven’t broken/ been blocked yet, so that’s a good thing. Dave liked going past Lulworth Cove and looking out at the coast. For dinner, we had some chips from the fish and chip shop and bought some fish, which Dave and Monkey cooked.

We went shopping in ASDA to get some food for tomorrow because we are in charge of the menu! Port is going to have pizzas and Starboard kept theirs a secret from us Port people. Just now we did a chocolate mousse card game it was very fun and exciting and Port/ Zoe won for us!! (thx Zoe).

By Lily and Jodie.

Day 4

Thursday 11

We woke up as usual, with the natural vigour you’d have waking up at 07:00. For breakfast we had eggs and bacon, the eggs were meant to be sunny side up, but instead they were medium rare. Cooking is difficult for teenagers! We then set up the mast, ready to be climbed, most people taking it in turns to go up and see the beautiful harbour and beach of Weymouth, the others below hoisting them up with all their might. In between all the business of hoisting, a ring was sadly lost, but all was OK. Even with the ring now probably at the bottom of the harbour. Sadly nobody beat our Skipper, Monkey’s time of one minute and 20 seconds to climb to the top of the mast, but there were some good attempts at it.

The ketch that had docked beside us, under the command of Sam, let loose and headed out, us coming out soon after and hoping today we would get some good wind for some proper sailing! And luck was on our side! Heading up to the Needles, albeit on and off and often in the wrong direction, wind came through and blew out the sail. For the first time, our dear Oona (the name of our boat) was down on her side, the boat tipped nearly 40 degrees and we were going at a speed of seven knots. One of our leaders, Bear, had a good go at steering the wheel. and did very well to learn the technique of zig-zagging to battle the winds going the wrong way for us.

We continued on to the Isle of Wight, Sam and Monkey racing while most of the crew members had a dance-off and a small group tried their hardest to cook while on an angle! Onions are very hard to sweat evenly when the boat is tipping half of them to one side. Everyone once again praised Mary’s amazing homemade pasta sauce that you don’t even need cheese for (the secret is using chopped/plum tomatoes, butter and milk) and the humungous amount of garlic bread that was left over. Everyone was too full to have dessert due to the mass of leftovers.

Inching on along the ocean, we reached the Solent as the sun was about to set. Libby did her Leader promise and we found out that Dave was a priest! We also gave all the sailing staff cards to say thank you, each with a personalised message from the crew. Sophie drove us all the way to the harbour with the last super moon of the year following us. We stopped by three TSYT boats to say hello and goodnight. Some shooting stars sparkled the dock where we anchored. We were all tired as we finished sailing at 23:00, so off to sleep we went.

Day 5

Friday 12

We cleaned. :/

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