Last weekend, we had a group from Rochdale Youth Service competing onboard Challenger 2, in a race against Hythe Sea Scouts on Challenger 3.
Read the blog below to see what the young people from Rochdale go up to over the weekend. ?
We set off to Portsmouth at 11:00 and arrived at 17:00. The journey there was very long and tiring, but we got there. Upon arrival, we were welcomed at the gate by our Skipper, Adam (with a nice mug).
We walked down the pontoon to the boat, where we saw the other crew members. The boat would soon became our home for the next few days. We were forced to drown into uncomfortable waterproofs. However, it kept us warm and safe. ?
Not long after we arrived, we started on our journey to Cowes Yacht Haven on the Isle of Wight. It was peaceful and relaxing. The gloomy, dark sky was illuminated by the lights cast from the buildings in Portsmouth, giving a cool vibe. While upon this ride, we learnt about the different sides of the boat, their unique names and why they are named that.
Shepard’s marina (Cowes)
As we got in, we were provided with a delicious meal consisting of kale, red cabbage and a curry with tofu and squash. After the comforting meal, we cleaned up,, got to know the crew and understood what was going to be happening for the next two days.
Around 00:00, we went to bed. This was an interesting night full of weird, weird things. One of our team mates, decided to start laughing after everyone had gone to bed, alarming all of us. Snoring, dribbling and breaking lights occurred.
The beds looked cramped, but were surprisingly really comfortable. We slept like babies.
Following on from last night, we were sadly waken up at 07:00. By 07:30, we were ready at the table for our breakfast, which was overnight oats with fruits of our choice.
Later on, we cleaned up and gathered at the deck in our gear ready to sail. Awkwardly, we met our rivals somewhere near 08:30. They were sea scouts from Southport. After meeting them, we got straight to work. We first started off by learning how to work winches. At first, they were pretty complicated but we got the hang of it after a few tries. Struggling a lot, we put up the sail. It was immensely hard, so we needed the whole team in sync, which made everything a lot easier.
The big sail was set up. Then we were split into two groups, girls and boys. We had to put up the two smaller sails. The girls happened to win. After the hard struggle (at about midday), we were rewarded by making lunch. While half of us were taking down the small sails, the rest made a self-serve buffet with tuna, cheese, tomatoes, olives and other stuff in a wrap. Alongside of the exquisite, five-star uncooked wrap, we had a cup of tea then got straight back to work.
Unfortunately, our hard work was soon required again as the sails had to be packed up. This again required teamwork and co-operation from all of us. We were given the challenge to put down the big main sail within 45mins. We were underestimated, as we managed that and completed the task successfully and fully.
An inspection then took place, the other team’s Skipper and his Mate checked our boat. Overall, we got a good result, as the only flaws were a few misplaced items.
Due to this, we were given an hour of downtime (time to yourself), which most of us used to get showers. We returned and had a group emotion thing where we went around the table and summed up our feelings in one word. This was weird, but fun and calming.
After this, we learnt to tie knots to beat the crew from the sea scouts!
Food then arrived, which consisted of Black chilli with pearls. These people decided to use chocolate in the chilli and barley instead of rice. Who puts chocolate in chilli? After this, limes (one of the groups) had to clean up as they cooked.
We then were allowed down time again, where we went to wash up in the nice bathroom. Followed by, playing cards on the top deck, enjoying the view of the dark sea.
At 21:00, we returned to our bunks where we enjoyed the blessing of sleep.
Now, we are dead after waking at 06:00 and eating some breakfast, which chilli’s (the other group) made. This was scrambled egg, toast, mushrooms and tomato. Currently, they are cleaning and complaining.
We have packed all our belongings away, ready to go home later this evening, after the big race.
The race is the competition between us and the sea scouts. I would laugh if we win, as they know all of this and we only learnt it a day ago.
This trip was cool and fun, but I’m tired and feel ready to go home. However, I think I have learnt a lot more than I thought I would.
By Hafsah, Charlie, Hibah and Catia.