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Challenger 1 – RNLI September Sail

By Tall Ships - September 18th, 2020 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

Day 1

Upon arrival at Gunwharf Quays the sun was shining, and it was the perfect first day to get sailing. We spent the afternoon in the Eastern Solent getting to grips with learning the ropes – literally! I learnt so much in that one afternoon… I’ve never really been sailing before so wasn’t sure what to expect. But there we were, getting the sails up and down, and tacking our way across the Solent. I can’t wait for the rest of the week ahead.

Day 2

After a solid night’s sleep afloat in the marina we awoke to bacon sandwiches and another sunny day which fortunately delivered more wind than was promised in the forecast! We set off into the Solent with a newfound respect for the effort involved in raising the main sail, and were able to set in half the time! Throughout the day we went through the motions of tacking and jibing that we had learned the previous day before progressing to MOB drills under both engine power and sail which was a fantastic challenge! We returned to the mariner for ice cream and a great curry for dinner. Looking forward to tomorrow!

Day 3

Another days sailing which turned into the busiest yet! It started with navigating to the scones in the local Tesco, and ended in sailing down the Solent and around the Isle of White ending at 11pm, so a late one for us all. After yet another hearty breakfast the day began with a very windy mast climb for us all, and quickly into a refresher on all the process for what we should do if someone fell overboard, ready to test this theory out in the Solent later today. Soon after we then set out into the Solent putting our new found knowledge of tacking and jibing into use, sailing down the Solent towards Cowes and around the island through the day, practicing the man overboard procedures on the trusty dummy fender bob, ever keen to be hurled into the water. As night came, we were still out and practiced more and more skills of navigation, jibing and helming giving us a great experience sailing in the night. What a day to sail over 100 miles!​

Day 4

The final Day of an adventure of a lifetime, we set sail from Portsmouth at 11am sharp, out into the Solent once more to put our collective skills to the test on what was forecast to be the windiest day of the week, and the forecast didn’t disappoint. We started by mastering healing and mastering the art of jibing through the wind before something new… Reefing, a new skill for us all, which we practiced for the remainder of the day before the final approach to Portsmouth, and the final time of lowering the main sail and flaking it too and preparing to coil the final lines, bringing to end the best and safest I’ve had for such a long, long time and would recommend to anyone.

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