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Challenger 1 β€” Easter Hop to St Malo

By Kate Stewart - April 19th, 2022 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

Read how the young people onboard Challenger 1 have been getting on since they started their TSYT voyage on Sunday (17).​​ πŸ‘‡

Day 1

Sunday 17

On the first evening, we got to know one another by playing cheats, which is a card game and we had some good conversations to break the ice.

Once we had got to know each other, we were split into two watches (teams), Port and Starboard. I was in Starboard and our watch consisted of me (Damien), Sophie, Joanna and James B. We all got on well and clicked instantly.

We all helped each other when we were in the galley (kitchen) preparing dinner and making drinks and also when we were above deck and sailing.

We enjoyed stargazing, while sitting on the bow of the boat with our sleeping bags and pillows.

By Damien.

Day 2

Monday 18

This morning, our watch woke up nice and early at around 07:00, we started to prepare the breakfast and deck for our start to the course.

We pulled the sails up and headed south-east for the Isle of Wight. When we got out far enough, we learnt tacks and drives, it was really good fun pulling the boat on a tilt.

After we learned how to tack, we then practiced a man overboard drill. We used a fender, which the group named Max, to throw overboard and practiced the drill in place to save it.

We sailed close to port and anchored for the night, we prepped the deck for the morning and we’re now heading in for some supper.

By Joanna, Sophie, Damien and James.​

Day 3

Tuesday 19

Port watch took the first night shift, starting at 02:05 (aiming for 02:00, with 15 minutes to get ready). We’ll now try waking people up 20 minutes in advance instead.

We motored out of the bay, took the anchor in and Starboard watch, who had helped us to get ready to sail, returned below deck.

We raised the Mainsail and Staysail and with a good wind behind us, picked up some speed aiming to keep the outermost corner of the Staysail above the moon’s reflection while the mast just hid the moon from sight.

Day 4

Wednesday 20

We arrived at St. Peter Port in Guernsey at 17:00 after a few shifts with Port and Starboard. Everyone managed to have a shower at the marina services before tidying up the boat and Port watch made sweet ‘n’ sour chicken.

After having a full night’s sleep, we had bacon sandwiches for breakfast. Having free time to explore the historical island, we inflated the dinghy.

Port watch went to visit the shops then heard the 12:00 cannon go off at Castle Cornet, then went back to the boat for some chicken goujon wraps.

To complete our RYA Competent Crew, we used the dinghy to row from pontoon to pontoon. After we were briefed, we were given a topic to research with a knot to learn and present.

We decided to have fish and chips for dinner so Starboard watch went to the chippy while we (Port watch) went to the beach, which was behind the castle. We took photos and tried long jumping with a side of gymnastics before heading back to the boat for dinner at around 19:00.

When we arrived in Guernsey, we were all very happy and excited to see some land, where we would be staying for the next day.

As we were sailing into the port, some of us were tasked with putting the fenders over the side of the boat, while Jason B threw some rope over to the Skipper to drag the boat in. Unfortunately, the rope fell in the ocean and got very wet!

We did, however, manage to successfully connect to the pontoon and afterwards, we prepared the deck to stay the night.

Next, we went below deck to begin preparing some food. Starboard watch was in charge of dinner, which was fish and chips. Lee took us to buy fish from M&S and the chips were bought from a chip shop called ‘the chippy inn’.

Because we’re in watches, whoever makes the food doesn’t have to clean up so today that was down to Port watch!

By Damien.

Day 5

Thursday 21

At 01:30 BST, we set off from St. Peter Port in Guernsey to sail to St. Malo in France. Port watch went to sleep as Starboard watch began their shift.

There was very little wind on the passage and very calm seas, the water was reflective as if a mirror.

Just before the sun rose, the watches changed over and Port watch woke up for the 05:30 shift. During this watch, we witnessed a picturesque pink sunrise as the cold lifted.

Later, at around 09:30, Challenger 1 arrived at the lock at St. Malo port and prepared to be raised.

After docking in an area with little congestion, we cleaned up the deck and below, while waiting to pass through customs, which appeared closed for lunch.

During our lunch, a sudden movement above deck startled the Skipper, there were two officers waiting to see our passports and line us up for admissions.

After we were let through, we got ready to explore the town. Most of the voyage crew went to admire the local architecture and some had a swim in the sea!

The port was filled with tourists and it was exciting to venture into the Old Town. Both watches enjoyed the local cuisine (crΓͺpes, hot chocolate and cookies).

We returned to the boat and each member of the crew spent some time preparing a presentation regarding different aspects of our RYA Competent Crew qualification.

Port watch cooked sausages and mash for dinner.

Finally, we presented what we had learnt about the different topics and got ready to sleep so we would be ready to head back to Portsmouth tomorrow.

By Ori, Isla and Genevieve.

Day 6

Friday 22

We were on the 13:00 lock to get out of St. Malo, we were a little bit early, so had to sit and wait in the boat until the gates opened. After getting out of the lock, we had an afternoon sail, which included everybody.

The wind was consistently above 25 knots and no higher than 30 knots, which made a very challenging sail throughout the night, with the moon not helpful for natural light.

We stayed in watches throughout the night and my watch (Starboard) was 16:00-20:00 and then 00:00-04:00, we did a few tacks to get speed on the boat (left to right) through the afternoon and evening.

Day 7

Saturday 23

In the morning, we were still on our watches and started nice and early.

We carried on with a morning sail, passing Cherbourg on the way.

After tacking past the Needles mid-morning, we stowed the sails and docked at Cowes, tidied up the snake pit, deep cleaned the boat and headed to the onshore facilities for a much appreciated shower.

We made dinner and talked through our final briefings, including some last checks of our Competent Crew content. As we made our way through the two and a half hour motor back to Portsmouth, we ate dinner and put the fenders up. After docking in Portsmouth at around 00:00, we got ready for bed.

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