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Challenger 1 – Blackburn District Scouts

By Kelly Field - June 2nd, 2022 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments
Onboard Challengers 1 and 3 we have a group from Blackburn District Scouts!
We have a mixture of Guides, Scouts, Explorer Scouts and Network Scouts from Blackburn and Ribble Valley, joining us for a five-day voyage along the South Coast.
Stay tuned throughout the week for updates from their residential adventure!

Day 1

Tuesday 31

We started off our journey with a really early coach journey. We left at 06:00 and travelled six hours down to the port at Portsmouth. There we met our Skipper and crew for the week. It was an exciting and new experience for most of us.

After our introductions, we learnt and became familiar with the skills needed to help sail the boat, along with learning all the complicated and new terminology. We were also taught new rope knots that would help us throughout the trip.

After the briefings, we set sail for the first time, leaving Portsmouth with the wind behind us. Some of us even got to steer the ship!

We ended the day with a meal made by half of our group and a nice sunset walk along the coast of Cowes. It’s been a long and intense day, but rewarding nonetheless. We’re all tired but ready for what tomorrow will bring.

By Neve & Lydia

Day 2

Wednesday 1

We started the day around 07:00, minus a couple of crew members who were abruptly awoken by a blaring alarm at 05:00 and most were still tired due to the early start the previous day.

This meant certain members were rather grumpy, namely me (Sebastian) and Ellie.

Breakfast, prepared by the Port watch and Sharon (who is our boat’s brilliantly helpful volunteer Watch Leader) consisted of pastries and cereals. We then set up for departure which was around 09:00 and we beat the other team!

Today’s voyage was extremely eventful as we journeyed west along the Jurassic coast.  The waters were very calm for the first leg of the journey, but quickly roughened up as we found ourselves merrily tacking through the channel.

This challenged some crew members’ stomachs, including Harry Doherty’s, who ‘vommed’ overboard. The choppy sea also attacked our Skipper, as the only large wave of the day soaked him through, the very second he stood to use the heads.

We then approached Weymouth and had a difficult time docking as the space was narrow. I took charge of the roving fender to protect the port side of the hull. I succeeded and we are still floating now. We enjoyed the rest of the day by spending the time exploring and some people even braved the water and went for a swim at the beach. We ate a delicious chippy tea and rested up! Sebastian and Tom signing off. Night.

Day 3

Thursday 2

We had another great day. We started by waking up for 07:00 with no interruptions in the night.

At about 08:00 we took on 1342 litres of fuel, while the crew had cereal for breakfast. The Starboard Watch then prepped the deck while the Port Watch cleaned.

We left Weymouth around 09:00 and soon after put the mainsail up. After a short hot chocolate break we then hoisted the Yankee and Staysail with no issues. We then had a calm but chilly voyage towards the Needles.

During this we had lunch consisting of afternoon tea for the Jubilee. This was amazingly prepared by Cairon and Sharon while the ship was turned at a steep 30° degrees angle. Shortly after lunch we put the front sails down, which meant a few of the crew got soaked by the waves as we had to fold the sails and make sure they did not go into the brink.

Soon after we reached the ‘Hurst Narrows’ where we saw a fleet of racing yachts, which the Skipper was not happy about because we had to give way to them. As time drew on we neared the harbour but here we reached a dilemma, we still had the mainsail hoisted!

The Skipper skillfully stopped the ship, while the crew lowered the sail under the direction of Adam the Mate. This went smoothly overall as the crew worked together to fold the sail over the boom with help from Leo to pull the sail down as he had climbed the mast.

At around 17:00 we rafted with our fellow crew on Challenger 3, at the edge of the marina as there was no space in the centre. After we covered the mainsail the crew went into the town to try and get ice cream, very sadly this mission was unsuccessful so we got brownies, cheesecake and J20 instead.

After a wonderful dinner, the Starboard Watch finished tidying the deck, we then lowered the ensign to some music and then watched the military band march past.

By Leo & Alicia

Day 4

Friday 3

Today was our fourth day on the boat. We started the day docked up in Yarmouth with some delicious bacon and egg butties, (yes butties, not bread rolls). The crew then started the day with some very fun activities, which included mast climbing. The majority of the team climbed all the way to the top of the mast, while others were hesitant but offered lots of support from the deck.

After all the fun, we set off to our next destination, which was Osbourne Bay. We decided to dock up in the middle of the coast for lunch and some activities. The team split up and half helped out on deck, while the others prepared ravioli bolognese. We ate together on desk and took in the beautiful view before us.

The Skipper then had another fun challenge planned for us. He had set up the Spinnaker pole and challenged us all the climb it. Many brave volunteers fought through the wind and conquered the pole. During this time, it did start to rain (well started to spit), so the Skipper thought it was best to put on his waterproofs, but this did not discourage the team who fought through with shorts and t-shirts on.

We then split up to prepare tea of sausage and mash; however, there was a disagreement if potato skins should be left on in mash potatoes, but I won’t get into that here. We ate together while chatting about the fun things we had done this week.

During tea, a Pan Pan Report came other the radio, a boat nearby had experienced an engine failure, this was a great opportunity for the Skipper to show us how he would respond to a report like this. Fortunately there was another boat close by and the issue was resolved.

It was then time for the night sail, everyone was really excited and curious to see how sailing may differ to sailing during the day. We dressed up in our waterproofs and headed out on deck. It was surprising to see how poor visibility was at night, even with the lights on. This opportunity allowed us to fully understand the importance of good communication in the team and a keen eye, in order to keep everyone safe. It was very enjoyable until the rain came and everyone got a little damp. Thankfully, it wasn’t long until we docked for the night and were able to get a nice hot shower and get to bed.​

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