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Challenger 1 – Scouts

By Tall Ships - June 4th, 2019 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

Day 1

Port Watch

This is the tale of 12 intrepid adventurers aboard the Tall Ship Challenger 1 (“Oona”). The motley crew is comprised of UK Scout Network members (18 – 25 year olds), a skipper, a mate and 2 watch leaders.

After their long-anticipated arrival at Gunwharf Marina, they were assigned to a watch (Port and Starboard, otherwise known as Port, and ’arry’s bunch). The crew quickly realised this was not the cruise to the Caribbean they had signed up for…

The crew filled their bellies with a hearty luncheon and then set off on their big adventure to see and conquer the Isle of Wight, an opportunity to put some theory in to practice – raising and lowering sails, using winches, and most importantly, learning how to use the toilets (sorry, “Heads”). The weather was typically British – wet, windy and miserable, but don’t worry they were equipped with lovely new waterproofs. To their surprise, they managed to put up two sails and reached a top speed of around 7 MPH (about half as fast as a charging Bull) before crashing into Yarmouth for the night.

For dinner, they had… meatballs and pasta (and a little bit of cheese).

Port Watch – Sam, Helen, Ryan, Dom, Adam, Isaac

Day 2

‘Arrys Watch

With bells tolling in the fog we departed Yarmouth in the hope of finding sun at sea. Some hopeful upstarts (including a certain volunteer watch leader) began the day in shorts and wellies – a fine look for intrepid adventurers! We were not disappointed as the blazing ball of fire in the sky swiftly burnt off the morning murk.

Sails up we headed westward to lift the mainsail hauling hard upon the sheets.  A few intended gibes later, we were on our way East to overtake Challenger 2. Stylishly, we left them in our wake.

A little drama when the Yankee managed to connect itself to the hank of the Storm Sail whilst unclipping it from the stay – be impressed at that terminology!

We are now in port ahead of sampling the delights of arry’s Watch’s culinary speciality, miscellaneous chicken curry.  Ready to smash Challenger 2 tomorrow in the round the island race we will be departing early in high spirits!

Catherine, Keelan​

Day 3

Port Watch

Today we set off early to start our race around the Isle of Wight against our competitor Challenger 2. We initially had Challenger 2 behind us, so started well, but unfortunately that quickly changed when the actual race started – probably because their crew were all younger & lighter!

The weather was initially very dull, wet and grey, but after midday, with full bellies of bacon rolls and chicken Goujon wraps – the sun made a wonderful appearance. We quickly lost our layers and our white legs came out.

After a morning of non-stop, gruelling and rewarding work, the afternoon was spent being a little more relaxed; listening to music, catching the rays and of course keeping a watchful eye on the buoys and Challenger 2.

En-route, we took part in an inter-watch brownie cooking competition. Always a challenge, with no microwave to melt the chocolate and butter though. Port watch added some secret ingredients (banana and golden syrup), with ‘arry’s bunch using chocolate hazelnut spread. ‘arry’s bunch were crowned the winners but we are not so sure – a rematch may be needed!

The last supper was Chilli Con Carne, and with tears in our eyes from all those onions (or at least that’s what we said) – we started to cook on a 25° angle (ever the challenge). Again we managed to craft a delicious meal and none of the crew were disappointed.

Port Watch – Sam, Helen, Ryan, Dom, Adam, Isaac

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