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Challenger 1 – St John Ambulance – XF24408

By Ellie Crowson - April 11th, 2024 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

St John Ambulance Cambridgeshire join us for a 5-night voyage. Follow their journey below. 

Day 1

Monday 8 April

This morning, we woke up at 05:00am to be able to leave on time to arrive in Huntingdon for 07:00am. Once we had all put our bags in the seat we wanted to sit in, we all headed inside to wait for any others. After everyone had arrived, we left Huntingdon and started our journey to Portsmouth. About halfway into our journey we stopped at South Mimms for breakfast and to take a break from the tight space and josh’s amazing singing. The rest of the journey was very bumpy with many sharp breaks and abrupt stops.

Once we arrived in Portsmouth after what felt like a very long journey, we unpacked the minivan into a bus stop while Lewis, Grace and Josh went to go find trolleys to fit our large bags into. When they came back it was a bit of a shock to see Josh sat in one of the trolleys with Lewis struggling to push him. After we made a human chain to load all our bags on to the trolleys we made our way to burger king for some lunch.

After ordering and eating our food we started to embark our journey into a week full of fun and josh singing (squealing). We split into a human chain and unloaded the trolleys onto the boat. After they had been unpacked into rooms, we started our briefing by introducing ourselves and splitting into our pre-determined groups. Each group were told the basics for what they need to be able to live on a boat for 5days. We were suited up into our oilskins and lifejackets. Shortly after we left the docks and turned west.

It began to rain as soon as we left and only stopped for a matter of 10 minutes. We completed a winch brief and hoisted a head sail. After there were no more jobs left, we had a quick tea and biscuit break. We braved the wind and rain until we were able to see the dock at Cowes. Whilst one group (Noah’s arch) started cooking dinner the other (bows and boats) tidied the boat ready for tomorrow. Bows and boats then went for VERY quick showers and rushed back for dinner within 15 minutes which is very hard for some of us.

For dinner, we had fajitas which we delicious, and bows and boats washed up while Noah’s arch went for showers. Josh was very excited about his Hello Kitty pyjamas which he could put on so got into them as soon as he could.

Tia and Sophie

Day 2

Tuesday 9 April

After a rough night’s sleep for some of us, unlike those who slept like babies, bows and bots made breakfast of bacon sandwiches. It was an early wake up for some but that quickly went away after the delicious food. We got out of our full hello kitty outfit (trousers, tops and scrunchies) and began tidying the boat before getting into our waterproofs and up onto the deck.

Once we left from Cowes, we realised how choppy it was so much that Sarah fell face first into the cockpit.  Unlike us who were doing a titanic pose (classic with jack and rose) who shortly got wiped out by a wave landing on the hatch, thank you to whoever had closed it about 30 seconds beforehand. Whilst Sophie and DJ were busying sailing the boat and tacking (180 turn), we were down below in the kitchen making hot drinks which was disastrous to say the least. Slightly later we put the main sail up partly which was a full team effort including 3 teams of 2 people hoisting the ropes of the sail, including one slip resulting in an almost splits. A team of 3 in the snakepit and 2 people winching were also working very hard. We continued sailing to Lymington including one person falling asleep and a few falls. As we got near the dock, we began taking the sails down where 3 cadets got incredibly soaked at the bows.

Once we docked in Lymington, we were treated with Cornish pasties from Noah’s Arks group leader (Sarah). We then got ready to get off the boat and go on an adventure. We stopped at Toots Ice Parlour and had some amazing ice cream trays (Thank you Rob, find him on Facebook) before facing a challenge…


We had £5. One colour. 30 minutes. The most items won. The race was on. Two unique methods were used to say the least.

The groups were Ginger Ninjas led by Grace with Chloe, Lewis, Toby and Nino. The second group was the blue group led by Sophie with Tia, Anna, DJ and Noah. The results still unknown…


We slowly walked back to the boat carrying our chips for dinner to have with sausages. We then had a chance for showers followed by snacks and games with some group bonding. We began our tallships murder mystery where we have a person, place and object. The goal… TO SURVIVE.

Chloe and Grace – The Hello Kitty Legends​

Day 3

Wednesday 10 April

We had a bit of a lie in at first but some of us got woken up by Josh talking to Sarah about how Dave was asleep. For breakfast we had crumpets and toast with some weird combinations. Shortly after breakfast we had our first murder of the day. DUN DUN DUNNN! DJ had managed to kill Paul with a book in the port accommodation. Before setting sail we all made our way to the toilets, which also turned into a visit to the nearby park. Josh’s’ screaming could be heard from a mile away (literally as proven by Grace and Chloe), and Tia and Sophie managed to fit themselves into a baby swing set. We soon headed back after finally going to the toilets and set sail.

Lucy was helping Lewis and Tia in the snack pit to raise the sails so we could actually sail instead of only using the motor. We quickly realised how choppy it was and halfway through the journey Josh was sick 8 times (almost on Toby’s shoes and it apparently looked like a blorange which is very believable) and others were beginning to also feel seasick. For most of our journey we were at a 50-degree angle at which Neil cooked our lunch. For lunch we had soup and bread whilst going over huge waves. Many struggled to eat whilst others chose not to eat out of fear of it reappearing.

It was a lot of hard work with a few murders on the way, but we still managed to survive on the wet, cold, long, boat trip. It took a lot of help and a lot of effort. Once we cleared up and put the sails down, we started having showers and making dinner. For dinner we had spaghetti bolognese and Noah’s arch somehow managed to use what felt like most of the kitchen. The clean up for Bows and Bots took at least 1 hour but probably longer. Once everyone had showered we put on a load of clothes to dry in the dryer room and made our way to Tesco. Everyone excitedly rushed through Tesco picking up any snack they needed. When everyone had checked out and bought their stuff, Josh demanded for a selfie on the cameras above the tills. We were almost ready until Josh wanted a Tesco bag in the picture and a worker was standing there laughing whilst watching us huddle up. We then walked back to the ship and started attacking the snacks and playing games. Then everybody got to bed at 10pm.

Tiaz and Sophie

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