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Challenger 1 – South West Guides

By Kate Stewart - September 1st, 2023 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

We have two groups from South West Guides joining us on board Challengers 1 and 3 this week for a five-night Voyage of Exploration along the south coast.

The below blog was written by the group on board Challenger 1, read it so see how their time at sea is going so far.

Day 2

Tuesday 29

Awoken at Gunwharf Quays at 07:00 to find a calm, quiet and idyllic quayside sadly squashed by a fire evacuation alarm that someone in Gunwharf Quays shopping centre couldn’t find the off switch to. We had cereal and toast for breakfast at 08:00 and prepped the deck for departure at 09:15 sharp.

The sails went whoosh and we were off! Rain was on the horizon and tacking was underway precisely every three minutes for about an hour.

We anchored for lunch just off of Osborne Bay at 12:00 and enjoyed a buffet of picky bits and pork pies. After filling our little bellies, we exhausted ourselves by hoisting the Mainsail, after which we were reevaluating our life decisions to come sailing (but only momentarily).

Then the rain (14:09-18:39).

We enhanced our tacking skills by more tacking…endlessly.

Then we arrived in Yarmouth (very posh in Yarmouth) with the grand entrance of interrupting a family champagne dining on their deck, with the arrival of 16 soggy bodies. Dinner was prepped (spag bol), deck was tidied and sleep followed shortly after.

There was a minor toilet blockage incident (sadly missed by some who slept).

Lots of love,

Dee (39 ¾) and Lottie (20 ¼)

Day 3

Wednesday 30

Emma And Eloises brilliant adventure…

Eloise and Emma awoke to a blaring alarm from the Starboard side followed by another from Port 10 minutes later. Groggily they sat up banging their heads on the others’ bed and ceiling (respectively) getting dressed, they stepped out onto the deck of the boat taking a whiff (said with a French accent) of Yarmouth Harbour air. Jumping off the deck onto the pontoon, they headed towards the sailing club toilets (also said with a French accent) to brush their teeth and take their morningly bathroom break.

While in the bathrooms Emma and Eloise observe an adult from the crew (who shall not be named) who decked it (slipped and fell) in a corridor having gotten out of the shower. For breakfast, Emma and Eloise toasted crumpets for everyone on board. However, Matt the Skipper declined, saying instead ‘crumpets are for the weak.. I will eat cold bolognese leftovers from last night’. Everyone else then hurriedly dropped their crumpets and rushed out to the deck. Emma and Eloise as part of Port watch prepped the deck in order to leave promptly at 10:00 on the dot.

Challenger 1 having left early at 09:50 did a corporate hoist on the Mainsail in a race against Challenger 3. Emma and Eloise being on the superior boat easily won the race. Then commenced TEA BREAK! During this, Emma and Eloise had coffee and tea (respectively), with rich tea biscuits. At 11:20 Emma and Eloise dropped the Staysail, in doing so both got very wet when wave spilled over the bow.

After the Staysail was dropped, the Storm Staysail was hoisted and a lunch of chicken soup and baguette was distributed. However tragedy struck, as the boat rocked and Eloise fell forward. Luckily she caught herself on the shroud BUT her soup sloshed (accentuate the O) out of her cup and all over Emma!

Towards the end of the day, Bob was picked up and lobbed (chucked) over the side by Emma, taking much glee in this she giggled evilly. The crew then practised a man overboard drill, while Emma tried to convince the Skipper that with all her boat experience she knew what to do. Sail 8-10 boat lengths away then tack around and sail towards the M.O.B on a close reach turning line to when reaching it.

At 17:15, Emma and Eloise motored into the River Wey to dock besides Challenger 3. Having done this, our intrepid heroes stepped down into the saloon to begin dinner prep of sausage and mashed potatoes, and write this autobiography of their day…

By Emma and Eloise.

Day 4

Thursday 31

The morning was damp, so damp in fact that I did not feel the need to get out of the boat and go to the harbour toilets. Our remarkably generous and considerate Skipper (who isn’t dictating to me at all) decided to allow watches to take turns having an hour out of the rain.

After an exemplary game of rock paper scissors between the crew my watch (being the best) won and elected to be the first downstairs. Out of the goodness  of our hearts (alright, Skipper Matt made us) we cooked up some tea and biscuits for the long-suffering deck watch (including a member of our watch who decided to suffer the rain over being sick).

Soon enough it came time to head back up to take over the watch and as I got back on my fowlies (not the bird suits) I decided that everyone should sing some Challenger 1 renditions of campfire songs including campfires burning (lyrics will be added below).

After a lunch of chicken goujon wraps (which thoroughly warmed the soul), the weather began to clear up! And one of the Watch Leaders brought out a speaker and began to play some banging tunes, which brightened everyone’s day. At the end of our sailing adventure, Challenger 1 was brought successfully into Poole Harbour to have a dinner of chicken curry.

By our hero, yours truly

(Sung to the tune of campfires burning)

Challenger sailing, Challenger sailing

We’re heeling, we’re heeling

Quick we’re tacking! Quick we’re tacking!

Come sing and be merry

Day 5

Friday 1

Getting up bright and early, pinch punch first of the month was how we started our day.

We had breakfast underway as it was deemed necessary to leave obnoxiously early, bacon and egg muffins, which we do not recommend eating while on a sailing yacht unless you fancy wearing egg yolk.

Mainsail (big flappy boy) was up, via corporate hoist, and the sunbathing began.

After some sailing, we decided it was time to raise the spinnaker pole for some light climbing. Majority of us giving it a go, our arms were aching. Then it was lunch time, pesto pasta, so much of it that we were all pregnant with pasta babies. Along with homemade garlic bread, which could’ve just been named garlic rolled in breadcrumbs as it was so strong, still yummy though, just requiring chewing gum afterwards!

More sunbathing occurred before rolling into Gosport.

It was time for more climbing! With all of us having a go at climbing the mast (big thanks to Ella and Ollie for destroying their hands), and more murder attempts (failing).

Then time for dindins of sausage and bean generic mix, which was quickly gobbled up because we were just all so excited to clean the heads!

I think we can all say that our final day of sailing was a success, with lots of climbing and cleaning, and we can all definitely say that this week was an amazing adventure and we are all incredibly grateful for the opportunity to represent GGSWE.

And a final thanks to Matt (Skipper), Luiz (Mate), and Ollie and Ella (Watch Leaders) for without whom we would’ve definitely capsized by now, despite Luiz saying it’s impossible!

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